Software development is often the main focus when it comes to improving an IT organization. However, there’s more to IT then just the performance of software. In fact, Bob Anderson argues that it is only a small fraction of what IT is really about. The majority of the budget will go to providing support services, and that’s an area where software development will fail to help you. In order to improve the quality and performance of IT support services, service level agreements must be established.
SLAs are more than just a contract between IT and the customer; they are the glue that holds the relationship together. They should include a description of the services provided, the different responsibilities, and the operational parameters. In addition, they should include service level goals and service improvement goals, as well as incentives and penalties for goals that are not met. In the end, make sure your SLAs include a way to report overall performance. Only then can you work on improving the relationship between customer and IT, not through software development, but through service level agreements.