If your organization is already using incident management software, you’ll know that leading software platforms can help make tracking, analysing and responding to incidents a whole lot easier!
Incident management software is essential whether you want to track accidents and injuries, or are trying to spot unexpected disruptions in your IT services.
But did you know that there are several key tools that can boost the effectiveness of your incident management processes?
In this post, we’ll explore the top five incident management tools for 2019. The tools on our list will help your staff track unexpected hazards and keep everyone in the loop with extensive reporting and analytical features.
All five of the tools on our list will help your organization identify the cause of incidents as they occur and decide upon the best course of action is the shortest time possible.
Ready to discover the five best incident management tools in the business?
- Zendesk Suite
- Spiceworks Help Desk
Let’s look at these powerful incident management tools in more detail!
Regardless of the specific incident management software that your organization is using, your employees need to be able to report, investigate and analyse a wide range of issues. Whether you are concerned with safety, environment, quality assurance, product quality or business management, your staff will need to report, measure and respond to it all.
To work effectively, your staff needs access to a reliable mobile incident management solution and that’s where PagerDuty comes in. This mobile-first solution gives your staff the ability to report incidents anywhere, right from the palms of their hands.
PagerDuty tops our list of incident management tools for 2019 as it gives you a real-time overview of how your business is performing and where incidents are occurring. PagerDuty provides you with an unprecedented insight into your business and offers a range of advanced automated options ensuring that you take the right action, no matter the type of incident or where it occurs.
So, what makes PagerDuty our top incident management tool for 2019?
There are five main reasons:
- Ease of access
- Timeline view
- Multi-channel communication
- Response automation
- Highly customizable notifications and actions
Let’s look at each of these areas in greater detail:
1. Ease of access
Available as a native app for both iOS and Android mobile devices, PagerDuty offers unparalleled ease of access. Your staff can report incidents and track follow-up actions irrespective of which device they are using.
2. Timeline view
To track, monitor and analyse incidents, you need to keep abreast of the schedules of your team. PagerDuty helps you see the past, present and future services and schedules that your team have, helping you get an overview of your entire incident management process.
3. Multi-channel communication
To stay in touch with your staff, you need an incident management tool that offers a range of communication options. PagerDuty offers text messages, chat channels, and video calls that help you keep in touch. This reduces the time needed to respond to incidents and resolve them effectively.
4. Response automation
Leading incident management software helps you automate responses to incidents as they occur. Depending on the nature of the incidents, this could include;
- Rebooting a server
- Creating a workflow
- Notifying stakeholders
- Running diagnostics
- And more!
PagerDuty lets you keep critical stakeholders informed about your progress when dealing with incidents.
5. Highly customizable notifications and actions
Lastly, PagerDuty helps your staff stay informed about the status of incidents. Whether they are acknowledged, resolved, or escalated, you can keep everyone in the workflow aware of the status of each incident at all times. The notifications are highly customizable to suit the needs of your entire workforce.
2. Zendesk Suite
The second tool on our list is Zendesk, an innovative help desk system with excellent reporting and analysis capabilities.
If you are looking for ways of helping your staff solve problems for themselves before contacting IT staff for assistance, Zendesk Suite is the ideal incident management tool for you.
So what makes Zendesk one of the top incident management tools?
There are two stand-out features:
- Multiple contact channels
- Cloud-based solution
Multiple contact channels
Zendesk links together a wide range of systems and avenues to offer your staff a range of options for getting help. With Zendesk, contacting IT will be an avenue of last resort for your staff. They’ll have a range of ways to get the help they need, including:
- A searchable advice database
- Interactive inquires
- A chat window
Whenever your staff experiences an issue or problem, their first port of call is Zendesk’s searchable advice database. This database is continually expanded and upgraded to offer the best advice in real-time. This helps your staff find the solution to their problem with ease; wherever in the world they may be located.
If the database can’t solve their queries, your staff can try Zendesk’s interactive inquiries feature. This feature helps them pinpoint the problem they are experiencing and find the best solution fast.
Lastly, your employees can use the chat window feature. Here, they can raise a ticket so that a Zendesk agent contacts them at the first available opportunity. Tickets can also be raised through a phone call or email.
The second standout feature of Zendesk is that it’s a cloud-based suite. This aspect of Zendesk means that your employees can monitor and report incidents on the go, regardless of their physical location. Provided they have an internet connection, they can access Zendesk’s functions at their convenience. Furthermore, any reports or documents they upload are shared in real-time with all relevant members of your organization, helping to streamline your incident management process.
3. Spiceworks Help Desk
Third on our lists of incident management tools for 2019 is Spiceworks, a remarkable free help desk for Windows and Mac OS that lets your staff report, log and manage incidents with ease.
Spiceworks is available as on-premises software and as a more limited online version.
