Service level agreements as vehicles for managing acquisition of sortware-intensive systems
Gaines, Leonard T.
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Service level agreements (SLAs) can be used as a means to manage the acquisition of software-intensive systems. The SLAs support performancebased acquisition by stating in measurable terms the service to be performed, the level of service that is acceptable, the way in which the service level is to be measured, and the incentives for the provider of information technology products and services to meet the agreed-to target levels of quality. The SLAs are traditionally used in outsourcing contracts for postproduction support. This article proposes a new approach by using SLAs in software acquisition to support quality and process control throughout the entire lifecycle of a software-intensive system. This article defines SLAs, discusses software quality, and describes how SLAs can be utilized to incorporate requirements pertaining to product, process, project, and deployment quality throughout the software lifecycle.
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