New Feature: End User Incident Reporting

New Feature: End User Incident Reporting Read More
StatusCast's AI-Powered Smart Incident Messaging Read More
Incident Response Playbook Read More
What Is MTTR? Read More
Private Status Pages Are The Key To Effective Incident Management Read More
The Risks Of Using Small Status Page Vendors Read More
Cloud Observability For IT Read More
Incident Management and Status Pages for Enterprise IT Departments Read More
What Metrics Should Be Tracked Within Incident Management? Read More
What are the new stages of incident management? Read More
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When your users encounter service disruptions, your status page is the first place they look to for answers, and when the issues they face aren’t yet being reported, they are left with no recourse. Our new End-User Incident Reporting, built directly into your status page, makes your users lives easier, and ensures that incidents are reported the moment their impact is felt. This innovative functionality brings the power of two-way communication between your stakeholders and your IT team to your status page. End-User Incident Reporting dramatically improves UX during incidents and reduces incident resolution times.


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Why End-User Incident Reporting Matters:


As any IT professional knows, detecting and resolving incidents quickly is crucial for maintaining optimal business operations. Often, end-users experience service disruptions before monitoring tools alert IT teams. That's why we've developed end-user incident reporting – a first-of-its-kind feature that turns status pages into a two-way communication hub, empowering users to report issues directly to your IT department.


The true differentiator of our end-user incident reporting lies in its incorporation directly into the status page. As status pages have become the go-to source for checking service status, enabling users to report incidents within the same platform accelerates the reporting process and offers a more user-friendly experience. By eliminating the need for users to search for help desk contacts or a support portal, our new feature makes it easier than ever for stakeholders to report incidents right from your status page.


By bridging the gap between stakeholders and IT teams, End-User Incident Reporting becomes especially useful for large enterprises, managing complex systems and distributed operations across many departments and locations, providing employees with an easy one-step action to report incidents directly to your IT team. This feature turns your incident communication into a two way street, making incidents easier on your users and accelerating your response.


Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about our end-user incident reporting feature and how it can take your status page to the next level.



About StatusCast:

StatusCast is a leading provider of status page and incident management solutions, dedicated to helping IT professionals communicate efficiently and effectively with their stakeholders during incidents and downtime. With a focus on ensuring that employee and customer productivity stays optimized during outages and maintenance events, StatusCast has become the go-to solution for businesses worldwide seeking to improve their incident management processes. Our platform is built to serve organizations of all sizes, offering tailored solutions that cater to the unique needs of each client.

When services are down, do you really want to be spending valuable time crafting incident messages and status updates? When time is money, your IT team should have one goal in mind: incident resolution. At StatusCast, our mission is to off-load as much excess complexity as possible when incidents strike, to enable your IT department to tackle incidents head on. That’s why we’re excited to announce that we’ve taken StatusCast's IT automation to the next level, with a game-changing feature that will revolutionize the way you manage incidents and keep your stakeholders informed.


Our intent is to help relieve IT teams of the burden of anything that is not directly related to resolving the incident at hand. We don't want you to have to waste time writing incident notifications and managing updates. We envision a growing role for AI in the world of incident management, empowering you to rapidly tackle incidents, without your productivity being crushed by repetitive, ancillary tasks while your service is down.


Introducing Smart Incident Messaging:

Your AI-Powered Communication Assistant


In today's fast-paced IT environment, the pressure is on for IT professionals to resolve incidents quickly and minimize downtime. However, executing an effective incident communication strategy can often consume valuable time and resources, taking the focus away from the core objective of incident resolution. This is where our AI-powered Smart Incident Messaging comes in, offering a solution that helps IT teams maintain productivity while ensuring clear and consistent communication with stakeholders.


By automating the process of crafting incident notifications, Smart Incident Messaging not only saves time but also minimizes the risk of human error. When you are in the midst of dealing with an incident, it's easy for mistakes to be made in your comms strategy. Our AI assistant mitigates this risk by generating precise and informative messages based on the data provided, ensuring that the right information reaches the right people at the right time.


One of the key benefits of our Smart Incident Messaging is its ability to analyze the tone used in previous incident updates. This ensures that every message it generates maintains a consistent and professional tone, further enhancing the quality of your communication during an incident. This consistency not only improves stakeholder trust but also helps your IT team project a cohesive and well-organized image.


Leveraging our advanced IT automation, StatusCast eliminates repetitive, ancillary tasks that can hinder productivity during downtime. Our AI-powered Smart Incident Messaging empowers IT teams to focus on what truly matters: resolving incidents and restoring normal operations as quickly as possible.


