Moving full speed ahead into 2021, a year that is slated to be marked by unpredictability, fast-paced change, and (still) a lot of disruption – no organization can afford to allow such disorder to impact productivity, operations, and the business overall.
Moreover, in our world where systems and services need to be ‘always on’ and where business-impacting incidents happen all the time, it is all the more critical to have the best tools on hand for reigning in those incidents when they do happen and ensuring continuity.
In this article we present the top 10 incident management tools for 2021, so you can evaluate, compare, and decide on which solutions are best suited for your organization’s needs.
But first, what is incident management?
Incident Management is the process by which IT operations and DevOps teams manage unplanned interruptions to operations or a reduction in the quality of IT services that are provided both to internal and external stakeholders (e.g. employees and customers, respectively).
And the main goal of incident management is to ensure that interruptions are remedied and that IT services are restored to their operational state as quickly as possible.
The implications of sub-optimal incident management
When incidents are not resolved quickly, and services are not restored as soon as possible – the implications can be dire.
It has even been noted that:
• The median loss for major incidents is at $47 million
• 25% of major incidents come in at losses that exceed $100 million
• Less that optimal incident response costs ~2.8x more
And it’s not just the financial loss. During incident-induced downtime, there is no access to the digital systems that have been affected.
This means that employees can’t access day-to-day operational software, sales can’t access customer and prospect data, customer care can’t access the relevant support systems, and, most notably, customers can’t use the software or digital properties that are the company offering.
The promise of incident management solutions
To help mitigate the risk, organizations often turn to incident management software solutions.
And there are multiple software solutions out there that serve as key enablers for optimizing incident management. Among the benefits they offer are:
• More efficient decisions about who gets alerted about incidents and when
• Making sure that the right people are notified for each specific incident type
• Making sure that alerts are not missed by the requisite incident stakeholders
• Management of on-call responders
• Ensuring that the process is articulated clearly to all stakeholders
• Assigning incidents to more expert teams when needed
• Adjusting incident prioritization
• Streamlining root cause analysis for process optimization
• More efficient communications with incident stakeholders
The value of incident management solutions is so great that it’s no surprise that the market is projected to grow at a rate of 17.9% from $16.04 billion in 2019 to $60.60 billion by 2027.
However, this value can only be materialized if you know how to track incident management efficiency in your organization with the KPIs below:
• Amount of repeat incidents
• Average response time
• Average resolution time
• Rate of tickets breached
• Rate of first-time fixes
Choosing the right incident management solution
When evaluating the different options, it is important to consider the following:
• Openness and accessibility
• Broad offering of integrations
• Flexible and customizable workflows
• Enables self-service
• Includes a configuration management database (CMDB) for a faster resolution
• Available on multiple channels and accessible on multiple devices
• Offers a virtual situation room
• Enables communication with both internal and external stakeholders
• Includes a chronological timeline for real-time review of incident status
• Contains a knowledgebase for ongoing learning and optimization
The top 10 incident management solutions
This solution is noted as being a good option for large organizations that need to mobilize multiple teams with complex processes.
Exigence offers a SaaS platform for automating major incident management and orchestration. It enables incident responders to improve incident resolution capabilities and processes, empowering them with complete command and control and oversight of major incidents.
3. Atlassian OpsGenie
Atlassian OpsGenie offers end-to-end incident management software for development and IT operations.
VictorOps, acquired by Splunk in 2018, offers a unified platform for centralizing the flow of information throughout an IT incident’s lifecycle, providing real-time alerting, collaboration, and documentation.
Planbrothers enables users to report incidents and observations on the go with any device.
BigPanda offers an autonomous operations platform for capturing alerts, changes, and topology data from different tools.
Rundeck offers open-source, automated runbooks for incident management.
OnPage is a HIPPA focused alerting system that aims to help organizations ensure that IT and healthcare teams don’t miss urgent alerts.
The ServiceNow ITSM (IT service management) offering enables users to consolidate IT tools into a single data model as well as to automate workflows, gain real-time visibility, and improve IT productivity.
10. Solarwinds Service Desk
SolarWinds aims to enable organizations to reduce the cost per ticket and issue resolution time with smart ticket routing, automated workflows, and integrated asset management.
In summary, as we have seen – the need for optimal incident management is great. And, indeed, there are viable solutions on the market today that can help DevOps and IT organizations accelerate incident resolution.
However, it is important to note that accelerating an effective incident resolution requires more than just selecting the most popular solution/s.