Service-Level Management

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What Does Service-Level Management Mean?

Service level management (SLM) is the key component in the ITIL service delivery area and helps in measuring the quality of the IT services provided and negotiated.


It can be considered as a negotiated agreement between the customer and vendor which are acceptable to both parties with respect to costs and expectations in order to support the business process.

Techopedia Explains Service-Level Management

In order for effective SLM, the following should be undertaken:

  • Documentation of all IT services provided.

  • Emphasis should be on customer’s business rather than technology.

  • Proper definition of the key IT service indicators

  • Ensure the monitoring of the agreed quality of services with the focus of improving them at an acceptable cost to customer.

  • Reporting of quality of service and service improvement plans.

Key benefits of SLM are:

  • Service level management help management in calculating the different expenditures involved and justifies the different charges to customers.

  • It helps in setting measurable and clear objectives.

  • The IT services provided are designed to meet only the customer’s needs.

  • The roles and responsibilities of the vendors and customers are clearly documented and established.

  • Customers are clearly provided with acceptable levels of quality and service.

  • Proper management of customer expectation is possible.

  • Monitoring of the service helps in identifying key areas of improvement.

  • Service level management helps in Trend-spotting which helps in avoiding service degradation.

  • It promotes a better understanding between It units and business.

  • Reducing costs of excess or insufficient capacity for IT units.

Challenges involved in SLM are:

  • Good communication channel between customers and service providers.

  • Proper alignment of the IT services with the customer’s business processes.

  • Proper monitoring of the service level agreement in order to improve the quality of service.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.