Watch Our 10-Minute Feature Webinar


Want to witness the incredible efficiency of our new Smart Incident Messaging for yourself? We hosted a short feature webinar to showcase just how powerful this new capability is. Don't miss this opportunity to get an exclusive first look at how Smart Incident Messaging can transform your incident management process.


With Smart Incident Messaging, you'll be able to streamline your incident management process and keep your stakeholders informed with ease. Join us as we unveil the future of incident management and communication.


About StatusCast:

StatusCast is a leading provider of status page and incident management solutions, dedicated to helping IT professionals communicate efficiently and effectively with their stakeholders during incidents and downtime. With a focus on ensuring that employee and customer productivity stays optimized during outages and maintenance events, StatusCast has become the go-to solution for businesses worldwide seeking to improve their incident management processes. Our platform is built to serve organizations of all sizes, offering tailored solutions that cater to the unique needs of each client.

In today's digital age, IT departments play a crucial role in maintaining the overall functionality and security of an organization. One essential tool for managing service outages and downtime is the incident response playbook. This comprehensive guide provides IT departments with the necessary processes and strategies to resolve incidents in a timely and efficient manner.

In this blog post, we will explore how to create an effective incident response playbook by incorporating key components such as automated escalation policies, team collaboration, stakeholder communication, and automated runbooks.

  1. The Importance of having an Incident Response Playbook

An incident response playbook serves as a roadmap for IT departments to follow when dealing with service outages and downtime. It provides a structured approach to identifying, analyzing, and resolving incidents while minimizing their impact on the organization. A well-designed IR playbook includes security playbooks for various threats and an incident response playbook template to ensure consistency and completeness.

  1. Escalation Policies: Notifying The Right People

In any incident response playbook, an effective, proactive escalation policy is essential. This policy outlines the steps for notifying the appropriate individuals within the organization when an incident occurs.
The escalation policy will consist of:

StatusCast automates the entire execution of the escalation policy, streamlining their incident management process. This ensures that the right people are informed and engaged to manage the incident and take corrective actions, reducing manual efforts and speeding up the time to incident resolution.

  1. Team Collaboration: Working Together for Rapid Resolution

Effective team collaboration is essential during the incident response process. A well-organized IR playbook should emphasize the importance of teamwork and provide guidelines for how IT departments can collaborate effectively.

Key elements of team collaboration include:

  1. Stakeholder Communication: Keeping Everyone Informed

Transparent and timely communication with stakeholders is critical during an incident. Typically, IT departments set out to establish their incident communication strategy by doing the following:

StatusCast shortcuts and automates this entire process, offering the most effective form of stakeholder communication through status pages. These provide a centralized platform through which incidents are tracked and communicated autonomously to end users. StatusCast offers three kinds of status pages. Public status pages, which can be utilized to inform customers of downtime, and reduce the overwhelming flood of support requests that your help desk is sure to encounter during service outages. Private status pages, which provide a secure solution for internal incident communication to keep employees informed of their system status. As well as audience-specific pages, which offer more granular views and controls, functioning as custom status pages for each end user. These audience pages ensure that users are provided with only the most relevant information during outages, helping to eliminate alert fatigue and maintain employee productivity.


  1. Runbooks: Step-by-Step Guides for Incident Resolution

Runbooks are an essential component of any incident response playbook. These detailed, step-by-step guides outline the specific actions that IT departments should take to address and resolve incidents. While runbooks are commonly used among IT departments, StatusCast takes it a step further by automating this component of incident response. With StatusCast, routine and repetitive IT tasks undertaken during an outage are executed autonomously, lightening the burden on your IT team as they work toward incident resolution.

StatusCast’s automation enhances an organization’s incident response posture by ensuring a more efficient and consistent process to resolving incidents, allowing IT teams to focus on more complex and critical tasks that require their expertise.


Incident Response Playbook Scenarios: Preparing for Various Threats

To create a truly effective incident response playbook, it's essential to incorporate various scenarios that cater to the different types of threats an organization may face. These scenarios should include cyber security playbook examples and incident response examples, such as dealing with DDoS attacks, malware, data breaches, and more.

Each scenario should be documented with detailed instructions on how to address the specific threat, the roles and responsibilities of team members, and the expected timeline for resolution. Regularly reviewing and updating these scenarios ensures that the playbook remains current and relevant, allowing IT teams to respond effectively to new and emerging threats.


Cybersecurity Playbook Template: Ensuring Consistency and Completeness

A cybersecurity playbook template is a vital tool for maintaining consistency and completeness across an organization's incident response strategy. By using a standard template, IT departments can ensure that all the necessary components and steps are included in each security playbook, regardless of the specific threat being addressed.

