XLA Pocketbook Series: Part 3

Business Case for Better IT Service Experience

Create a positive impact on people and their business 

The XLA Pocketbook is both a theoretical and practical beginner’s guide to the art of XLA. In this blog series, we take you through the different chapters of the book. Part 3 of this series discusses the business case for better IT service experience.

When delivering a service, it is important to understand what customers expect and value. SLAs often focus on metrics that are easily measured, such as speed, backup recovery, downtime, and transaction speed. However, customers are often still dissatisfied with IT services even when these agreements are met. In other words: the traditional SLA does not meet the requirements of today’s customers. 

In addition, SLAs do not have a positive impact on the collaboration between IT provider and customer. When the foundation of collaboration is distrust, the kneejerk behavior in traditional SLAs is to add more control mechanisms: introduce more rules, metrics, and heavier penalties. These control mechanisms ultimately negatively impact the collaboration and relationship between the customer and IT provider, the customer’s business impact, and the end user’s experience. So, traditional SLAs have almost no positive impact on the quality experienced by the user, or the performance of business operations.

IT professionals must ask themselves: do ordinary people in the workplace have fun with IT? Have they reached the next level of digital savviness? Do they feel productive? If the answers are no, the business case for experience first” is compelling: people transform organizations and technology facilitates their success or failure. Examples of customer experience in IT include easily accessible IT support, smooth onboarding, flexibility between IT and their customers, and a proactive approach from the IT provider to offer new solutons that benefit their customers’ business. 

Experience Management


The concept of Experience Management (XM) is relatively new and gaining attention quickly. XM aims to identify and understand the required customer experience and make adequate agreements in the form of an XLA. It also aims to transform IT delivery by continuously measuring and improving experience. XM not only implies a change in the processes and tools, but also in the attitude and skills of the professionals involved and how IT Service Management is organized. 

The ultimate aim is no longer to create an output but rather to co-create an outcome. In other words: create a positive impact on people and their business. The term experience” in XLA highlights the importance of agreements based on customer experience that contribute to outcomes that add value to customers. 

The same principles used to improve Customer Experience are applicable to service providers too. Their experience is just as important — not only for themselves as individuals or employees but also for its impact on their collaboration with service users. 

Reasons to Invest in XLA

Although most people adopt XLA because it just feels right, they usually justify their decision to start with XLA and XM because it helps them: 

  • Simplify business-IT alignment with outcome-based performance. 
  • Improve human-centricity in the design and delivery of all IT services. 
  • Maximize the usability of business application investments. 
  • Welcome new employees with a perfect IT onboarding experience. 
  • Foster a productive and happy workforce with hybrid workstyles. 

Now you know why to start with XLA. How do you do it? Order the XLA Pocketbook to get started here.

Our next blog article focuses on creating a positive impact on people and their business. Missed out on earlier posts? Read previous parts of our blog series on a brief history of XLA and an introduction to the XLA 6P Model.