For example, a recent Unisys study found that regulatory compliance is among the greatest concerns for state and local government leaders considering the cloud.
As cloud computing becomes more popular, vendors face a more challenging operational climate. They must support more users, a wider range of services and clients from more industries. The end result is a situation in which IT management principles must be adjusted to improve cloud functionality.
The cloud represents an evolution of traditional IT service models, in which companies that could not sustain their own IT department may have a third-party provider handle all of their technology operations. In this new climate, many cloud providers need flexible, powerful and adaptable service desk tools to meet client requirements, and service level agreement management is a central component of this requirement.
Cloud computing and SLAs
SLAs are central to the cloud landscape as a whole. During the early days of the cloud, many SLAs were incredibly vendor friendly because companies did not know what to expect from the technological service or what they needed to look out for when establishing a cloud plan. As cloud models have matured, the legal considerations taken into the cloud have also changed. Many organizations have realized that a carefully-negotiated SLA can be a primary source of protection against the inherent risks associated with the technology. This change in how companies look at SLAs has forced cloud providers to rethink how they maintain service levels, leading to a greater need for advanced service desks.
As businesses have realized the full implications of cloud-related data breaches and outages, many have found that SLAs represent their best protection. A good SLA can ensure that any outages that extend beyond clearly-defined SLA limits will be met with compensation from the cloud provider.
In response, many cloud providers are realizing that offering clients quality SLAs gives them a competitive edge and allows them to create more confidence in their solutions. Complying with these SLAs, however, can present major challenges. Many businesses are working to overcome these difficulties by implementing advanced service desk solutions that feature automation and other solutions that make it much easier to manage SLAs efficiently.
Using the service desk to support SLA management
Cloud providers and other organizations with complex SLA arrangements can benefit substantially from service desk platforms that include advanced features, such as automation and change management capabilities. In the end, these features position cloud providers and other technology service providers to effectively manage SLAs.