ITIL Incident Management: What Are Best Practices?

The most recent version of Information Technology Infrastructure Library, ITIL 4, contains guidance for IT and business activities. The system doesn’t mess around when it comes to processes, and this includes cybersecurity and incident management.

While it seems like everyone has a different suggestion for avoiding cybersecurity workplace incidents, not all practices are applicable for the ITIL operating model. ITIL 4 contains IT practices and methods for incident management specific to the framework.

To help you fully utilize everything this system has to offer, we discuss effective incident management practices for the ITIL 4 framework.

What Is ITIL Incident Management?

First, it is helpful to help understand how incident management is defined in the context of ITIL 4. In the context of ITIL 4, incidents are defined as unplanned disturbances or effects on IT services that result in a reduction of service quality. Incident Management is a way for organizations to appropriately address incidents and resolve them as soon as possible.

In the context of ITIL 4, incidents are defined as unplanned disturbances or effects on IT services that result in a reduction of service quality.

While organizations have many incident management tips and tricks, ITIL 4 processes are unique to the framework. The ITIL 4 Incident Management Process is the methods and actions for addressing and resolving severe incidents.

This process includes the way incidents are monitored, discovered, and reported, who handles the incident, and through what steps the incident is resolved.

Read more: Top Cyber Security Threats to Organizations

Best Practices in ITIL Incident Management

According to the ITIL operating model, effective incident management for businesses and enterprises should follow certain practices. Some of the techniques we will be looking at include incident logging, resolution, prioritization, monitoring, and reporting — notably, these are also features of IT service management (ITSM) platforms.

Incident Resolution

Resolving incidents is, of course, one of the most essential parts of incident management. When working within the ITIL 4 framework, following organized processes to resolve issues is key. But this means that IT staff members need to be aware of proper resolution processes each step of the way.

One way to ensure that your staff can use the ITIL system is through training. Many ITIL training certifications are available that can teach your staff proper ways to manage incident resolution through the ITIL framework. This way, IT staff members can work within the operating model to quickly and effectively resolve incidents.

Incident Logging and Categorization

With the ITIL 4 operating model, users can access a Service Desk where they can report incidents. Therefore, it is vital for non-IT staff to be trained in setting up tickets, so that the Service Desk recipient has all of the relevant details and knows how significant the incident is.

It is vital for non-IT staff to be trained in setting up tickets, so that the Service Desk recipient has all of the relevant details.

A common method is to log your incidents according to a specialized categorization method that your IT team and support staff can understand. One popular categorization structure is the tier method, where basic, low-importance incidents are labeled as Tier One, more important incidents are labeled as Tier Two, and the most critical incidents are labeled as Tier Three.

With good ITSM tools, you simplify this process through automation. The software typically lets users configure event tags and data fields, and admins can even create helpful rules for categorization in the system. Through this practice, support staff can know the level of importance of for each incident and each ticket is routed to the proper staff member.

Read more: What Are the Differences Between ITSM & ITIL?

Monitoring and Escalation

When incidents occur, they can often affect the work practices of many individuals within a team. This is why incident monitoring and escalation are helpful. Further, a good ITSM system has users monitor the incident resolution process throughout its lifecycle.

As IT members work on incidents, they update their progress within the ITSM to describe how close the incident is to being resolved. After any other relevant teams and stakeholders are notified of the incident, users should be able view it within a public status page.

Furthermore, ITIL provides a process for incidents to be escalated if need be; users should be able to track this as well. Effective monitoring and escalation practices within ITIL ensure that every team member is on the same page regarding incident management.

Read more on IT Business Edge: Best DevOps Monitoring Tools for 2021

Incident Reporting

In addition to labeling incidents based on tier levels as previously mentioned, they can also be classified more specifically, with details that can help IT members know which incidents should be prioritized and other essential information.

Tickets should include essential information on the issue, like the date, time, and level of severity.

Incidents reported to the service desk come with tickets that should include essential information, like the date, time, level of severity, and other descriptive factors. These tickets should be updated throughout the incident process and saved in the ITSM system for future reference, even after they are resolved.

Proper incident reporting through ITIL processes can make a massive difference in your incident management. By reporting incidents with relevant details included, IT members can follow through with the resolution process quicker. Additionally, having the details of past incidents available can help lend insight into how IT can handle present ones.

Good Incident Management Is Key

Because incident management can affect so many individuals within an organization, it is helpful to maintain practices that allow for proper communication between relevant parties. The ITIL 4 framework is flexible enough to accommodate many methods of resolution, allowing for a more streamlined incident management process.

By ensuring that your organization has proper training on the processes, and follows the best incident management practices, your IT team and support staff can resolve issues quickly and easily.

Read next: What Is the 5-Step Risk Management Process?

Madeline Clarke
Madeline is a freelance writer specializing in copywriting and content creation. After studying Art and earning her BFA in Creative Writing at Salisbury University she applied her knowledge of writing and design to develop creative and influential copy. She has since formed her business, Clarke Content, LLC, through which she produces entertaining, informational content and represents companies with professionalism and taste. You can reach Madeline via email at [email protected]

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