What Is Incident Management And Why Is It So Important?
Incident management is the process of responding and handling an unplanned event or service interruption and restoring the service to its operational state.
Before we dive into incident management, it is important to understand what an incident is.
What is an Incident?
An incident is defined as an unexpected disruption to service. It disturbs the normal operation, thus affecting the end user's productivity. It can be caused due to various reasons such as network failure or assets that are not functioning properly.
Examples of Incidents can include password reset issues, printer issues, wifi connectivity issues, application lock issues, email service issues, laptop crash, file-sharing issues etc.
Why Incident Management?
An incident's effects can range from minor to a huge setback for the company offering a service. Research from 2016 shows that a major incident can cost $300,000 for every hour a system is down.
Therefore it is important to have a well-defined incident management process that can help reduce those costs dramatically.
Here are some benefits of having this well-defined process we mentioned above:
- Faster rates of incident resolution
- Reduced overall costs
- Improved communication between the team handling the incidents and with the end-users as well
- Scope for improvement of your service as well
The workflow of Incident Management:
- Incident Logging:
This step involves reporting the incident identified. This can be done by either the end-users or the agents handling the incidents. Information on the incident needs to be gathered, and relevant channels need to be set up for users to report their problems easily.
- Incident Classification:
This step involves the categorization of the incidents into various segments/groups to assign the right agents.
- Incident Prioritization:
Depending on the severity of the issue, it needs to be assigned a proper priority. The SLA policy can be affected by this, and setting a realistic SLA definition to meet customer commitments becomes imperative at that time.
- Investigation and Diagnosis:
Once all the information regarding the incident is recorded, an initial resolution is sent to the end-user. When a resolution is not available momentarily, the incident is raised to L2 and L3 for a detailed investigation.
- Incident Resolution and Closure:
This step involves providing resolution to incidents raised by employees. This resolution can be temporary or a fixed solution. An IT support team's main objective is to resolve any incident that comes their way as quickly as possible.
- Thus, efficient communication about the resolution is crucial, followed by closing the tickets. However, businesses can easily automate the closing of tickets with the help of Self Service portals.
- Priority of Incidents:
- Low-priority incidents:
They are the incidents that do not interrupt users or the business and can be worked around. Services to users and customers can be maintained without any disruption.
- Medium-priority incidents:
Such incidents affect the staff and interrupt work to some degree. Customers can be slightly affected or inconvenienced.
- High-priority incidents:
These incidents affect a large number of users or customers, interrupt business, and affect service delivery. These incidents almost always have a huge financial impact in terms of resolution.
No matter how big your organization is, incidents do occur, and having a strong incident management process can help in the resumption of processes at the earliest.