A comprehensive cybersecurity playbook template should include:

  1. A brief overview of the threat or incident
  2. Roles and responsibilities of team members involved in the response
  3. Step-by-step instructions for resolving the incident
  4. Communication guidelines for updating stakeholders throughout the process
  5. Post-incident review and lessons learned to improve future response efforts
  6. Ransomware Playbook Flowchart: Streamlining Ransomware Incident Response

Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly common and can have severe consequences for organizations. A ransomware playbook flowchart is a valuable addition to any incident response playbook, as it provides a visual guide for IT departments on how to address ransomware threats effectively.

A ransomware playbook flowchart should include the following key steps:

  1. Detection and Identification: Identifying the ransomware attack, analyzing its scope and determining which systems and data have been affected.
  1. Initial Containment and Isolation: Isolating the affected systems to prevent the ransomware from spreading further.
  1. Notification and Escalation: Notifying the appropriate individuals within the organization based on the incident severity level and escalating as needed to ensure prompt action.
  1. Investigation, Analysis, and Determination: Conducting a thorough investigation and analysis to determine the ransomware variant, assess the damage, and determine the best course of action for recovery.
  1. Decision-making: Making an informed decision on whether to pay the ransom or attempt recovery using alternative methods.
  1. Restoration and Recovery: Restoring and recovering affected systems using backup data or other recovery methods.
  1. Post-Incident Review: Conducting a post-incident review to identify areas for improvement and prevent future attacks. This may include enhancing security protocols, conducting employee training, and updating incident response playbooks.


In this blog post, we discussed the importance of creating an effective incident response playbook to guide IT departments in addressing service outages and downtime. Key components of a comprehensive playbook include escalation policies, team collaboration, stakeholder communication, and runbooks. We emphasized the significance of incorporating incident response scenarios, utilizing a cybersecurity playbook template, and implementing a ransomware playbook flowchart to enhance preparedness, maintain consistency, and streamline ransomware incident response. This, in turn, helps minimize the impact of incidents on the organization and ensures the ongoing security and functionality of its digital infrastructure. By incorporating these elements, IT departments can ensure a structured approach to identifying, analyzing, and resolving incidents, minimizing their impact on the organization.

Mean Time To Repair, or MTTR, is a critical metric in IT incident management that measures the average time it takes to fix a system failure. The meaning of MTTR can be understood as the average duration needed for an IT team to recover from an incident. It is a fundamental metric for IT teams to track and analyze their efficiency in resolving incidents. MTTR is also an essential component of the bigger incident management lifecycle for IT departments, which includes identifying, prioritizing, diagnosing, fixing, and documenting incidents. In this blog post, we'll explore what MTTR is, why it's important, how to calculate MTTR, and what teams can do to reduce it.

MTTR, sometimes referred to as mean time to recovery or mean time to recover, is critical because it provides insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of an IT team's response to an incident. By tracking MTTR, IT teams can identify where bottlenecks occur and take corrective measures to improve the incident management process. A high MTTR may indicate failure points in the incident management process, such as delays in communication, inadequate resources, or poor documentation. On the other hand, a low MTTR indicates efficient incident response, which leads to increased system uptime and improved user experience.

Mean Time Between Failures

Measuring MTTR requires identifying the start and end points of an incident, such as the time an incident was reported and the time the incident was resolved. This metric is typically calculated by dividing the total time taken to resolve an incident by the number of incidents resolved during that period. It's important to note that MTTR is not the same as Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) or Mean Time To Failure (MTTF), as MTBF and MTTF can be different, depending on the definition of MTBF being used,

While Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) is often mentioned alongside MTTR, it is essential to note that this metric has two commonly used definitions. These definitions can lead to different interpretations of system reliability and dependability. We will explore these definitions and discuss the pros and cons of each.

The first definition of MTBF refers to the operational hours between the end of the last incident and the beginning of the next incident. This definition focuses on the actual uptime of a system or component, excluding the time it takes to repair or replace it. This approach offers a more optimistic view of system reliability and may be more suitable for measuring non-critical systems where downtime doesn't significantly impact business operations.


  1. Provides a measure of actual system uptime, which can be helpful for assessing system availability.
  2. May be more relevant for non-critical systems where downtime has less impact on business operations.


  1. Excludes the time it takes to repair or replace a component, which could lead to an overestimation of system reliability.
  2. May not be appropriate for critical systems where downtime has a significant impact on business operations.

The second definition of MTBF involves the total time between each failure, from the start of one incident to the start of the next. This approach provides an idea of how frequently incidents occur, including the time it takes to repair or replace a component. This definition is more conservative and can be a better fit for measuring critical systems where downtime has a significant impact on business operations.


