Incident management software is a crucial part of IT that can benefit your organization in many ways. The benefits range from higher productivity and maintenance of more continuous service levels, to better end user satisfaction. Luckily, building a successful incident management system is pretty straightforward: record incidents, classify incidents depending on urgency and impact, assign incidents to responding personnel, and manage the incident through its resolution. Simple enough. Good luck!
Oh, right, we completely forgot to define an incident! So, what is the definition of an ITIL incident?
What is an incident?
According to Google, an incident is defined as “an event or occurrence.”
Well, no, unfortunately that’s not it. It gets more complicated.
What’s an ITIL incident?
Is it just “an event or occurrence” that happens in the ITIL world? Well, technically yes, but let’s get more specific. An incident is 1) unplanned, and 2) results in an interruption or a deterioration in service quality. Therefore, it’s necessary to have a fully integrated incident management software tool ready to attack issues.
What’s a specific example of an ITIL incident?
An incident would be any issue that needs to be resolved immediately due to the disruptive impact of it. For example, a server crash that causes disruption across your entire business would be considered an incident.
Problem vs. Incident
The terms problem and incident are often mistaken for each other in the ITIL world. It would only be an incident if the server crash affects your office during work hours. If the crash happens after-hours, then technically it is not directly disrupting service quality, so it would be considered a problem, not an incident. If the server is still down when 8 AM strikes and the workday begins, then the problem is officially ‘promoted’ to incident.
Here is a perfect example of a problem versus incident. For the cars on the right side of the road (the car filming the action), this deer acts as an incident because it is completely blocking them from advancing. For the cars passing on the left, the deer only acts as a problem because the cars are still able to pass, but the deer poses the threat of becoming an incident if it takes a few steps backwards onto the left side of the road.
Luckily, we see excellent problem management by the last car on the left side whose love tap causes the deer to bolt, thus resolving the problem before it ever becomes an incident.
And that’s the beauty of metaphors.