Deciding who owns the problem

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Given the intent of service-level management (SLM) as a hybrid discipline crossing business and information technology boundaries, where will the decision to purchase SLM tools come from?

SLM and service-level agreements (SLAs) are still considered one and the same by most agencies, which means the responsibility lies with the IT department. However, Bob Norberg, director of product management for Visual Networks Inc., said the sales decision is now being made higher up in IT organizations, more typically by chief information officers. And, as CIOs' decisions more closely consider IT's impact on agencies' missions, Norberg said he believes the business units will drive many of the requirements for SLM tools. That drive will only increase in the future, he said, because purchases will increasingly be made with the view toward accommodating requests for information that factor in the returns for many activities. In that case, the inevitable outcome is a move toward IT and business organizations having their own SLAs for the same services.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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