Have you outsourced your I.T? Are you using software as a service or cloud based storage? If the answer is yes then you have probably had to think about and prepare a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

I see the purpose of a Service Level Agreement as a way to define, measure, and provide a monitoring and governance mechanism for the services. The formalisation of a service level agreement provides an objective (as opposed to subjective) means of assessing whether actual performance meets expectations and requirements. In my opinion not enough attention is paid to the preparation and content of most service level agreements prior to engaging services. It’s usually something that gets put off until after the implementation or outsourcing has been completed.

I’ve seen many vendor/customer relationships start well and then over time deteriorate because the SLA was so poorly defined and managed.

Maybe 2013 can be the year of the defined, measured and managed SLA.