  1. Provides a more comprehensive measure of system reliability, including repair and replacement time.
  2. May be more appropriate for critical systems where downtime has a significant impact on business operations.


  1. Can result in a more pessimistic view of system reliability, potentially leading to unnecessary investments in redundant systems or over-engineering.
  2. May not accurately reflect system uptime, as it includes repair and replacement time.

In conclusion, the choice of MTBF definition depends on the context in which it is applied and the specific objectives of the organization. For non-critical systems, using the first definition may be more relevant, while the second definition can be more appropriate for critical systems. Understanding the pros and cons of each definition can help organizations choose the most suitable metric for their needs, ensuring they accurately assess their system reliability and make informed decisions about maintenance, investment, and incident management.

Solving The MTTR Puzzle

To reduce MTTR, IT teams can take several measures, such as investing in automation tools to speed up incident resolution, improving communication channels between teams, creating a well-documented incident management process, and conducting regular incident management training. It's also essential to prioritize incidents based on their impact on the business and allocate the necessary resources to resolve them efficiently.

Several solutions are available to help IT teams reduce MTTR, such as incident management software, monitoring services and automation tooling. Incident management software provides a centralized platform to track and manage incidents, assign tasks, and communicate with teams. Reporting tools help identify incidents before they affect users and reduce the time it takes to diagnose and resolve them. Automation can help speed up incident resolution by automating routine tasks, such as restarting servers or running diagnostic tests.

An internal private status page is also an effective tool that can help reduce MTTR by enabling employees to track the progress of an outage from start to finish. This page can provide real-time updates on the status of an incident, including the steps being taken to resolve it and the estimated time to resolution. This allows employees to stay informed about the incident, reducing the number of support calls and emails received by the IT team. Moreover, employees can get a sense of how long an incident may take to be resolved, which can help them plan their work around the outage. By providing transparency into the incident management process, an internal private status page can help increase employee confidence in the IT team's ability to resolve issues quickly and efficiently, which can ultimately lead to a faster MTTR.

In addition to providing transparency into the incident management process, an internal private status page can also help reduce the noise and distractions that IT teams face when trying to resolve an incident. By proactively communicating updates and progress on the incident through the status page, employees are less likely to contact the IT team with questions or concerns. This helps reduce the volume of support calls and emails, which can often be a significant distraction for IT teams during an incident. By freeing up the IT team's time and resources, they can focus on resolving the incident more efficiently, which can lead to a faster MTTR. An internal private status page not only provides a centralized platform for employees to track the progress of an incident, but it also helps reduce the noise and distractions that IT teams face during an outage, leading to a faster resolution time.

In conclusion, Mean Time To Resolution is a critical metric in IT incident management that measures the average time it takes to fix a system failure or issue. It provides insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of an IT team's response to an incident and is essential for improving incident management processes. To reduce MTTR, IT teams can take several measures, such as investing in automation tools, improving communication channels, and creating a well-documented incident management process. By tracking and reducing MTTR, IT teams can improve system uptime and user experience, which ultimately leads to a more productive and profitable business.

The IT team for a large organization plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of the company's technology infrastructure. One important aspect of their job is incident management, which involves identifying, assessing, and resolving issues that arise with the technology systems. IT teams utilize status pages to interface with end-users in order to inform them of system status, downtime and maintenance. Most status pages are public by default, and offer unrestricted access to a company’s service status. Whereas private status pages utilize permissions based access to protect sensitive information, while keeping relevant users optimally informed. Having a private status page is an essential part of an effective incident management process and policy. Here are the top 5 reasons why:

1. Lost employee productivity: One of the biggest costs of IT outages is lost employee productivity. A private status page allows the IT team to keep stakeholders informed about the status of ongoing incidents and the actions being taken to resolve them. This level of transparency helps to minimize confusion and uncertainty in internal communication among employees and partners, which helps to reduce resource and productivity loss.

2. Transparency: A private status page allows the IT team to keep only the relevant stakeholders informed about the status of ongoing incidents and the actions being taken to resolve them. This level of transparency is important for building trust with stakeholders and maintaining a positive reputation for the IT team.

3. Communication: A private status page is the backbone of internal incident communication that organizations count on when services go down. Configured audience groups and escalation policies cut through the noise and ensure that the right people are optimally informed. This helps to reduce confusion and keep the right people informed.

4. Accountability: A private status page allows the IT team to document their actions and decisions during an incident. This documentation establishes accountability, identifies areas for improvement, and creates a feedback loop to improve an organization's future incident response.

