CIOs find SLAs effective

Most chief information officers find service-level agreements to be an effective tool for measuring the quality of services information technology organizations provide, according to a survey released today. As a result, outsourcing IT services is an increasingly attractive option because CIOs can be confident the SLAs provide accurate information on the performance of contractors.

The survey, conducted by IDG Research Services Group, included 133 CIOs and IT executives. The report, however, does not specify how many were in government positions or the private sector.

Among the findings:
  • 69 percent said SLAs are an effective tool for measuring IT service.
  • 57 percent said they meet their SLA goals 75 percent of the time, while 23 percent claim 100 percent compliance. Only 7 percent reported meeting the targets less than half of the time.
  • 51 percent said SLAs are moderately effective at measuring data protection services, while 16 percent found them to be very effective.

Because SLAs provide some degree of accountability for service providers, agencies can think more freely about outsourcing IT functions, according to some experts cited in the survey report.

Both sides of an outsourcing arrangement governed by SLAs know what to expect, said Rich Secor, senior vice president and CIO at Colliers International's U.S. headquarters, quoted in the report.

"The metrics are well understood, easily observed, meaningful and measureable, and accepted by all parties," he said. "SLAs help to neutralize the chronic anxiety surrounding IT value.”

Iron Mountain Digital, which provides data protection services, sponsored the survey.

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