Improve IT-Business Alignment Through an Internal SLA

Understand business requirements, clarify current capabilities, and enable strategies to close service level gaps.


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Your Challenge

  • The business is rarely satisfied with IT service levels, yet there is no clear definition of what is acceptable.
  • Dissatisfaction with service levels is often based on perception. Your uptime might be four 9s, but the business only remembers the outages.
  • IT is left trying to hit a moving target with a limited budget and no agreement on where services levels need to improve.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Business leaders have service level expectations regardless of whether there is a formal agreement. The SLA process enables IT to manage those expectations.
  • Track current service levels and report them in plain language (e.g. hours and minutes of downtime, not “how many 9s” which then need to be translated) to gain a clearer mutual understanding of current versus desired service levels.
  • Use past incidents to provide context (how much that hour of downtime actually impacted the business) in addition to a business impact analysis to define appropriate target service levels based on actual business need. 

Impact and Result

Create an effective internal SLA by following a structured process to report current service levels and set realistic expectations with the business. This includes:

  • Defining the current achievable service level by establishing a metrics tracking and monitoring process.
  • Determining appropriate (not ideal) business needs.
  • Creating an SLA that clarifies expectations to reduce IT-business friction.

Improve IT-Business Alignment Through an Internal SLA

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should create an internal SLA, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.


Identify target service levels and create the SLA

Create a living document that aligns business needs with IT targets by discovering the impact of your current service level offerings through a conversation with business peers.

Onsite Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Scope the Pilot Project

The Purpose

  • Determine the scope of your SLA implementation.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Outline the SLA project scope and determine the relevant pilot project.



Identify the benefits of an SLA, perform discovery, and brainstorm project goals.

  • Defined service level pain points
  • Potential project shortlist


Analyze the ease of implementation and impact of potential projects.

  • SLA Maturity Scorecard


Complete the project charter and obtain sign-off.

  • SLA Project Charter

Module 2: Determine Current Service Levels

The Purpose

  • Determine the currently achievable service levels.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Develop metrics and tracking capabilities that indicate the current service level strengths and weaknesses.



Document operational processes.

  • Visual SOP documents


Identify SLA metrics.

  • Metrics Tracking Template

Module 3: Set Target Service Levels and Create the SLA

The Purpose

  • Identify target service levels and create the SLA.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Develop an internal SLA process that will effectively manage the IT-business relationship.



Identify current and target service levels with IT and the business.

  • Target service level metrics


Create a roadmap to get to target service levels.

  • SLA Project Roadmap


Create the business-facing SLA and establish a review process.

  • SLA Document
  • SLA Executive Presentation

Search Code: 76572
Published: December 5, 2014
Last Revised: October 26, 2015