While IT managers agree that service level management (SLM) is critical to their organizations, many also find it intimidating. It need not be. An SLM program is what you make it - it can be formal or informal, all-encompassing or focused on key services. The point is to document required service levels for services provided to the business by the IT organization.
Service-level requirements are generally documented in a service catalog, sometimes more formally in a Service Level Agreement (SLA). The service catalog records service-level requirements and expectations regarding:
- Costs of the service
- Hours of availability
- Recovery requirements should the service be interrupted
- Metrics and reporting requirements
Required service levels should be achievable and not so detailed as to introduce unnecessary overhead and complexity to the management of the IT service. A good service provides a clear understanding between the business unit and IT of roles and responsibilities, the details of the services to be provided, and the associated costs.
After establishing service-level requirements, it is necessary to monitor and report how well IT is meeting those requirements. Monitoring allows IT to react when problems are threatening to impact the business, and also for client business units to know whether they are getting their money's worth from IT services.
HelpSystems Software Addresses Service Level Management
Vityl Capacity Maagement provides a practical approach for establishing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with business units and identifying the right balance of service and budget you need to provision it.
Establishing Service Level Requirements
Vityl Capacity Management's modeling capabilities allow you to experiment with multiple scenarios to show business units the impact of various SLA decisions. This helps determine optimal performance levels needed to meet business unit goals while ensuring that these metrics can be tracked and reported on an ongoing basis.
With Vityl Capacity Management's Performance Monitor component, historical data can be used to identify current levels of service to determine the starting point for SLA negotiations. Once business needs are known, Capacity Plans can be used to determine whether SLAs are sustainable on current hardware footprints. If desired SLAs are more stringent than current service levels, Vityl Capacity Management can be used to determine required upgrades which then can be priced, allowing business units to make an informed decision.