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What is Incident Management in ITIL?

Michael Hunt

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The emerging framework of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) has allowed the organization’s needs to be in line with its information technology. Hence, it was able to help organizations, irrespective of their size and working capacity, to operate in a way that maximizes their efficiency and help them reach their goals. That is why having a solid ITIL Foundation in any organization is very necessary.

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With the recent addition of ITIL 4 in 2019, it aims to improve ITIL even further. Some claims suggest that this addition could help single-handedly usher in a new era of digitization for the companies, which would also help them to be more efficient and thus more profitable.

However, chances of any organization running into issues or “incidents” are also quite probable. Incidents are unplanned interruptions to the normal service or even reduction of quality in an IT service. So, came the need for a proper Incident Management system in ITIL. Before we shift our focus to these incidents, it would be prudent to learn more about ITIL.

What is ITIL, and Recent trends in ITIL?

As already stated, ITIL refers to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library. It is a set of practices in line with the ITSM ideologies used by organizations to improve their work efficiency. ITIL initially came out in the form of a series of books with the aim to make or set a standard in IT management. It contains some standard procedures that any organization could use to help prevent them from falling into any pitfalls and, at the same time, deliver high-quality service.

Over time, ITIL was divided into several modules and levels without losing its essence. ITIL actually spans across a wide range of use cases, like it covers the ground from strategies for a good service all the way to how to adapt to the changing IT landscape. For any organization, ITIL would indeed prove to be useful.

There are many emerging trends in this space. We have listed some of them below:

 

  1. Adding AI with ITIL practices: AI and ML have taken the world by storm, and it is soon set to change the way ITIL functions in any organization. Integration with ML and AI should bring about two major changes in this space, one being that of the way automation is handled in the organization. Second, how data analytics is used in the organization.
  2. Collaborating with DevOps: ITIL works on a ticketing system. So, with an issue, a ticket is raised. This has proven to be an ineffective method. But, with a smoother connection between the dev and operations team with the help of DevOps, this space would also see some significant improvements.
  3. Increment of employee satisfaction: ITIL gives the much-needed room for any employee. It also allows flexibility in choosing a location for work and includes their well-being into the equation. Such consideration usually leads to happier employees.

 

What is Incident Management?

It is usually seen that an IT service desk is the only single contact point connecting the IT team and the end-user. And whenever an “incident” is caused, it is their job to get it in the notice of the IT team and get it fixed. An Incident could be a million different things. However, a precise definition of an incident would be the disruption of any service, which was not intentional (or expected). Basically, anything that would disrupt the workflow of the end-user and hinder their productivity would be deemed an accident. There are many reasons why an incident might be caused. It could be due to a network failure or a system crash. A typical incident would be when the printer malfunctions or there is no Wi-Fi, the emailing service is down, the laptop has crashed, etc.

ITIL has laid guidelines to get things back on track as soon as possible. The identification of the incident till the resolution of that incident is known as Incident Management. There are many steps to a successful Incident Management pipeline, and we have listed them below:

  1. Logging of the incident: It is perhaps the first step in any issue resolution, and Incident Management fares no differently. In this step, the identification of the incident is completed.
  2. Classification of the incident: Once the log of the incident is recorded, it is time to categorize the incident for its smooth reversal.
  3. Prioritization: Something like faulty Wi-Fi cannot take precedence over server outage. In this step, the incidents are given priority and are assigned.
  4. Investigation: In this step, the search for potential causes is completed.
  5. Resolution: In this step, the incident is resolved, and the data is stored in an archive for analysis.

Why Incident Management is important

There are many reasons why Incident Management is very crucial in any organization. Some of them are listed below:

 

  1. To maintain the service level: Prevention is always better than cure, but in the case when an incident occurs, it is best advised to follow the ITIL Incident Management guidelines to ensure that a certain quality in services provided is maintained.
  2. Increasing staff’s productivity: Merging AI and ML with ITIL would lead to a more comfortable life for employees. Also, it is easy to follow a well-structured plan in case of peril. Thus, Incident Management could help avoid chaos and a potential case of anarchy in the organization, thereby improving both the happiness and the productivity of the employees.
  3. Improving User Satisfaction: Incident Management is best suited for end-users because it is designed to maximize their satisfaction levels. If the incident is dealt with fast action, the users would have to spend less time worried and unhappy. Incident Managements make taking action to reverse the incident a much faster and more efficient affair.

Having a solid ITIL foundation is one thing we cannot stress enough upon. There are many upsides to using ITIL Incident Management. We hope that you were able to learn about something new and exciting today.

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