5. Reputation management: A private status page allows the IT team to proactively manage the organization's reputation during an incident. By keeping stakeholders informed and maintaining transparency throughout the incident, the IT team can minimize any damage to the organization's reputation.

Leveraging a private status page is an essential part of any effective incident management process for a large organization's IT team. It reduces lost employee productivity with transparent communication and protects organizational reputation when infrastructure goes down. This ultimately leads to a more efficient, effective, and reliable incident management process, and ultimately, a more successful organization. See what's possible with a status page from some of our customers.

Servers are down.   Employees are scrambling.   Customers are upset.   The pressure is on.

When internal operations are in disarray, and your business is experiencing a service outage, the last thing you need to worry about is the reliability of your incident communication solution. Keeping users informed when services are down is mission-critical, in order to prevent a flood of support requests, which compound the effects of the incident, straining employee productivity and bandwidth.

A public or private status page is often the only way to communicate with the outside world during an outage, providing the last line of defense between you and complete chaos. Choosing a small SaaS provider of public-only status pages may seem like a cost-effective option, but in reality it should be the last place you should look to cut costs, as this opens your business up to various failure points. Here are the top five reasons why you should avoid small providers and opt for an established vendor with a proven track record.


Small providers may not have the resources or infrastructure to ensure that their service is always up and running. Established vendors, on the other hand, have invested in the necessary hardware and software to provide a reliable service. They also offer reliable SLA’s that protect your investment.


Small providers may not have the expertise or resources to ensure that their service is secure. Established vendors have teams of security experts who work to ensure that customer data is safe and secure.  Make sure your status page vendor has an independent security audit such as SOC-II Type 2


Small providers may not have the resources or technology to handle a large number of customers. Established vendors have the infrastructure and expertise to scale their service to meet the needs of large enterprise customers.


Small providers may not have a dedicated support team to help customers with any issues or questions they may have. Established vendors have teams of support experts who are available 24/7 to assist customers.  When your servers go down at 2:30am Saturday night, make sure your status page provider will be there … just in case.


Small providers may not have a strong reputation in the industry. Established vendors have a proven track record of providing a high-quality service to many large enterprise and public customers.  Go to the vendor's customer page.  Do you recognize any of those brands?  Consider finding a vendor who has successfully served big recognizable names.

When your business is experiencing an outage, the last thing you need to worry about is the reliability of your status page, the centerpiece of a strong incident response strategy. Choosing a small SaaS provider of public status pages may seem like a cost-effective option, but it comes with several risks that can negatively impact your business. To ensure that your status page is robust and resilient to the uncertainty and chaos of service outages, you should prioritize established vendors who have been tried and trusted by large enterprises in your search for an effective incident communication solution.

A Cloud Of Complexity

Observability has become increasingly important for IT professionals as the complexity of modern systems has grown. In the past, IT environments were typically composed of a few servers and applications that were all running on-site. However, with the rise of cloud computing, IT has become more distributed, with applications and services running on a wide variety of infrastructure and platforms. This has made it harder to understand what is happening within these systems and to identify and troubleshoot issues when they arise.

One of the main challenges of observability is that it is difficult to get a complete picture of what is happening within a system. There are many different components and dependencies that can affect the performance and behavior of an application or service, and it can be difficult to understand the relationship between them. This is especially true in cloud environments, where there are often many different layers of abstractions and multiple vendors involved.

The adoption of SaaS (Software as a Service) has made observability even harder, as it adds an additional layer of complexity to the IT environment. With SaaS, organizations are relying on external providers to deliver critical business applications and services, and this can make it more difficult to understand how these systems are performing and to identify and resolve issues when they arise.

To address these challenges, many cloud providers now offer public status pages that provide information about the availability and performance of their services. These status pages provide IT professionals with real-time status updates on the services they rely on. However, managing multiple status pages can be time-consuming and cumbersome, and it can be difficult to get a comprehensive view of the overall health of an IT environment.

StatusCast As A Solution

A service like StatusCast that aggregates SaaS status pages into a single, real-time notification service for IT teams is a valuable tool for improving observability and reducing the burden on IT professionals. By providing a single source of truth for the status of all the SaaS services an organization relies on, such a service can help IT teams to more easily monitor the health of their systems and to identify and resolve issues more quickly. In addition, this type of service can help to automate the observability process, freeing up IT professionals to focus on more strategic tasks.

Observability is critical for modern IT environments, but it can be challenging due to the complexity of modern systems and the adoption of SaaS. Public status pages offered by cloud providers can be helpful, but a service that aggregates these pages into a single, real-time notification service is even more valuable, helping IT teams more easily monitor the health of their systems, identify issues and resolve incidents more rapidly.

