When you use technology everything goes swimmingly as long as it all works, but, even the most robust systems go down occasionally. Your IT support will do their best to get you back up and running as quickly as possible, but nobody can give you a 100% guarantee that nothing will go wrong.
However, you don’t want to have a system that is always going on the blink so it is sensible for both parties to have a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
What can a service level agreement cover?
Your IT support SLA should state the maximum time you will have to wait for getting a response, this is likely to be in minutes or hours for online response and in hours or days for onsite response. This can be variable and you may be offered a shorter response time (i.e. 8 working hours, instead of 2 working days) for a higher monthly premium.
If this is Cloud-based typical SLA’s will quote a 99.9% service level.
This depends on how you’re connected; if you’re on an ADSL connection you probably won’t get an SLA to cover this, but most other broadband services will give you a 99.9% connection SLA.
So what happens if your service falls below the percentage quoted?
You should get a corresponding credit for the % that the service fell short of the SLA, but you won’t be granted compensation for lost working hours as it’s simply not possible to guarantee that technology won’t go down occasionally.
The agreement won’t cover things that result for external activities – for instance a power outage that affects a whole building or area.
SLAs are usually available if you have an ongoing contract of 12 months or more and protect both your organisation and your support service.