Friday, November 14, 2008

Rethinking SLAs

When was the last time you examined your Service Level Agreements, especially for those for which you pay a premium for response time guarantees? It may be time to rethink all of those contracts, especially as you explore cost-cutting opportunities.

For instance, the most valuable part of any software maintenance agreement is upgrade assurance. Beyond that, is it really worth an extra 15-20% to pay for 2-hour response time when your own team will likely have the problem diagnosed and resolved well within that timeframe?

How often has your organization received actual benefits from a premium service level contract?

System reliability, clustering and virtualization have rendered most uptime promises largely irrelevant. Why pay extra for superior recovery services when your infrastructure has redundant built-in fault tolerance already implemented? And it seems that today's server components are (unlike automobile components) more durable than ever. As one executive put it...

"When we actually looked at the real world of performance of what we were getting even at the lowest level, the bronze service, because the equipment is so reliable and our processes are so disciplined we are exceeding the level contractually, and said, 'Gosh, can we bring everything down to that level?'"
-- Peter Whatnell, CIO, Sunoco Inc.

If you are searching for ways to reduce IT costs, looking at your service agreements is a great place to start. Call us today and we can help you rationalize and renegotiate.

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