When service level management and industry-wide IT standards collide…
A service level manager has a very intensive set of responsibilities. They have to not only constantly monitor the entire system that they’re responsible for, and make sure it’s assisting in profit retention / generation, but they also have to keep track of their IT employees, ensuring that they’re on task as well. The bottom line is that being a service level manager is a very difficult job, and requires a keen intellect, as well as experience, leadership, business knowledge, and instincts.
But what about industry standards in IT, how would these assist or conflict with service level management? In most cases, service level management will be in perfect alignment / agreement with any and all industry-wide standards (with regards to IT). Management of, and/or implementation of, 3rd party services / applications / vendors however, might not adhere to current (industry-wide) IT standards that are in place. Another glaring problem is the fact that service level management is often so “cutting-edge” that it may be months or even years before standardized IT literature catches up. To put it simply, an organization uses industry standard IT protocols to get their system up and running in peak condition, but service level management is a method for breaking new ground or utilizing known IT assets in an unexpected manner.
In reality however, the established IT standards always catch up and implement new developments, it just takes time. Until a fairly detailed cross section of the many typical uses for service level management have been studied, catalogued, tested, and refined, there may be missteps between what we would refer to as, “industry-wide standards” and current business technologies. One (hypothetical) possible problem area is that of certification. If a company implements a highly successful and profitable set of (their own) standards in service level management, they might lose their ITIL (or similar) certification. Of course most organizations will opt for the profits over certification every single time, but not if they are reliant on their certification for attracting new clientele or for boosting their company’s reputation / visibility. Hopefully, the certifications and standards gatekeepers will take items like service level management (which is a golden opportunity for a lot of businesses) into consideration before they flatly suspend compliances with industry-wide standards and/or certification proceedings.