The Incident Management and Status Page solution that lets you organize your enterprise IT team and communicate with users for a coordinated response that restores services rapidly.


StatusCast works as an Incident Management platform to increase employee productivity inside organizations. There's a lot you can do with StatusCast status pages to create the brand look you are seeking.

  1. Three dedicated workspace types let you better manage incidents, service components and third-party integrated assets as well as applications across your infrastructure
  2. Organized incident workflow and performance dashboard to  measurement and analytics
  3. Control who is able to see status page information with permission-based access on fully customizable public and private Status Pages


Maintaining the Productivity of IT Teams and Employees

When a system is experiencing an outage or a performance issue, keep your end users informed on its status by using incident updates. As you get more information about service issues, be proactive in keeping your end users in the loop with the latest info and expected recovery time. 

Using our user-friendly analysis to examine settled incidents to gain an understanding of how this issue began in the first place, and how well the accomplished exercise went and what, if anything, could have been done preferable the next time. 

Our Analytics dashboard provides a quick and easy way to see what areas of your network will need more immediate repair, allowing you to drive toward true dependable fixes. 

Manage and Organize Enterprise Users

The true power of incidents is what you learn from them and how you recycle those learnings back into your system. But the barrier to entry for learning from incidents through retrospectives is still too high. For many companies, the process is different each time, it’s cumbersome to gather data, and it’s really challenging to look at multiple retros and find trends. We want to make it so simple, predictable, and consistent for you to run retros that you run them for every incident. Today’s release brings that possibility to light. 

Keeping stakeholders and customers informed during an incident builds trust and creates an atmosphere of patience. If trained correctly, status pages are often the initial location where internal and external users go for information, so it’s vastly important that your users are receiving real time information.

Improving the communication based around changes to your internal ITSM solution provides you with increased awareness and employee productivity while the IT division is troubleshooting problems privately or publicly. Now, whenever an incident is seemingly forthcoming, those influential key people who need to be notified are automatically informed in advance.

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As digital services have become increasingly important to businesses and organizations, reducing downtimes and service disruptions have become critical objectives for business operations. This means management reporting and KPI's are now crucial to quality management, providing the insight to let you improve incident remediation over time.

Tracking incident management metrics means you can utilize the data available to set benchmarks and goals, measure and reduce incident impact, and identify and anticipate recurring service problems.

But which metrics should you track, and how can you be sure you won't get bogged down in too much data?

What Is A KPI In Incident Management?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are data points that teams use to monitor the performance of their systems and personnel performance. By tracking these different metrics in the short, medium, and long term, you'll be able to see if your goals and timelines are being met. Of course, given the scale and complexity of today's tech infrastructures, this is no easy task, so tools that can gather this data for you in an easy-to-understand way are essential for most organizations. Once you have the right tools to do this, the next step is to decide on the metrics and KPIs important to your organization.

What Metrics and KPIs Should Be Tracked Within Incident Management? 

When considering which metrics to track, it may seem like measuring as much as possible will be the best way to ensure you get all the information you need. And while incident management software can capture vast amounts of data, analyzing it all can be far too time-consuming and obscure issues rather than clarify them.

 So, what are some of the metrics you should be keeping a close eye on?

If you're using an alerting tool, it's helpful to know how many alerts are generated in a specific period, whether a week, a month, or longer. Analyzing this over time will give you a baseline of how busy the team is and help to identify periods with significant increases or decreases or notable changes over a longer period. Once you spot a trend, you can dig deeper and try to find out why those changes are happening and how your teams are addressing them.

MTBF is the average time between repairable failures of a product or tool. It can help you track availability and reliability across assets. Analyzing this will enable you to see if systems are failing more regularly than expected so you can assign a resource to reduce or prevent such issues. Tracking incidents over time means looking at the average number of incidents in a given period, whether weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly or even daily. Look at whether incidents are happening more or less frequently over time and if the number of incidents is at an acceptable level or whether it needs to be reduced. If you identify a problem with the number of incidents being reported, you can start to ask questions about why that number is trending upward or staying high and what the team can do to resolve the issue.

Measuring this will tell you if your resolution times are as they should be and how quickly your team can get the right person working on an incident. If times are higher than expected, it's time to delve deeper into why and examine how issues are communicated.

Mean time to repair, resolve, respond, or recovery is a key metric that tracks the time spent diagnosing and fixing a problem and ensuring it doesn't happen again. It will show how long, on average, it takes to respond to and resolve an incident.

While metrics that show how you're responding to incidents are crucial, it's also worth measuring the percentage of time your systems are actually up and fully functioning. The industry standard is 99.9% uptime is very good, and 99.99% is excellent. If you're currently below this, use the data available and work with your team to find out why – chances are there are multiple reasons, not one quick fix.

