Difference Between Key Performance Indicator KPI and Service Level Agreement SLA (With Table)

SLA and KPI are aspects that are abbreviated as BPM of business process management. SLA means agreement on the level of service. KPI represents a crucial indication of performance. Both are concerned with monitoring particular performance measures in your company. There had been a restricted set of IT solutions, interfaces, and services on-site to accomplish a range of business functions. 

Cloud computing has converted strategic alternatives in-app administration and IT services such that IT professionals and business managers are struggling to draw commercial value from other potential IT solutions for companies.

Key Performance Indicator KPI vs Service Level Agreement SLA

The main difference between key performance indicator KPI and service level agreement SLA is that the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) defines progress towards a strategic objective. A KPI provides an analytical framework for assessing progress towards specific goals. An SLA is a written agreement that sets out a service provided by a vendor to a client both qualitatively and quantitatively.

KPIs evaluate how successfully people, business units, projects, and businesses achieve their strategic objectives. This is the tool to aid management in knowing how close or remote the team is to reach a target and enables the team to adjust itself if it is out of pace to accomplish the strategic objectives by tracking progress towards the KPIs.

An SLA is also a performance measuring tool, although it differs from a KPI. This is an agreement between a service provider, internal or external, and the entity that uses this service. An SLA should clearly describe what the customer receives and what the service provider should anticipate straightforwardly.

Comparison Table Between Key Performance Indicator KPI and Service Level Agreement SLA

Parameters of Comparison

Key Performance Indicator KPI

Service Level Agreement SLA


KPI is a success evaluator.

SLA is a performance measuring tool.


Key Performance Indicator KPI defines progress towards a strategic objective.

Service level agreement SLA is a written agreement that sets out a service provided by a vendor to a client both qualitatively and quantitatively.


looks ahead

concentrate on previous performance


Performance measurements

Ideal measurements

Suitable for

Large organizations

Public owned firms

What is Key Performance Indicator KPI?

KPIs are statistic used in companies to determine the vital measures for an organization’s well-being and performance. KPIs are utilized to focus on processes, and top management activities have chosen to be crucial in meeting the objectives and objectives that have been announced. Each organization has different KPIs.

One example is a KPI for a public-owned firm, which may differ from a KPI for a person firm in its fund-raising circle in its quarterly returns. For the various staff of the same organization, KPIs might also vary. The nature of KPIs frequently helps to identify abstract goals such as customer experience or time to retrieve tickets.

It is difficult to identify meaningful KPIs. The identification of KPIs suitable for the organization depends, in large part, on the organization’s measurement capabilities. Management usually collects the activities needed and determines connections and causes between the stated measurements. They must ultimately act in real-world circumstances on the appropriate KPIs and monitor the reactions and behaviour suggested by the KPIs.

Having defined and implemented KPIs, they must be updated continuously with indicators to ensure that the measurements enhance one another and that the actions and emphasis from other goals have not been wasted. In addition, all KPIs must be properly conveyed and readily and understandably stated to employees, apart from being easily measurable and assessed. The relevant next level of KPI management summary should include each KPI employee. This guarantees that all employees achieve the same objective.

What is Service Level Agreement SLA?

An SLA is an external or internal legal document between a service provider and its clients. SLAs fulfil quality and performance expectations in various ways, both by the supplier and the consumer. Because a client or organization might be offered numerous distinct services.

Similarly, an SLA might be available specifically to different consumers, depending on their demands, performance towards expectations, and diverse factors. In addition, an SLA may be a contingency in the process of settlement of downtimes and correct customer compensation documents for breach of the contract during the establishment of performance measurements.

Service loans are usually a typical solution. The service provider here provides credit to the customer for a pre-established computation in the SLA. A supplier of service can give credits as long as the SLA’s performance guarantee is exceeded. In contrast, the SLA might conceive of pay-outs and awards corresponding with the magnitude and kind of performance that has been exceeded if the provider exceeds the provisions of the SLA and extends beyond the agreement, which will result in a substantial gain for its clients.

Details about contingencies can also be found in an SLA. These are circumstances in which an SLA ensures and assists in the application of penalties when the provisions of the agreement are violated. The record may contain incidents ranging from terrorist actions to natural calamities.

Main Differences Between Key Performance Indicator KPI and Service Level Agreement SLA 

  1. An SLA looks ahead, whereas KPI concentrates on previous performance.
  2. In order to assess your performance soon, your SLA is setting standards in advance, whereas the KPI you select assess your business performance against these criteria as time goes by.
  3. SLA give information on baseline expectations for performance, whereas KPI gives information on effectiveness and success in the achievement of corporate objectives or expectations.
  4. KPI is the performance measurement, the SLA are the ideal measurements.
  5. SLA fulfil quality and performance expectations in various ways, both by the supplier and the consumer, whereas KPI may not fulfil quality and performance sometimes as it based on previous work.


SLAs are usually acknowledged and acknowledged throughout the business and relate to establishing ‘best practices’ which support them. The insistence and expectation of clients as the basic basis for a service makes this feasible. KPIs tend to be rather particular to each organization, though. Sure, greater metrics would be a regular occurrence. Even though KPIs are generally unique or not conventional, they are crucial to monitor.

Very often, even personnel in the same vertical business, KPIs are very different. In addition to playing an essential role in tracking KPIs, regular and timely feedback helps to clearly articulate what the organization expects of its employees. SLAs must deal with the service terms required and agreed upon to a client. To ensure customer retention and excellent service quality.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6382487/?casa_token=0vWuhToq8tgAAAAA:IHX0c5lhasPJ3F5ntWoVC3togLyx9QUbqYd1u4JyBSMMKuZZwn8XhQAl6h3UhsPxndy_Z_sXPmc
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6276255/?casa_token=AKcr__WyYscAAAAA:BWqXNvZJ4TV6KzXz1bOVAWxwxB3kFaHJiSOEGYDtxH3ZL7BCggpKvbiqZgU7sYmavWuxJzEKe7I