The Importance of Service Level Agreements

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

IT Shared Services (ITSS), along with the other Shared Services [Human Resources, Business Service Center], is working on the development of Service Level Agreements (SLA) for all of the services listed in ITSS’s service catalog. I cannot overstress the importance of these service levels to our future. We will use them to compare to availability in the marketplace, to report monthly to customers, to identify areas where customers require different service levels, and to provide ITSS with data for continuous improvement.

The timeline for SLA development and approval was set by the Shared Services Council at their September 6th meeting. It is:

  1. ITSS Final Draft SLAs ready by 9/30/2013/
  2. Negotiations of SLAs with campus executives in the month of October (if they want better services than the ITSS budget and systems allow today, ITSS will need to quote a cost).
  3. Present the final SLAs to the IT Governance Council (ITGC) at their November meeting for approval (November 11th).
  4. Assuming approval by the ITGC, present the ITGC-approved SLAs to the Shared Services Council at their December 2013 meeting (2nd Friday of the month).
  5. Subsequently ITSS will publish SLA information on our ITSS Web Site.
  6. ITSS is required to start measuring each SLA on January 1, 2013.
  7. At the end of January (meaning by the third working day of February), ITSS will assemble its actual availability and performance data for the month of January for all SLA’s, and publish the information on the ITSS web site as well as transmit reports to UNT System and each Institution.
  8. The SLA metrics will continue to be published monthly on the ITSS web site. It will be a monthly practice to publish the previous month’s data by the 3rd business day of the following month.

I hope you realize that there have never before been any defined SLAs for any services that have become a part of the ITSS organization. We will be the first IT entity in the UNT System to publish and measure service levels.

ITSS clearly needs the ability to automatically calculate uptime of hardware, database and application systems listed in the document. You will note that we are not offering any performance SLA information for applications; the current SLAs only cover completing projects as scheduled and systems availability. After we have the availability well in hand, ITSS will move on to performance SLAs for application services (e.g., error rates, etc.).