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Service Level Management: Why You Should Care

Feb 26, 2004

ITSM Watch Staff

Service Level Management can provide information to LoB users to help them determine what is important and provides the means for them to analyze this information. Moreoever, SLM provides a language that both LoB and IT can understand.

Communication enhancement with customers ensures that information flows freely, even if SLM contracts need to be renegotiated. Its important for LoBs to see how certain demands can tie up or limit IT resources. Having the tools to communicate effectively dispels negative perceptions of IT and encourages a more unified approach to achieving business strategies.

But what about IT's value and effectiveness from the corporate perspective? After all, IT is a commodity and could be outsourced and often does not have the appearance of contributing to the line of business success. Perhaps this is a child of the era when IT provided standard services'.

Outsourcing is on the rise, up to 25% this year. Realistically, portions of IT may be considered for outsourcing. The task then becomes identifying which services are critical to LoBs including their financial value.

Service Level Management enables the organization to determine when IT is meeting its needs and identified goals. The performance of IT as it relates to business requirements is documented and can be measured to drive future IT performance enhancements. As a result, LoBs see their requirements are being met and feel an increased confidence in IT. When this occurs, the entire organization can acknowledge the value of IT.

It is critical that IT becomes a valued partner in IT Governance initiatives. The pressure of implementing government legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley creates a need to document continuous quality improvement. Financial transparency has taken a new role within organizations. This includes executives developing an awareness of how effectively expenditures are supported within the company.

As illustrated before, SLM provides documentation and reporting capabilities. Measuring, managing and understanding feed into corporate governance initiatives. SLM provides a foundation for improvement or change in direction before too much time and money are spent on projects that provide little value to the organization.

Government legislation requires a level of compliancy that demands LoBs, corporate executives and IT to collaborate on performance and investment justification. It also encourages doing more with the resources already in place.

Service Level Management provides the means to satisfy LoBs while managing expectations. It is also a means of regulating resources while controlling internal costs. Above all, SLM establishes a platform for proving corporate value. In an era of government legislation, offshore outsourcing and internal demands for service, service level management IT organizations maximize their intrinsic value with service level management. Definitely a case for why you should care.

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