The Impact of Service Performance Patterns on the Design Elements of Service Level Agreements

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Abstract

With businesses becoming more and more dependent on IT services, business operations are highly depending on the stability of IT services, and the predictability of IT service performance. The Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a core document that prescribes service performance over time. The Service Level Management (SLM) function designs the SLA and uses the SLA for defining the terms of inter- and intra-firm service provision. SLAs are a procedural IT governance mechanism that moderates business-IT alignment. Consequently, SLAs are an essential tool for managing IT customers’ expectations of IT performance and value. Firms often use one standardized SLA design for all IT services included in their portfolio. Research has further contributed to the development of standardized SLAs. Assuming that IT service performance varies across services, we must, however, ask how those performance patterns vary across IT services. This discussion adds to our understanding of critical design requirements for service performance definitions and metrics. Both performance definitions and metrics are the core element of every SLA. The objectives of this research are to test if IT services have varying performance patterns, and if so, how IT service design characteristics impact those performance patterns. We hypothesize that IT services perform contingent on IT service design. Contingency factors include technical, process, and human
resources characteristics. Through a case study approach, we analyzed quantitative and qualitative IT service data for one year. The results of this study are a classification of performance patterns. We discuss the managerial implications of performance patterns and present metrics for each pattern that can be used in SLA design.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event2nd Workshop on Governance and Management of Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, Analytics, Cyber Security and IT
- Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 25 Oct 201925 Oct 2019

Conference

Conference2nd Workshop on Governance and Management of Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, Analytics, Cyber Security and IT
CountryBelgium
CityBrussels
Period25/10/201925/10/2019

Cite this

Schorr, F., & Hvam, L. (2019). The Impact of Service Performance Patterns on the Design Elements of Service Level Agreements. Paper presented at 2nd Workshop on Governance and Management of Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, Analytics, Cyber Security and IT
, Brussels, Belgium.