Services are constantly being expanded to third party companies in order for a business to remain as efficient as possible. One of the most common services that is outsourced is that of web hosting. Many businesses simply do not have the space, money, or technical experience to utilize their own servers and will, as a result, use a web hosting company to maintain their website. Before entering into such an arrangement however, it is important that they sign a Service Level Agreement. There are a number of steps that need to be taken in order for an SLA to be managed effectively.
1. Make Sure Everything Can be Quantified
One of the most important steps when signing a web hosting SLA and managing it is to ensure that all of the quantifiable services are being met. Constantly be checking to make sure that the services that are stated in the SLA, whether it be a certain amount of storage space, a certain length of time that any technical problems might take to be resolved, and the speed of the site are all measurable. This makes it easy to ensure that the agreements are being met. Another potentially big part of making sure that things can be quantified is taking the time to have an SLA management system in place. Whether you use something that’s free or paid, it’s a good idea to have third party data that’s actionable in order to bolster your case with your web host. If you don’t have any data, they may just say that you aren’t getting a refund, or you may have to use their data.
2. Have Regular Meetings
Having regular meetings with the company that is providing the services will allow a business to keep everyone involved in the SLA up to date regarding any developments. If a business feels that it is paying for speed that it is not receiving, or if the technical problems that are cropping up are not being solved within the time allotted by the SLA, then it is important to address the company regarding these complaints. The sooner these problems are brought up, the sooner they will be able to resolved. Productivity will be able to be maintained. It is important to take notes during these meetings in order to prove that any problems with the SLA were either addressed or not addressed. This makes it easier for one of the parties involved in the SLA to take action against the party that did not fulfill its role.
3. Follow Through on the Penalties
All good SLAs include measures that will be taken should either party involved in the agreement not be fulfilling its duties. Some businesses will choose to not pay for services if technical problems render servers unusual. Other SLAs will state that the company will react within a certain time frame should the issues not be resolved.
By carefully managing an SLA, it will be possible to ensure that it is as effective and respective as possible. It will also prevent either party that has signed the SLA from causing the other to lose money.