With enterprises choosing to multisource rather than rely on large, big-bang outsourcing deals, IT professionals are struggling to manage a growing number of service level agreements (SLAs). In a report released earlier this year, Gartner said businesses are partnering with a larger number of service providers and managing a bigger portfolio of SLAs.
Federal Court of Australia technology services director Graham Harrison has more than 10 SLAs and says the problem of managing them is exacerbated when there is a high turnover of account managers.
"We have more than 10 SLAs in place for specialty IT services such as firewalls and remote secure access, only the help desk and network management is kept in-house," Harrison said.
"It really comes down to the commitment of your account manager and having a good relationship; you need to make them understand your business."
Only last month NetIQ undertook a survey of more than 250 Australian companies at Microsoft's TechEd conference which found 70 percent use SLAs. Nearly half, or 48 percent, said they have more than 10 SLAs in place.
NetIQ A/NZ regional director, David Taylor, said organizations are increasingly using methodologies such as IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) to manage SLAs.
"Most Australian businesses regard service level management solutions as a necessary tool to ensure their suppliers meet specified performance thresholds," he said.
"IT organizations today must implement processes to assure service levels, policy compliance and appropriate risk management. ITIL lays out best practices for managing technology and improving service levels.
"Just three years ago, most Australian IT departments had not heard of ITIL."
The survey found 59 percent of respondents have resources dedicated to managing SLAs and have adopted ITIL as a best practice process for their management. -- Computerworld Today (Australia)
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