Get It in Writing:
The IT Professional's Guide to Essential Contracts

Chapter 1: Contracts that Define Client Relationships
Part 1: Examples of Client Contracts
C: Service Level Agreement

A service-level agreement (SLA) specifies what services the IT provider will furnish for the customer. SaaS professionals, take note. This agreement usually has the following elements:

  1. Agreement Overview. Statement that your company is providing IT services required to support and sustain a product or service for your client.
  2. Goals and Objectives. States the purpose of the agreement: to outline each party's roles or responsibilities, offer a measurable description of service to the customer, and establish service support and delivery parameters.
  3. Stakeholders. List of primary stakeholders in the SLA — you, the IT service provider, and your client.
  4. Effective Dates and Amendments. When the agreement goes into effect and when it can be updated.
  5. Service Agreement. Details on the scope of your work and service parameters. It should list the services you provide (e.g., assistance using Remote Desktop and a Virtual Private Network).
  6. Customer Requirements. What your client is expected to pay for (e.g., support costs) and how customers can resolve a service issue.
  7. Service Provider Requirements. Timetables for when you will respond to service issues. Details on how your customers will be notified when you need to schedule maintenance.
  8. Service Management. Details on service availability, monitoring of in-scope services, and related components. For example, it will list the times when your support is available. It will also detail timeframes for responding to issues based on priority level. offers an SLA template that your IT services business may find useful.

Next: Part 1D: Examples of Client Contracts: Software Development Agreement

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