What is Service Level Management (SLM)?
Is IT meeting the needs of your business? Can IT measure its performance versus agreed upon targets? Can IT measure supplier performance? If you answered “No” to these questions, it may be time to take a new approach to IT—one that can deliver a knockout punch to competitors. It’s called Service Level Management (SLM). And while it’s not perfect, SLM can pay for itself many times over in improved business results.
Forester Research says SLM can help you cut IT costs nearly 30% while realizing value increases of from 10% to 15% in the first year alone.
Pressure To Do More With Less
Small and midsize businesses (SMB) face different IT challenges than large enterprises. These challenges go deeper than things like contracting tech support, budget, and staff. Instead, they go right to the core of an SMB—it’s IT infrastructure.
If you’re an IT manager at an SMB, you’re probably coming under increased pressure to align IT services with the company’s business needs. You’re also probably coming under pressure to drive improvements in productivity and profitably.
In other words, they want you to do more with less while increasing the quality of IT services and meeting the company’s business needs. No pressure, right?
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Meeting The IT Challenge
Without effective communication between business and IT, you can’t meet this challenge. Effective communications helps IT grasp the needs of the business. As a result, IT services don’t meet demand.
So how does IT know what business needs to support? It does it by continually monitoring, reviewing, and improving service performance. It’s the only way to ensure business gets what it needs from IT.
But IT can’t do this effectively if its management systems are still at a “component” or process level. In other words it can’t do that if its managing and monitoring applications, computers, and networks discretely.
That’s where SLM comes in.
Service Level Management To The Rescue
Service Level Management (SLM) can help the challenge by optimizing delivery of IT services to business. A mature IT Service Management (ITSM) process, SLM provides benefits from both a technical and business standpoint.
From a technical standpoint, SLM lets you define demand, monitor performance, and review opportunities for improvements. It can also help you identify and resolve misalignments and weaknesses, ensuring that the business gets optimal IT service and support.
From a business standpoint, SLM delivers significant business benefits as a whole. Put simply, SLM increases customer satisfaction and retention, boosts revenues and profits, and maximizes business unit productivity.
Other Service Level Management Benefits
SLM also optimizes the speed of service delivery, increases IT’s involvement in business planning and improves the company’s ability to monitor SLAs. More important, SLM provides a competitive edge. And in this day and age, where marketplaces are hotly contested and industry consolidations happen constantly, it’s the only way you can survive and thrive.
Of course, SLM has its downside. For example, it can be costly. But implementing it may be inevitable if you want to compete in the future. Analysts tend to agree that the growing dependence of businesses on IT performance and reliability will drive many businesses to SLM. If that’s the case, is there any reason for you to hold off on implementing SLM at your business?
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