Incident management is the process of responding
to an unplanned event or service interruption in order to restore that service. According to ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library), “the incident management process ensures that the service is restored as soon as possible and minimizes the negative impact on business processes.”
Incidents are any events that disrupt or reduce the quality of service (or may cause such undesirable consequences). Stopping a business application is an incident. If the server is running, but its performance is severely reduced, this may also be an incident. It works slowly and inefficiently. Moreover, in this situation, the probability of its final failure is high.
Let’s look at some terms and their definitions so that everyone understands what is at stake.
ITSM (IT Service Management) is widely used to create, maintain and manage IT services. The core principle of ITSM is that IT products should be delivered as services. And one of the main tasks of ITSM is incident management.
ITIL is a set of recommendations for ITSM (a kind of collection of scenarios).
A problem is a not yet known root cause that caused one or more incidents. In the incident above, the network is barely working and the business application is down, both of which can be caused by a misconfigured router.
The Importance of Incident Management as an ITSM Technique
Today, organizations use a huge variety of software products, so there are more potential points of failure now than ever. And the consequences of the incident can be truly massive. Studies show that major incidents can cost $300,000 for every hour of system downtime. If we are talking about web services, this figure can be much higher.
A properly structured incident management process can help reduce losses significantly. Some of the benefits of a well-structured process include:
- accelerate incident resolution;
- reduction of losses and profit losses arising in the organization in connection with incidents;
- improved communication during incidents (both inside and outside the company);
- continuous learning and improvement.
Incident Management Process
The key to incident management is a quality action plan and adherence to it. It’s not an easy task, but you can learn from the experience of thousands of other IT maintenance teams.
One of the most common mistakes in overburdened growing IT organizations is trying to create such processes from scratch. Take advantage of the best practices and don’t waste time creating your own ticket processing tool.
Consider the most important aspects of the incident management methodology.
Identify an incident and log it
An incident can occur suddenly and anywhere. An employee of the company can call and report a problem, but it also happens that due to an incorrectly fixed network hub or a leaking roof, the ceiling panel comes off and falls on the head. (Of course, this has not happened to us, but everything is possible)
Whatever the cause of the problem
It’s important to do two simple things first: someone discovers the incident, then someone logs it.
If an incident occurs that is already registered with the support service, the first two steps have already been taken. If you receive a call or report an issue via email, messenger (or even pigeon mail), the support team should properly file the issue.
Incident logs (i.e. tickets) typically contain the following:
- Name of the person reporting the incident
- Date and time the incident was reported
- Description of the incident (what is not working or not working as it should)
- Unique identification number assigned to the incident for traceability
- Incident classification
Assigning each incident an intuitive, logical category (and, if necessary, a subcategory). If this is not done, it will be very difficult to analyze the data in the future, identify patterns and trends, and these are the tasks that are most important for effective problem management and incident prevention in the future. Be sure to choose a help desk ITSM solution that allows you to easily categorize incidents.