Incident Management - What is Incident Management
In ITIL terminology, an 'incident' is defined as:
An unplanned interruption to an IT service or reduction in the quality of an IT service. Failure of a configuration item that has not yet impacted service is also an incident, for example failure of one disk from a mirror set.
Incident Management is the process for dealing with all incidents; this can include failures, questions or queries reported by the users (usually via a telephone call to the Service Desk), by technical staff, or automatically detected and reported by event monitoring tools.
The primary goal of the Incident Management process is to restore normal service operation as quickly as possible and minimize the adverse impact on business operations, thus ensuring that the best possible levels of service quality and availability are maintained. 'Normal service operation' is defined here as service operation within SLA limits.
Value to business
The value of Incident Management includes:
- The ability to detect and resolve incidents which results in lower downtime to the business, which in turn means higher availability of the service. This means that the business is able to exploit the functionality of the service as designed.
- The ability to align IT activity to real-time business priorities. This is because Incident Management includes the capability to identify business priorities and dynamically allocate resources as necessary.
- The ability to identify potential improvements to services. This happens as a result of understanding what constitutes an incident and also from being in contact with the activities of business operational staff.
- The Service Desk can, during its handling of incidents, identify additional service or training requirements found in IT or the business.
Incident Management is highly visible to the business, and it is therefore easier to demonstrate its value than most areas in Service Operation. For this reason, Incident Management is often one of the first processes to be implemented in Service Management projects. The added benefit of doing this is that Incident Management can be used to highlight other areas that need attention - thereby providing a justification for expenditure on implementing other processes.
Other ITIL Processes
- Configuration Management
- Service Desk Management
- Incident & Problem Management
- Change Management
- Release Management