Service and the seam of coal

Service level agreements get broken all the time. That’s as true in the physical economy as it is in the digital one.

I learnt a lot about service levels when I worked in a coalmine.

At one level, coal mining is simple. Coal is valuable. The shale that surrounds it isn’t. Mining is about digging out as much coal as possible while leaving the shale behind.

In practice, things are a little more complex  It’s often hard to dig out the coal without shifting a lot of shale, and the boundary between the two is often unclear – strata that are 90% coal and 10% shale grade gradually into strata that are 90% shale and 10% coal. 

And predicting the exact shape of the coal seam as it meanders through the earth requires a lot of skill. But what makes things really complex are the contracts, the mine’s equivalent of service level agreements.

Five things to look for in a cloud provider

With cloud solutions becoming more and more popular with businesses,
selecting the right providers is becoming more and more important.

Thanks to its skyrocketing popularity, established technology
companies and upstarts alike have rushed to create cloud offerings. The
competition this produces is a boon for companies shopping for cloud
offerings, but it also creates challenges when looking for a provider
that can be trusted.