Playing the SLA long game

By Dale Vile

When IT is your day job it’s easy to lose sight of why you are actually there. Alright, from your perspective it’s probably to pay the bills, fund your next holiday, buy nice stuff, and so on. But when you look at it from the point of view of whoever is paying your salary, the point is to enable and add some sort of value to the business. In effect, you, and your compatriots working in the IT department, are there to provide a service.

Back to basics

How good the service is that you deliver can be measured in all kinds of ways. Apart from providing appropriate systems and capability in the first place, however, this largely boils down to a few key things:

• Maintaining system performance (response times, throughput, etc.)

• Minimising downtime and ensuring full recovery after a failure

• Responding quickly to new business requirements and change requests

• Responding quickly when unexpected problems arise

Oh yes, and you’re probably also going to be judged on how efficiently you operate.

So how well are IT departments doing with all of this? The results of a recent survey (570 respondents) threw up a broad spectrum of performance levels, so clearly some are doing a lot better than others……

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Dale is a co-founder of Freeform Dynamics, and today runs the company. As part of this, he oversees the organisation’s industry coverage and research agenda, which tracks technology trends and developments, along with IT-related buying behaviour among mainstream enterprises, SMBs and public sector organisations.