This will show you how incidents are resolved during the first occurrence with no repeat alerts. By keeping an eye on this over time, you'll be able to see how effective your incident management processes become – a high rate of first-time fixes suggests your systems are working well.

Having made promises in service level agreements, such as uptime and response times, you must be aware of any breaches or issues that were slow to resolve. SLA compliance rate should be constantly monitored and updated to accurately reflect your service's current state.

By tracking how much it costs to resolve each incident, you can determine which methods are most effective in terms of time and money spent, thus boosting efficiencies in the long run.

Other metrics worth tracking include incident backlog, the number of pending incidents in the queue without a resolution, and the percentage of major incidents, that is how many incidents are deemed major compared to the total number reported. These can both help you to get a thorough understanding of the situation and how effectively incidents are being managed.

Worker Performance and Incident Management 

Giving your team clear KPIs for incident management and realistic goals is a great way to ensure their performance matches the broader organizational goals of minimal disruption and maximum uptime. If the metrics are continuously missed, it's vital to reassess rather than keep enforcing the same targets. For example, if average incident response time is consistently higher than the target, you need to find out why. Are the systems in place insufficient, are your alerts set up most effectively, or is there a deficiency in the team setup or skillset? Delving into the data will help you reveal the root cause so you can make the necessary changes.

While having access to all this data is invaluable, it's also essential to consider the human element of incident management. For example, while you can see from your KPIs that incidents are taking longer to fix, you won't be able to see if the complexity of incidents is increasing or the risks associated with them are higher, or the unexpected elements are more significant, and so on. Combining data with input from the team will help you make significant improvements that will last.

StatusCast offers a great starting point for this insight with its Task Reporting. This enables you to measure how effective individuals and teams are at remediation when performing the specific tasks assigned to them, creating the opportunity to identify bottlenecks in the incident management process relative to task assignment.

Another metric to consider here is on-call time. If you have an on-call rotation, tracking how much time employees and contractors spend on call can be worthwhile to ensure team members aren't overburdened. An incident management solution that helps you manage your IT team and organize shift working and on-call support can be invaluable here.

StatusCast Incident Management

To make sure you're able to access the data that matters to you quickly and in a format that makes sense, the right incident management software is essential. With StatusCast, you'll have access to clear, accurate information via intuitive dashboards that give you the necessary information. Incident reporting provides a detailed analysis of past incidents to measure team efficiency and resolution time and identify IT assets prone to problems. You can also automatically keep track of the operational uptime for all your corporate assets or across every individual component and service. StatusCast also provides a fully auditable record of every notification sent to your team, employees, customers, and partners. With StatusCast notification reporting, you get traceability of the communication history of each incident so you can be clear on how your team is responding.

These are just a few ways StatusCast can help you monitor and measure your incident management response to ensure rapid responses and successful resolutions now and in the longer term.

Book a demo now or start your free trial to find out more.

Good communication is at the core of any incident management process, empowering stakeholders with the information they need to avoid lost productivity. Delivering the right message through the right channel to the right people across the enterprise is key - if you’re simply firefighting and communicating reactively, stakeholders will likely get frustrated.

Having a set of procedures and actions to identify and resolve incidents is crucial to ensure that issues are addressed quickly, efficiently, and with minimum impact on users. An effective incident management process will cover every aspect of the resolution process, from how incidents are detected to the tools available to fix them, and resolution and recovery, and it’ll enable clear and accurate communication with stakeholders at every stage. 

So how can you ensure your incident management process is effective, recurring problems can be identified and uptime improved? The first step is to understand each stage of the incident management lifecycle and put processes in place to address each one appropriately.

The importance of incident management

It’s estimated that Fortune 1000 organizations lose between $1.25bn and $2.25bn a year in application downtime. That may be due to service downtime, regulatory fines, or loss of customers due to dissatisfaction with the service. With numbers like this, it’s clear why incident management is important. 

Effective incident management processes will help ensure that IT teams can quickly and efficiently address vulnerabilities and issues, reducing their impact, getting systems and services up and running more quickly, and keeping them that way, all while communicating effortlessly with stakeholders.

Without these processes, organizations will suffer not just from lost revenues but reduced productivity and potential data loss and could be in breach of service level agreements. This will inevitably lead to unhappy customers and stakeholders, and could impact reputations, with organizations being seen as poor service providers.

What are the stages of incident management? 

It is generally agreed that there are six stages of incident management.

