Last updated on: May 22, 2023

  1. Incident definition
  2. ITIL incident management life cycle/process flow
  3. Incident management roles and responsibilities
  4. Incident management best practices
  5. Incident management benefits and advantages
  6. Incident management software feature checklist
  7. Incident management KPIs
  8. Difference between incident, problem, change and asset
  9. ITIL glossary for incident management

Difference between incident, problem, change and asset

Incident problem and change management ITIL

IT incident management and IT problem management

Incident management is a collection of policies, processes, workflows, and documentation that helps IT teams manage an incident from start to finish. The process of incident management involves identifying an incident, logging it with all the relevant information, diagnosing the issue, and restoring the service in a timely manner. The process of incident management is akin to firefighting, where the main goal is to minimize damage to the business.

On the other hand, IT problem management is the process of identifying the root cause leading to one or more incidents and then initiating actions to rectify the issue. Problem management aims to minimize the impact of the problem on the business by taking a more organized approach in the form of root cause analysis, which is used to pinpoint the underlying issue. This issue is then fixed to prevent similar incidents in the future. Ultimately, identifying underlying problems helps with incident management and proactively ensures that normal operations continue.

Incident management and change management

ITIL change management is the process of modifying the IT infrastructure of an organization in a standardized and systematic manner. It is a well-planned process comprised of various stages and statuses that IT changes can go through.

Typically, IT changes are initiated after the IT problem management processes to fix the identified IT problem, to replace a faulty asset that leads to repeat incidents, or as a part of the resolution to a major incident. The objective of IT incident management is to minimize IT disruptions and restore services immediately. In some cases, change implementations can lead to incidents, most of which are minor incidents caused by temporary service disruptions or service unavailability. The impact of such incidents can be minimized by proactively informing end users about the change implementation as well as anticipated incidents or service unavailability. In case of a major incident caused by a change, change management teams can immediately roll back the change to restore normalcy.

Incident management and asset management

Integrating IT asset management and IT incident management processes makes incident diagnosis and resolution much easier for Tier 2 and Tier 3 technicians. For example, when a user reports an issue about limited internet connectivity, the issue could be either with the laptop or with the router the user is connected to. Having all the information about the user's laptop—including the router they're connected to along with its details and relationships—helps the technician pinpoint the cause of the incident and provide the right resolution. From an asset-management perspective, linking IT incidents with assets helps IT service desks identify and retire faulty assets that cause repeat incidents in the organization.

Quickly assess your IT incident management practices with our toolkit

  • A self-scoring assessment to gauge your core incident management practices, from incident identification to closure
  • A checklist to review your team's readiness to tackle major incidents for the hybrid work environment
  • A cheat-sheet to help overcome the common incident management challenges faced in the hybrid work model

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