Service management and Service Level Agreements

A service is a means of delivering value to customers by meeting their needs without the ownership of specific costs and risks. Service management is what enables a service provider to:

  • Have full control over the services they are providing
  • Ensure that the services really do correspond to their customer needs
  • Assess the value of the provided services to their customers
  • Manage the costs and risks associated with those services

Service management is concerned with more than just delivering services. Each service, process or infrastructure component has a lifecycle, and service management deals with the entire lifecycle, from strategy through implementation and perpetual evolution.

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an important commitment between a service provider and their customer that defines the delivery of any provided service. The agreement is generally expressed in a simple language so that it can be clearly understood by the customer and sets measurable goals. The SLA is usually a part of a wider service provision contract.