The Evolution of Incident Management
These documented approaches then allow for staff involved with incident and problem resolution to have ready access to symptoms and resolutions. It also allows for automatic responses to be planned and implemented. For example, if a memory leak requires that a particular server be rebooted regularly, then why not establish an automated procedure to detect that the server is reaching a state that requires rebooting, wait until an off-hours time and then trigger an automatic reboot? With todays tools, automated responses are becoming increasingly feasible.
This new approach allows for IT to be far more proactive. Knowledge about incidents gained during development and testing are carried forward into operations shortening the learning curve normally associated with new, or heavily changed, services. This, then, results in improved mean time to repair (MTTR), service availability and customer satisfaction.
In closing, the separation of the Service Request and Event Management processes from the Incident Management process is a great move by the authors of v3. IT organizations that are currently following a v2 approach can look to the new processes to identify potential improvement opportunities. At the same time, groups looking to begin ITIL will be well served to look at these three processes and consider the costs and benefits in their unique situation. Most groups will get very real benefits from this combination of processes.
George Spafford is a principal consultant with Pepperweed Consulting and a long-time IT professional. George's professional focus is on compliance, security, management and overall process improvement.