  1. Detection and logging

Several tools will help you to identify an incident. This could be through user reports, solution analysis, or even manual identification. The aim will be for issues to be detected before they impact users so you can communicate the problem and advise on resolution times, but this may not always be possible. Either way, the incident must be logged to take the necessary actions. And crucially, even if you’re not sure of the extent of the problem, inform users straight away of an issue under investigation.

  1. Categorize, prioritize and assign

The first action will be to categorize the incident so it can be prioritized and escalated as needed. Whether it’s business critical or a minor inconvenience to a few users will determine the initial response and how much resource needs to be allocated.

In this crucial step, tasks will be assigned, and the process of investigating the incident can begin in earnest. The type and cause of the incident, along with the extent of the compromise, will be the initial areas of focus, and any additional resources needed can be identified and brought into the loop. 

  1. Analyze

The assigned team can now begin the vital work of investigating the type, cause, and possible solutions for the incident. 

  1. Communicate the problem

It’s essential to ensure any affected stakeholders, such as staff and customers, are informed about the incident and any disruption of services. In fact, communication can be underrated and even overlooked as teams try to solve issues, but it’s important that any incident management process enables quick, easy and accurate messaging at all times.

  1. Resolution

Resolution occurs when the initial threat or root causes have been eliminated, systems restored to full function, and the business impact has ended. Closing incidents typically involves finalizing documentation and evaluating the steps taken during the response to see if there are any areas of improvement. You may also be required to write up a report of the incident to deliver to management so they can be clear on both the situation and the response to it.

  1. Root cause analysis

While the initial impact on the business may have passed, that doesn’t mean an end to the situation. Effective incident management will also include root cause analysis so that you don’t just understand why the incident occurred; you can learn from any underlying issues and use this information to avoid similar problems in the future. Although often overlooked, RCA is key to longer-term improvements in performance. If you have a robust incident management system, you’ll be able to access crucial incident data after the event, which you can use to build up this resilience. With StatusCast, for example, you’ll be able to build a root cause analysis library that lets you track why incidents continue to happen, identify common issues, and plan preventative maintenance to help to avoid them.

How to improve your Incident Management Processes

Following these steps and having suitable systems in place will inevitably help ensure a swift response to any issues. Still, other steps can be taken to deliver smooth and streamlined answers whatever the situation.

Among these is ensuring employees across the organization have the training, support, tools, and knowledge they need to identify, report and resolve issues. Crucially, this shouldn’t just be IT, staff. All employees should know how to correctly report an issue so that the relevant people can begin the job of fixing it. Of course, the better trained your IT team are, and the better they work together, the more likely issues will be resolved in good time.

The key to this is also the right platforms to ensure issues can be reported and responses optimized for better outcomes. Look for tools that offer automated alerts, ease of escalation, and simple collaboration between team members.

While automated alerts are hugely valuable, it’s crucial to avoid alert overload. If too many alerts are coming in, the team won’t be able to action them all, and response times will suffer, leading to dissatisfaction among stakeholders. To avoid this, take the time to plan how events are categorized and what those categories mean for alerts. Perhaps begin by defining your service level indicators and use these to prioritize root causes rather than surface-level symptoms.

Clear, timely communication will be central to how well incidents are responded to. Essential steps to achieve this include having an on-call schedule so someone with the necessary skills and permissions will always be available to respond to an incident. Setting this schedule shouldn’t be a one-off project, so be sure to revisit it regularly to ensure you’re not overly reliant on any one individual. If you are, this could suggest a skills shortage that needs addressing.

Creating guidelines that specify what channels staff should use to communicate, how communications should be documented, and how to share different files and content will also help things to run more smoothly during stressful situations. Clear documentation will also enable teams to verify information quickly and make any necessary checks.

That documentation can also be valuable for those all-important post-incident reviews. These should be a central part of any incident management process as not only can they highlight any preventative maintenance issues that need to be carried out, they can also identify any areas of the response that need reviewing. This is also a good time to ensure all documentation has been completed correctly should there be any liability and compliance auditing.

StatusCast Incident Management

With StatusCast, teams can achieve faster incident resolution through an organized, collaborative response that means the right people are informed promptly of an issue, and, crucially, they can access the information they need to diagnose and resolve that problem quickly. If systems fail or go offline, a simple to use platform that manages every aspect of the incident throughout its lifecycle is key to resolving disruptions and minimizing downtimes. StatusCast offers all this and more. From streamlined incident reporting through to automatic team assignments and integration with third-party monitoring services as well as Slack and MS Teams, StatusCast can help to reduce business impacts, identify patterns and enhance response processes, all of which will minimize downtimes, improve the bottom line and lead to more satisfied users.

To find out more, book a demo now or start your free trial.

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