“Service-level management [SLM] is the monitoring and management of the quality of service (QoS) of an entity’s key performance indicators (KPIs).” (Service Level Management Definition, n.d.) It requires matching the real functioning with the predetermined prospects; deciding suitable measures; and creating eloquent reports.
SLM as a Service Delivery Process
SLM is the major part of the Service Delivery Process in ITIL. (ITIL Service Level Management, n.d.) Its importance in the ITIL structure cannot be ignored. SLM procedures offer a structure through which services can be characterized. Service levels that are needed to assist various procedures in corporations are established and agreements are formed at various levels. Moreover, the expenditure on different services is also evaluated.
(ITIL Service Level Management, n.d.)
Carrying out SLM procedures enables IT personnel to provide different levels of services to the corporation in an effective and accurate manner. These procedures help various corporate partners in recognizing their functions. This ultimately results in the empowerment of the corporate partners. Finally, different corporate partners will provide top management with the service levels that are required to assist all operations of the corporation and not just IT. Moreover, predefined processes that help in constant enhancement make certain that IT related services of a corporation that assist the corporation’s operations modify when the corporations itself modifies. (ITIL Service Level Management, n.d.)
Activities in SLM
SLM can be divided into various operations. Firstly, the needs of the corporation are recognized by operating with different corporate partners. Moreover, the extent of various services is determined along with the number of hours required for various tasks and other time management factors. Furthermore, the needs of the corporation are transformed into IT needs. In addition, a service catalog is created and sustained. This catalog also takes account of the expenditure on various levels of the service functioning. (ITIL Service Level Management, n.d.) The expenditure linked with different services is evaluated. This is done in order to ensure that the service objectives comply with the corporate requirements while the expenses are easily affordable.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are prepared through continuous collaboration with corporate partners, and these agreements are constantly upgraded to guarantee that the corporate needs are fulfilled while agreements are prepared with various corporate partners. (ITIL Service Level Management, n.d.) The next step involves implementation of the Service Level Agreements that have been prepared. Finally, the functioning of these agreements is evaluated and the outcomes are assessed to make crucial alterations.
Benefits of Implementing SLM
There are many advantages that result from the successful implementation of Service Level Management. (ITIL Service Level Management, n.d.) SLM facilitates the relationship between various corporate partners and the IT department. Corporate partners develop better harmony with IT personnel of a corporation. Moreover, by implementing SLM, prospective results of the quality of service can be determined relatively more precisely. In addition, the quality of service can be evaluated, supervised, and described in a more effective manner.
After SLM is implemented, the functions and responsibilities of each corporate partner are defined in such a way that there is no ambiguity afterwards. Moreover, SLM makes the corporation more adaptable to changing circumstances in the market. In this way, the corporation is able to respond immediately in any situation that prevails in the market. Furthermore, since service levels are outlined in an unambiguous fashion, a precise infrastructural framework can be developed. (ITIL Service Level Management, n.d.) SLM also helps in preventing or diminishing the expenditures that result from surplus or inadequate capacity. In addition, SLM provides control over the outsourcing of IT services to in-house sections or outside parties.
“Service Level Management teams have close ties to business processes and customer management, Financial Management [FM] for IT Services, and Capacity Management [CM].” (ITIL Service Level Management, n.d.) CM gives records of corporate functioning to those personnel who look after Service Level Management. These records assist SLM personnel in sizing Service Level Agreements. Moreover, SLM distributes records of breaches and stoppages in various services to the CM personnel. The CM staff evaluates the capacity and applies the necessary alterations.
“As defined by ITIL, the IT Service Desk [SD] can enter into three types of agreements with its customers”: (ITIL Based Service Management, n.d.)
1. Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
2. Operational Level Agreements (OLAs)
3. Underpinning Contracts (UCs)
There is a close link amongst the abovementioned agreements. The SLAs have to be backed up by OLAs and UCs that are linked with these SLAs. This practice guarantees that the level of service mentioned in Operational Level Agreements and Underpinning Contracts facilitate the level of service that has been agreed in the SLA.
SLM aims to administer and sustain the level of IT services that are provided to the clients. Moreover, it tries to enhance the services that are provided to the clientele/consumers. This is done by evaluating the level of functioning that the IT Service Desk attains. To accomplish this, it is necessary to practice a never-ending sequence of settling upon the functioning of the IT service level; administering this IT functioning; and conveying information about this functioning. Service Support processes give the input to SLM and SLM conveys data that each and every Service Delivery Process can utilize.