With more and more businesses turning to IT systems to manage their operations these days, any incident or event that disrupts IT processes (e.g., a server crash or virus) can bring operations to a standstill, potentially costing your company millions of dollars.
So, IT incident management, which involves handling unexpected disruptions quickly and efficiently, is a key part of running any business. An effective incident management process involves several steps such as incident identification, incident logging, incident categorization and prioritization, and incident response.
Depending on the severity and scale of the incident, this process can get complex and challenging to manage manually, which is why many IT professionals use SaaS tools to streamline the incident management process.
Incident management tools can help you manage all sorts of IT incidents in your company, ranging from small bugs or system delays to large-scale cyber attacks or all-out system outages. Effective incident management software includes features like automated alerts, ticket tracking, incident analysis (including finding the root cause), reporting, and communication tools.
Some key benefits of using incident management tools include:
- Increased visibility into your systems and their issues
- Automated processes to streamline incident management and reduce manual workloads
- Better security via security logs, notifications, and real-time alerts related to system issues
- Improved incident reporting and communication with stakeholders and team members
But with so many incident management tools available in the market, it can be difficult to find the right fit for you. This article is here to help! Read on to find out what features to look for in an ideal incident management tool and some of the top tools available right now.
How to Choose the Right Incident Management Tool for Your Company
Before starting your search for incident management tools, it’s important to outline exactly what you require from it. Evaluate your company’s needs based on the kinds of incidents you have faced and how different tools may help with better incident resolution. Once you know this, you can start researching your options.
Remember that the best incident management tools are open in terms of accessibility by different stakeholders, reliable, and fairly customizable with a variety of integrations and workflows. Here are some more key features to look for in an ideal incident management solution.
User Interface (UI)
Is the incident management interface clean and straightforward? Are the dashboards and navigation intuitive and easy even for people with low to no knowledge of technology?
How easily can your team members learn the tool? What kind of tech support, user support, tutorials, and training does the incident management software company provide? And is there a comprehensive knowledge base and a community/forum to ask questions from other users?
What sort of integrations does the tool provide? Is it easy to connect with the tools your company already uses such as individual ticketing systems or asset management software? And how easy is it to improve capabilities using automation, APIs, workflows, and customization?
Does the price of the incident management solution match its capabilities? Also, perhaps most importantly, does the tool’s price fit your budget?
Can you count on the tool when incidents occur? Is it quick at incident response? This is perhaps the most important thing to look for because you don’t want the tool that helps manage the incident to crash on you when you’re already in a crisis.
The 5 Best Incident Management Tools in the Market
While the above list of features might give you a starting point, there are likely many tools in the market that would tick all the boxes. To make your work easier, we’ve compiled a list of the top incident management systems available in the market right now.
Pulpstream’s incident management solution is flexible, scalable, and highly user friendly with a clean, intuitive interface, making it our top recommendation. It’s a no-code platform, making it easy to learn and use for even people with no tech no-how. What’s more, the dashboard is easily customizable, which allows you to optimize your incident response process based on your company’s unique priorities.
- AI automation that allows for efficient and streamlined incident management throughout the lifecycle
- Predictive analytics that uses machine learning capabilities and advanced reporting that can help with root cause analysis
- Data storage from any device and offline data upload capabilities that automatically syncs to cloud when online, to enable usage anytime, anywhere
- Action trigger functions based on configurable rules that can help with ticketing
- No-code customization
- Automated communication capabilities to allow for regular correspondence with stakeholders
Pulpstream’s pricing is available on request, and you can also get a free demo if you want a feel for the platform.
2. ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus
ManageEngine’s ServiceDesk Plus is a PinkVerify-certified IT service management (ITSM) tool with multi-channel support for incident logging. It comes with powerful automation, smart customizations, and a graphical life-cycle builder that enables swift incident response and resolution.
