Wondering about Incident Management Software? We explain the best incident management software tools and how they work.
What is Incident Management Software?
Incident management software is used for alerting the software development team, tracking the incident, and automating the workflow to ensure the error is reported and handled promptly.
Best Software for Incident Management
To get you started, here’s a quick list of some software tools that assist on-call teams during various steps of incident response. The rest of the article will get into why these tools are worth the investment.
Pingdom allows you to monitor cloud-scale applications, servers, databases, tools, and services. You can collect metrics like availability and latency.
Jira helps engineering teams with task management. Teams can assign, prioritize, categorize, and provide details for important assignments that need to be completed.
FreshService is helpful for setting up SLA policies, keeping track of escalation rules, and conducting satisfaction surveys with your customers.
PagerDuty as the name suggests relates to the duties of being “on-call”. The service alerts teams when an incident occurs, usually through calls, texts, and emails.
OpsGenie is similar to PagerDuty. You can alert team members when incidents occur and keep track of the on-duty rotation as well as escalation policies.
Blameless helps orchestrate incident management from incident detection, role assignments, runbook checklists, postmortems, reliability insights, and SLO management. The goal is to help orgs improve service reliability, so naturally it attracts companies looking to invest in their site reliability engineering functions.
What is Incident Management?
Incident management is a process that is used by the DevOps and operations teams to respond to incidents and restore services back to normal operations. An incident can be defined as any unplanned event that disrupts the normal operations of a service.
The key to efficient incident management is to devise a specific process. That process should start with incident identification and logging, categorizing, prioritizing, and incident response.
Benefits of Incident Management Software
Faster Incident Escalation and Time to Resolution
Let’s talk about how tools help streamline incident management. Before you scream “tool bloat” I’ll just say, don’t shoot the messenger. We all use tools to help us work efficiently and relieve cognitive load. Here are some of the ways tools improve the incident management process. The first, and what I think is the biggest, benefit of software tools is faster time to resolution. The software reduces toil by automating tasks and helping you stay organized. That way, you can escalate quickly and efficiently to respond to the incident.
MTTR (Mean Time to Resolution) is the average time it takes to resolve an incident. This is an extremely important metric for every business. Having a low MTTR means services will experience long outages, leading to dissatisfied customers.
Transparency and Visibility
An incident management software offers transparency and visibility into the process. Users can see the progress and status of various tickets and who is working on them. Also, your team knows what to expect and what process to follow, which fosters trust and transparency.
While working in a stressful environment under a lot of pressure, remembering which forms to send and where within the timeframe can add extra pressure. Compliance can be a headache, but having an efficient incident management tool makes things easier. The software has your organization’s compliance requirements updated, so you don’t miss a step or a deadline. That way, not only do you have more time to work on real issues, but it also frees your mind from having to remember the small details.
Smoother Teamwork and Collaboration
In incident management, time is of the essence. You often input or support from another team, but collaboration can be slow and frustrating. Software tools allow teams to work efficiently and collaborate on the same platform. Notes and information about the incident are also stored and updated, so anyone can get the status report, anytime. Whether you’re working with a remote or on-premise team, these systems make collaboration and teamwork seamless.
Incident prevention is an important part of any efficient management strategy. Working proactively on prevention can ensure that an incident doesn’t reoccur. A tool can help you prevent incidents by tracking, investigating, and learning from them. Finding patterns can not only mitigate future incidents but also help eliminate them.
How to Choose an Incident Management Software?
To manage incidents efficiently, best-performing teams use a collection of the right tools to serve different needs throughout incident management. Some tools are built specifically for coordination, some for runbooks and checklists, some for alerting, etc.
Regardless of the use case, the right tools have three things in common: they’re accessible, reliable, and adaptable.
Accessible: a good incident management software must be accessible for not just the incident responders, but also the key stakeholders. When working on an incident, many people need to be updated after the progress and must have access to the right information and tools.
Reliable: during incident response, the last thing you want is your system going down. Relying on cloud solutions can reduce the risk of outages.
Adaptable: the best quality of any software is adaptability as business requirements and trends are always changing. When it comes to incident management, you should be prepared for everything, and your software should be flexible enough to support changing needs. The ability to integrate, create workflows, and make personal configurations helps certain software tools stand out from the crowd.
How can Blameless Help?
It’s great to have helpful software tools to streamline your workflows. We hope that this article helped you to identify where it can be helpful for your organization. To learn more about the Blameless product, schedule a demo or sign up for our newsletter below.
Noor is a software engineer who contributes educational articles on SRE and DevOps fundamentals to our blog.