An IT incident is an unplanned interruption or disruption of an IT service or IT infrastructure. In order to deal with these incidents and to mitigate their impacts on business processes, organizations have come up with Incident Management Systems. The aim of these systems is to retrieve normal operation as soon as possible after an incident. As a result, incident management systems can bring huge benefits to organizations. The most significant are:
- Increase continuous service delivery levels by reducing restoration time.
- Maintain agreed levels of service quality and IT service availability.
- Higher efficiency and productivity throughout the organization thanks to higher IT infrastructure reliability.
- Increase the quality and speed of detection, reporting, management and resolution of an incident.
- Improve the analysis and documentation of incidents and how they have been handled in order to prevent and continuously improve the early detection and mitigation of future IT incidents within an organization.
- Enhance and maintain end-user satisfaction.
Once an incident has been detected, incident management systems will record and classify it depending on their urgency (how long resolution can reasonably be delayed) and impact (how the incident affects business). This will define the priority level of the incident. Incident will consequently be assigned to the most appropriate responding personnel who will be in charge of its management through resolution and reporting once resolved.
IT incident management is handled by service desk and counts with five basic steps:
- Initial incident diagnosis: recollection of information and definition of the incident.
- Incident escalation: assignment of the incident to the most appropriate person/team.
- Incident investigation: determination of how to solve the problem.
- Incident resolution and recovery: resolution and documentation of the incident.
- Incident closure: resolution is added to the IT service desk’s knowledge base so that similar incidents in the future may be resolved faster.