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SLA Management and the Service Desk - It All Starts With Incidents

10/29/2013 by: The SunView Team

SLA management, Service Desk

SLA management is often one of the most challenging issues help desk employees face when trying to keep up with day-to-day operational issues. Having an effective incident management solution in place can play a key role in enabling organizations to comply with SLAs more effectively.

Looking at the problem of SLA management
Businesses use SLAs to identify acceptable levels of downtime for applications and services. Help desk personnel and other IT workers are tasked with tracking application capabilities alongside SLAs to ensure that solutions are adequately available in relation to what the service agreement states. This can prove to be an incredibly difficult process, especially as businesses expand their application frameworks outside of the internal IT department and into the cloud. This means that IT teams must also understand the SLAs set forth by vendors and ensure service providers meet their end of the bargain.

This complexity makes SLA management a major problem for IT teams, as they must develop methods for ensuring applications remain available to avoid SLA breaches. While monitoring uptime is a key component of SLA management, preventing downtime could be even more important. This is where handling incidents more effectively can really pay dividends.

Improving incident management to deal with SLAs more effectively
Incidents are often a major contributor to downtime. A small incident can cause workers to be unable to access a service, leading to productivity problems in the workplace and a potential SLA breach if the issue is not resolved quickly. This is an area where simplistic or homegrown help desk systems can be a major flaw. A more advanced help desk or an IT service desk can pay dividends for businesses trying to do a better job of handling incidents efficiently.

A more advanced solution can improve incident management in a few ways:

Automation: Automating basic incident management tasks frees help desk or service desk personnel from having to deal with an onslaught of incidents that are simple and easy to deal with.

Better ticketing: An advanced ticketing solution can prioritize incidents, giving service desk personnel the ability to handle the most important issues quickly and efficiently. This can prove invaluable to improving incident management and making it much easier to deal with SLAs.

Managing SLAs can be an incredibly difficult process, but strategic investments in advanced help desk or service desk solutions can go a long way toward dealing with the issue.