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Monthly Archives: October 2010

SLA and businesses providing services

Services: whether you are procuring them or providing them, they represent an essential ingredient in today’s business world.


In some cases, the simplest of contracts is all that is required in order to regulate a short-term relationship. At the other end of the scale, a long term relationship is required and inherent in the nature of such relationships is the need for consistency. Put another way, the client needs the service provider’s work to be a constant known quantity.

Detailed Service Level Agreements (SLA) are ideally suited to long-term service contracts. Not only do these SLAs address the provision of services by one party to another, but they also set levels (or performance requirements) to which those services must be provided. In so doing, the service provider’s consistent provision of services in line with agreed levels is incentivised (and its failure to do so disincentivised by way of penalties).

Furthermore, detailed provisions govern the monitoring of both the performance of the services and of the contract as a whole, allowing for the adjustment and flexibility required in such a long-term relationship.

If the terms of a SLA document are highly flexible, it means that those can be applied to a broad range of different services and an equally broad range of businesses.

A full-size Service Level Agreement may not always fit the bill, particularly in situations where the services being provided are of a smaller scale and/or a short to medium term nature. In such cases, a straightforward one-off contract may be more suitable. This can be achieved by using the service agreements and terms and conditions of service with added confidentiality provisions, broader range of termination (or exit) circumstances and changes that would bring the documents up-to-date with recent changes in legislation cited throughout.

Don’t delay – whether you are seeking to procure services or provide them, get a Service Level Agreement in place today!