What is an ITIL conform SLA? What do those acronyms mean?

ITIL, formerly known as Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a framework. ITIL describes in detail what IT service managers need to do, to align IT service needs with business needs. It includes a best practice framework to maximize efficiency and reliability, while ensuring continual improvements of services related to IT in business.

The ITIL concept process includes five main stages and provides a common language and tools to deliver value across a business. The main five stages of ITIL are Service Design, Service Strategy, Service Transition, Service Operations, and Service Improvements.

SLA, also known as “Service Level Agreement”, is well known to be a commitment between a service provider and a client. It outlines the exact details of the service to be delivered, such as responsibilities, availability, and quality of the service. It is not only common in the IT world, as most businesses dealing with and in services need an SLA contract. It must be differentiated from an OLA, as the Operational Level Agreement is a specific agreement between an IT service provider and another part of the same organization. They both aim to deliver a similar governing of a service, and both define what should be expected from both customer and provider.

There are two important core distinctions that SLA for IT services specify. The initial “Service Design” and the “Continual Service Improvement”.
The Service Design is everything that happens before implementation. Everything after the implementation, be it updates or changes, have to conform to the accompanying SLA.

So how does the ITIL help? As the SLA is an initial agreement, the ITIL process ensures an adherence to the specificities mentioned in the agreement while fulfilling the service requirements. It also ensures, all other related, underlined, and underpinning contracts are in conformance and appropriate.
There are six rules that you should know about. They are most often called best practices, when dealing with SLAs in an ITSM (IT service management) environment.

Number 1: Uniqueness – Each IT service that needs measuring should have a separate SLA.
Number 2: Specificity – Do not create SLAs that span over the division of your organization.
Number 3: Aim – Align SLAs with the desired outcomes of the customer.
Number 4: Measurable – SLA conformance to SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.
Number 5: Change – Review and adjust SLAs if they need it in the Service Improvement Stage.
Number 6: Applicability – Define which exceptions the SLA accounts for and for which it doesn’t.

To summarize: The optimal SLA should be specific to one service that needs measuring about one division that accounts for the service, either as a provider or a client. It should be aligned with the outcome for customers in mind and that outcome should be stated in detail. The aim must be measurable so any deviations can be dealt with. It should be achievable within the specified time frame. And everything in it should be relevant enough, to justify the setting up of an SLA. You, as a business should consider reviewing SLAs, and change them with the involved parties, if needed. Lastly, it is also important to mention, in which situations the SLA does not apply for as well.

ITIL and SLAs, offer the ability to supervise IT projects so that everyone involved is satisfied with its results throughout its life cycle.

If all this still sounds like an unreasonable amount work for a project, trust us, we understand. Our firm, as an IT service provider, deal with SLAs and their conformance to ITIL regularly. We have great experience on the specificities that should be considered.

We know, how time-consuming and complex the set up of a big, as well as smaller IT project can get. And we have experience in dealing with it. We understand, the business needs, as well as those of their clients and customer.
That is why we decided to offer it as a service. We deliver a valuable, simple processes, that allow your business to focus on the tasks at hand. You will be provided with good IT service management. Our firm knows the framework of ITIL inside-out, and we can help you, in providing and receiving exceptionally high levels of IT services.

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