- Multi-channel incident logging support through which end-users can create tickets via email, chat, SMS, phone calls, mobile apps, and a web-based self-service portal
- Customizable incident templates and forms
- Graphical request life-cycle builder
- Automated ticket categorization and prioritization
- Automated incident assignment to technicians based on their expertise
- An AI virtual assistant
ServiceDesk Plus offers a free 20-day trial for up to 5 technicians, and an online demo. After that, there are three tiers:
- Standard: Fundamental help desk functions with limited capabilities
- Professional: Allows for IT asset management
- Enterprise: Full ITIL (IT infrastructure library) functions
Standard starts at $1,195/year for 10 technicians, and the price scales up for the higher tiers.
Zendesk is one of the popular incident management tools in the market. Its platform is powerful, flexible, and scalable, and allows you to connect with customers on any channel: email, chat, phone, and also social media apps. A downside of Zendesk is that its operation is prone to overloading, so it’s best suited for small to mid-sized businesses.
- Flexible ticket management with automated workflow
- Multi-channel support including emails, chat, mobile apps, etc.
- Robust incident reporting
- Powerful integration capabilities including Zoom, Amazon Connect, Mailchimp, TeamViewer, etc.
- Automatic ticket classification into “question,” “problem,” “incident,” or “task” to resolve incidents more easily
- Real-time visibility into who is working on which ticket
- Automated workflow initiation triggered by ticket changes or time-based rules
Zendesk offers a free 30-day trial and also a free demo if you want to try the platform before buying it. The paid plans start at $49 per agent per month.
HaloITSM covers a range of IT service management requirements including incident management and enterprise service management. It boasts the ability to restore normal service operations as quickly as possible with its robust ticketing and analytics capabilities.
- Workflow automation
- Fully customizable self-service portal
- One-click escalation of incident requests to problem requests with intelligent linking
- Granular incident tracking and reporting that allows visibility into all activity on an incident request
- Attach multiple incidents to a single problem request for quicker resolution
- SLA (service-level agreement) management capabilities, ensuring that you never violate any SLA made with your client
- A wide range of integrations including Office365, Azure DevOps, Microsoft Teams, Facebook, and many more everyday apps
HaloITSM pricing starts from $69 per agent per month billed annually. They also offer a custom Enterprise plan with volume discounts for larger corporations (pricing available on request).
Opsgenie is a cloud-based incident management tool that provides IT incident management solutions for small to large-scale businesses. Included under Jira Service Management, Opsgenie’s focus is on communication. It provides staff with instant notifications and alerts related to incidents via email, SMS, mobile push, etc., allowing for very quick incident response. A challenge with this tool, however, is that it has a slightly steeper learning curve than the other tools mentioned.
- Over 200 integrations including messaging tools like Slack, Flock, and Hipchat, and other IT management tools like Jenkins, Bitbucket, and Github
- Instant notifications about incidents to staff so no one ever misses a critical alert
- Sophisticated monitoring tools and automated analytics and reporting capabilities
- Powerful dashboards and easy-to-use incident management templates
- Automatic notifications to stakeholders about incident updates and incident resolution
- Flexible on-call schedule designing with daily, weekly, or custom rotations
- Incoming call routing to ensure that every phone call is answered
Opsgenie has a lifetime free plan for up to 5 users. For larger support teams, plans start at $9 per user per month.
Enhance Your ITIL Process With Incident Management Tools
To summarize, IT incident management can be complex and hard to handle if done manually. So, incident management tools are becoming increasingly popular.
With the rising popularity of such solutions and competitive pricing available in the market, finding the right solution for you can seem like a difficult task. Research the tools properly, keeping in mind the features you’re looking for as well as your budget. The above list gives you a starting point, but you can also do your own research. Fortunately, most of these tools have either a free demo or a free trial so you can check if they fit your business needs before committing to using any of them.
And if you’re considering a wider digital transformation for your business, this guide for no-code digital transformation can help you get started.