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Your SLA: Forgotten secret to getting the most from your cloud provider

To get the most out of your managed or cloud service, you need to invest the time in negotiating a good service-level agreement.

The SLA is a key part of the contract between you and your provider, since it describes the levels of service being provided and the metrics used to ensure your provider delivers full value. And the right SLA with the right service provider can mitigate cloud risks and help your business flourish.

So what exactly is an SLA? It’s a high-level, summary document that

  • Uses non-technical language to define both services you’ll be using and the performance and availability levels at which those services will be provided,
  • Relies on a shared (and well-communicated) understanding of your requirements as well as the service provider’s infrastructure and capabilities,
  • Is the product of a collaborative negotiating process involving you and your chosen service provider,
  • Is used to measure ongoing service performance as well as to identify areas that require improvement and the need for other resources, and
  • Results in a “living document” that’s easily understood by you, your employees, and your service provider — and is regularly revisited so it can be adapted to changing conditions.

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