What Should You Look for in Your Managed Services SLA?

What is an SLA? Best practices for service-level agreements | CIO

When hiring a managed services provider, one has to sign a service level agreement. Service Level Agreement or SLA plays a crucial role in outlining what services your vendor will offer, how you will measure the level of the services, and what remedies and penalties you would have in place if there is a gap in service. Choosing an IT support services company is not an easy task. One has to go through several options, check through a number of benefits, consider budget, and so much more. In all this, companies often overlook SLA. 

In this blog, we will discuss some critical aspects of service level agreement. 

What is the purpose of an SLA?

The key objective of a service level contract between an enterprise and its managed service provider is this:

It describes the payment and service structures of both parties and clearly defines and documents what services MSP offers, including hardware and software, day monitoring services, emergency troubleshooting services, and more.

Naturally, every service level agreement will differ significantly. Some of them will provide more or fewer details. Some SLAs would include complex matters like the management services company’s liability protection. Others will discuss the required performance criteria in more depth.

What should you look for in your managed services SLA?

Your managed service provider will conclude the service level agreement. The MSP may have the same SLA for all their clients. Generally, the service level contract is adjusted to match your company’s criteria and demands and the MSP’s particular link to your company. 

However, every service level agreement has a particular format. 

A typical service level agreement has certain things. They are: 

  • Services offered by your MSP

Your Service Level Agreement should have a section that outlines the services provided by your managed IT services provider. When deciding what services to include, one must consider the budget, services required, and IT goal of the business. 

  • How will IT issues be resolved?

How Problems Are Managed

The comprehensive services that your MSP provides are based on services needed every day, monthly, yearly, etc. Tasks like software updates and security monitoring are routinely performed.

Your SLA must also describe how your MSP handles problem solving and challenges. For example, suppose you have a problem. In that case, you will require a management protocol like deciding individual responsibilities of each party, what will be considered an emergency, the response time, etc. 

  • When Your MSP Is Available

Finally, your SLA should describe how frequently you would require the assistance of your managed services provider. Determine whether you want your MSP on a daily or monthly basis. Also, mention how you want your MSP to assist you if any issue occurs out of business hours like weekends or nights. All the terms, including availability time, application costs, after-hours service charges, etc., should be documented. 

Go with your lawyer over your SLA

Once you are happy with the contract for service level, ensure that you discuss it with your corporate lawyer. They are on your side, so you can determine whether any aspect of the SLA legally is unfair to you or is potentially problematic.