service level agreement

Service Level Agreement: Getting the Facts



A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is basically a legal and written document between the customer and IT service provider. What is it, anyway, and how can you benefit from it? Well, here’s just a sample case: Let’s say that you have an SLA between a bank and yourself, describing their provided service and to what levels they will provide those services. For instance, the bank allows you to use the ATM to withdraw money but you can’t take more than $1000. That’s what SLA about and it has its own function in the IT service.


Different Service Levels

There are basically 3 types of Service Level Agreement that you can use as the documents.

  • The service-based SLA. It is an SLA that manages one service for all of the clients. Whether the clients are individual or companies, they will get the same service based on the agreement.
  • The customer-based SLA. Unlike the previous agreement, this one is based on one client and the services that are used specifically for this client. You can see the differences now, right?
  • The multi-level SLA. In this agreement, the agreement is based on their clients’ organization and their needs of the service. When there is a change in the service, the agreement needs to assessed, reviewed, and revised again. You can say that this is the most complex agreement from the existing three types.


The Importance of an SLA

There are some reasons why you should have the SLA:

  • The agreement will define and specify each party’s rights and obligations
  • The agreement will prevent miscommunication and unwanted problems that may arise from the absence of the SLA
  • The agreement makes it clear about what will happen to one party of they don’t hold up to their promises or the end of their bargain.
  • The agreement will protect both parties from mischievous actions – whether intended or not


The Main Components

Whether you compose the agreement on your own or you use the provided template, make sure that the crucial components are present in the agreement:

  • The details of each involved parties
  • The outline of responsibilities as well as the expected outputs within a detailed performance measurement
  • The time duration for the agreement
  • The details of the service as well as the levels of services to expect


In the event that you need some examples, we’d be happy to help. You can see the examples Service Level Agreement templates and samples below.


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