The IT industry is riddled with industry-specific acronyms and complex terminology. If you’re not too familiar with the field, hearing an IT professional talk shop can sound like a whole different language.
This language barrier can make it difficult to evaluate different IT companies when you’re trying to decide which one can actually meet your needs at a price you can afford.
To help you cut through the gibberish and understand what the geeks are actually saying before you commit to a service-level agreement (SLA), let’s take a look at two terms you’ll find on such a contract: “response time” and “resolution time”.
Response Time vs. Resolution Time
When courting you as a possible client, IT companies will make a lot of promises and use a lot of generalities to draw you in.
But once they’ve finally won you over and it’s time to draw up a contract, those generalities go out the window and you have to pin down exactly what you’ll get in exchange for your monthly rate.
This includes how long you should expect it to take for your IT company-to-be to respond and resolve your tech issues.
- “Response time” is defined as the amount of time between when the client first creates an incident report (which includes leaving a phone message, sending an email, or using an online ticketing system) and when the provider actually responds (automated responses don’t count) and lets the client know they’ve currently working on it.
- “Resolution time” is defined as the amount of time between when the client first creates an incident report and when that problem is actually solved.
It’s important to focus beyond response times, which is the factor that IT companies will most likely boast about when trying to bring you in as a new client.
While it is indeed important for your provider to respond quickly when you’re in need of assistance, the average resolution time is far more accurate stat regarding just how quickly an IT company will able to solve your problems.