Incident Management and its Importance

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Eshna Verma

Published on January 1, 2012


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There are two main aims of the incident management process:

- To restore services back to normal operation as fast as possible
To mitigate the adverse effect of critical incidences on business operations. 

The ITIL Foundation training program provides an advanced understanding of the incident management process.
 

ITIL® Foundation Training

ITIL Incident Management

According to ITIL terminology, an ‘incident’ is described as an unplanned interruption.

Incident management, as the name suggests, is the process that is used to manage the lifecycle of all incidents. Incidents can be identified by technical staff, reported and detected by event monitoring tools, be conveyed by communications from users (usually through a telephone call to the service desk), or reported by third-party suppliers and partners.
 

Purpose

The purpose of incident management is to reinstate normal service operations as fast as possible and mitigate the negative impact on business operations, thus making sure that the agreed levels of service quality are maintained. The operational state where CIs and services are performing within their agreed service parameters and operational levels is called ‘Normal service operation’.
 

Objectives

The main objectives of the incident management process are as follows:

- Make sure that standardized procedures and methods are used for prompt and efficient response, documentation, analysis, reporting of incidents, and ongoing management.
Improve the communication and visibility of incidents
Improve the business perception of IT with the help of a professional approach, so that incidents will be resolved and reported quickly
Line up incident management activities and prioritize them accordingly
Enhance and maintain user satisfaction without losing the quality of IT services
 

Scope

Incident management includes any event which disrupts, or something which is capable of causing a disruption to the service. This includes events which are communicated directly by users – through an interface from event management to incident management tools – or through the service desk.


Value of incident management

- Ability to mitigate the risk of unplanned costs and labor for both  business and IT support staff
Ability to detect and resolve incidents, which in turn results in lower downtime to the business, which means increased availability of the service
Ability to line up IT activity to real-time business priorities
Ability to identify the potential areas of improvement

 

Policies

- Incidents and their status must be reported in a timely manner.
Incidents resolution should be within the timeframes acceptable to business.
Maintaining Customer satisfaction is very important.
Incident handling and processing should be in line with overall service levels and objectives
All incidents should be managed and stored in a single management system
All incidents should subscribe to a standard classification schema which is consistent across the business enterprise
All incident records should be audited in regular intervals to ensure that entries are categorized correctly
 

Principles and Basic concepts

There are some basic things that need to be taken care of when considering incident management.

Timescales

Timescales should be agreed upon for all incident handling stages, based upon the overall incident response and the resolution targets within SLAs

Incident models

Many incidents are not new; there are some incidents which happen recurrently. For this reason, many organizations find it very helpful to predefine ‘standard’ incident models, so that they can be referred to when needed and applied to incidents as they occur.

About the Author

Eshna is a writer at Simplilearn. She has done Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT and The Telegraph. She loves traveling and photography.


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