When it comes to contracts in the digital world, there are none quite as important as service level agreements, or SLAs. Service level agreements are the agreements outlined between a service provider and the user. It discusses what the user expects to receive from the service provider, and in turn, what the service provider will provide to the user. A strong SLA should erase any gray areas between the user and the service provider, clearly outlining what the relationship entails.
You do have a say in your SLA
Though the service provider should be the one to present the service level agreement, as the user, you do have a say in what you want it to include. If there’s an aspect of the job that you want to be covered but the service provider didn’t mention in the SLA, you can have them add it in. An SLA is certainly not one-sided.
An SLA provides targets for measuring performance
Whichever sector the service provider is in will determine the type of contractual agreements that are laid out in the SLA. Whether a service provider is providing an internet service, managed services, cyber security, of a combination of these services, the service level agreement should have observable and measurable objectives that are obtainable. If you, as the user, want to be clear about what you’re paying your service provider for, take a look at that SLA.
It explicitly outlines the “what happens when…?”
A good SLA should answer all the questions you didn’t know you had or perhaps the ones you don’t want to ask. Even if we trust our service providers to give us what they say they will, we still want to know “what happens when…” The SLA makes things more transparent, so you can be confident in your decision.
An SLA encourages responsibility and protection for both parties
Anytime we invest money as a user, we need to make sure we’re protected. Likewise, a service provider needs to look out for themselves, too. So, while an SLA can protect you from losing any money, it also protects the service provider from being held responsible for something that may not be their fault. Why would either party want to take a risk?
They can be continuously reviewed and updated
As technology continues to grow and more companies are moving over to the cloud, there’s no predicting what the cyber world holds for us in five years, or even one year, from now. The good news is, an SLA isn’t technically set in stone. While nothing should be changed without both parties’ consent, there is always the opportunity to sit down together and adjust the terms as things may change.