Incident Management System has become a vital aspect of the success of every organization. Every organization should adopt an incident management system to handle the different stages of incident management and empower the bottom line of every organization.
Incident response is a process rather than an isolated event. To make the incident response successful, team members must approach every issue in a planned and coordinated manner.
Incident management teams should follow five steps throughout incident lifecycle management.
- Incident identification
- Incident logging
- Incident categorization
- Incident prioritization
- Incident response
What is Incident Management System?
Incident means anything that comes across as an unplanned interruption that can affect the regular schedule. It refers to the set of processes and solutions that enable organizations to detect, investigate and respond to incidents as quickly as possible.
The methods and actions used to respond to and resolve issues are known as incident management processes. The factors to consider are who is accountable for responding, how problems are noticed and conveyed to IT teams, and what technologies are used.
Incident Management processes can also assist teams in improving present operations to avoid future accidents. Incident Management teams help organizations deal with the incidents effectively and reduce the downtime of organizational activities.
The major benefits of implementing an incident management system include:
- Reduction of downtime
- Prevention or elimination of incidents
- Faster incident resolution
- Better customer service
- Continuous learning and improvement
- Increased data fidelity
- Better internal and external communication- during incidents
- Improved mean time to resolution
Apart from all these, it helps in the overall reduction in costs. According to a study by Gartner, it is estimated that a system or service downtime can cost organizations a cost of $300k/hr. Regulatory fines and a loss of customer trust can also have major financial consequences. Organizations may have to invest more money upfront with incident management, but they will save money in the long run.
The five steps of incident resolution
Every incident resolution process includes five standard steps to be followed. These procedures help teams respond to incidents effectively by ensuring that no component of the issue is overlooked.
Step 1: Incident identification
It is crucial to spot the incident before your customers identify it. Whether the incident is minor or major, it is essential to anticipate and address the issue beforehand. Identifying incidents ahead helps you to stay on top of things.
Incident reporting is often done by an end-user or an IT specialist, or an automated monitoring system. The incident alert can be an automated system notification, in-person message, phone call, SMS, email, etc. When an incident is reported, the help desk should identify whether it’s a service request or an incident.
Incident- An incident is an unplanned interruption that affects the service or the quality of the service. For instance, it may include issues with the hardware, software needs to be updated, error message, could not start a computer, etc.
Service request: A service request is a formal request from a user to provide them with an essential service. Usually, it is managed and fulfilled by the service desk. Service requests are not as an emergency as an incident. For instance, it may include the request to upgrade hardware, the need to change password etc.
It’s preferable if a problem may be detected early with the help of automated monitoring. When this occurs, the issue can be addressed before it affects users. However, there will be situations when the event is only reported to the service desk by the impacted user.
Once the event has been detected, the service team can proceed to the next step in the ITIL incident lifecycle.
Step 2: Incident logging
Once the issue has been identified, the teams must record and document the incidents. Proper incident recording help organizations to manage and detect incidents that could lead to larger incidents. It also gives your team a clearer view of their workflow, allowing them to delegate resources to the areas where they’re most required.
Every incident- both small and big- should be reported and recorded as a ticket.
Tickets should include the following information:
- Contact details
- Date and time details
- Description of the incident
- Unique identification number for tracking the incident
When it comes to incident logging, it is better to add as many details as possible. It can be helpful for future reference.
Collecting and recording data thoroughly will enable service teams to identify patterns and root causes of the incidents. The team can either employ automated systems to help accelerate resolution procedures or template responses for common issues with this data.
Step 3- Incident categorization
This is a step that is commonly overlooked. Every incident should be categorized and can add a subcategory as well. This will help you identify and analyze the patterns and trends in the future, letting you manage and prevent future incidents.
Incident categorization allows to:
- It assists the service desk in categorizing and modeling incidents into categories and subcategories.
- It provides for the automatic prioritization of some issues.
- It keeps track of incidents in a structured manner.
It becomes easy for the help desk to assign, escalate, and track problem trends and frequencies by assigning relevant categories. It streamlines incident logging, eliminates redundancy, and speeds up the entire resolution process when done right.
Step 4- Incident prioritization
The next step after categorizing the incident is an incident priority. It is based on the urgency and the impact; incidents can have on the business and the users. Urgency is how immediate the incident needs to be resolved, and the impact is the damage it can cause to the business.
In most cases, incidents are assigned to one of three priority levels:
Low-priority incidents — Do not cause any disruption to users or businesses. Service is done without any interruption.
Medium-priority issues: Affect a few employees and cause some work disruption. The issue may cause some inconvenience to customers.
High-priority events: Affect many users or customers, disrupt business operations, and have a major impact on service delivery. Such occurrences nearly invariably have a financial toll.
The incident management team should focus on high-priority incidents before resolving low-priority incidents.
Step 5- Incident response
When an incident has moved through the four stages, the final stage is incident response, where the resolution occurs. Incident resolution involves the following:
- Initial diagnosis- Where incident troubleshooting takes place
- Incident escalation- If the resolution requires additional support, it is passed to a certified support staff
- Investigation and diagnosis- Incident resolution solution is applied by the incident management team
- Resolution- The service desk sees that the user’s service is resolved
- Incident closure- Incident is treated effectively, and no further task is required
To the success of every organization, incidents must be managed well and in a systematic manner. An effective incident management system enables your business to improve and provide better service.