If you’re wondering what makes Spiceworks one of the best incident management software tools for 2019, here are its two standout features:
- Cloud-based help desk
- Active user community
Although Spiceworks on-premises software isn’t cloud-based, it does has a Cloud Help Desk feature that can be accessed anywhere from any device with an internet connection. This means that you don’t need to worry about software and OS compatibility, as you can access Help Desk from any iOS or Android device.
With cross-platform compatibility, Spiceworks gives your employees the freedom to use devices that match their preferences. They can access the Help Desk through a device of their choosing. This gives them the flexibility to report and monitor issues as they occur.
Active user community
The second feature that makes Spiceworks one of the top incident management tools for 2019 is its highly active user community. There are literally thousands of plug-ins that you can use to help integrate the system with other programs you might use.
For example, Spiceworks’ agent dashboard has a note-taking and messaging extension that helps your employees find collaborative solutions to any issues they experience.
There are dozens of world-class plug-ins for almost any software you may want to use Spiceworks with, making it a must-have incident management tool for 2019 and beyond!
OpsGenie is the fourth tool we highly recommend for 2019. Why? Quite simply, it puts communication at the heart of your incident management processes.
Let’s look at how and why OpsGenie is one of the top incident management tools for 2019 and beyond.
OpsGenie offers two main functions:
- Real-time alerting and communications
- On-call schedules for alerts and Customized notifications
Let’s look at these key benefits in greater detail!
Real-time alerting and communications
The first benefit of OpsGenie is that it lets you manage geographically distributed teams. This makes it perfect if your employees are mobile or you are looking to standardize incident management procedures across multiple locations.
With real-time alerting and communications, your teams will remain updated with the latest incidents and developments provided they can access the OpsGenie platform from any internet-enabled device.
But there’s more.
OpsGenie is also perfect if you routinely have to deal with after-hours incidents. The application is able to automatically initiate appropriate response actions, no matter what time of the day or night they occur.
This is incredibly helpful for those times that you don’t have staff available to respond to incidents such as server downtime or crashes. OpsGenie is able to create workflows that available staff can follow to get up and running.
On-call schedules for alerts and Customized notifications
The second benefit of OpsGenie is its ability to offer customized notifications. As part of its response actions, it can notify staff members in a range of ways. For instance, non-addressed alerts can be followed up via OpsGenie’s phone call service.
OpsGenie operates on an escalation management system. This system has a series of predefined rules that govern the actions to be taken according to the type of incident detected. These rules can be customized so that the appropriate management levels are notified when certain actions and decisions are taken.
For example, let’s say you want to set up the escalation management for a server outage. You would set the rules based on incident severity and outline the different tiers and management levels you want notifications to be sent to when a server outage occurs.
When this type of incident occurs, OpsGenie will follow these rules to provide an automated phone call, SMS, or email to key employees at the appropriate management levels. As all decisions and actions are made from the OpsGenie mobile app, your entire team is connected and responsive at all times, without the need for manual intervention.
As the notifications are documented for each alert, your team can retrospectively look at the steps OpsGenie took when it detected problems and make adjustments accordingly. Over time, this helps improve the efficiency of the app at detecting and dealing with processes.
VictorOps is the fifth incident management tool for 2019 that you need to know about. Positioned as an alternative to PagerDuty, VictorOps is one of the best tools for structuring and streamlining your incident management processes in 2019.
So what are VictorOps’ unique benefits and advantages?
Like PagerDuty, VictorOps offers three key benefits for businesses:
- Real-time platform
- Timeline view
- Customized alerts and notifications
VictorOps is a real-time platform that’s perfect for reacting to open incidents and analysing them with a view to reducing or eliminating the chances of them occurring in the future. When a member of staff reports an incident via VictorOps, an incident alert is sent according to an on-call plan. This helps ensure that reports reach all relevant members of your organization in real-time, helping everyone stay in the loop.
However, staff members can also redirect messages and alerts themselves dynamically. For instance, they could add links to server logs, or explanations of solutions to messages before sending them. This can be done ‘on the fly’, helping to keep everyone updated about the latest incidents and solutions. As VictorOps is accessible in real-time, these solutions can be followed by team members who are nearest to the incident, or available at the time.
As with PagerDuty, VictorOps builds a ‘timeline’ that displays every piece of information. This helps you track incidents and see how they are investigated, responded to and either resolved or escalated. During investigations, this timeline can help you tie events together and keep track of your team members and their actions.
Customized alerts and notifications
One of the most unique features of VictorOps is its ‘transmogrifier’. This tool lets you customize everything from incident flows to alerts, notifications and more. For this reason, VictorOps lets your team modify the way they deal with incident management issues according to their specific needs and preferences. This potentially helps teams address problems faster and find solutions quicker than otherwise.
As we’ve seen, the top five incident management tools on our list have a lot to offer in 2019 and beyond. If you’re in the process of choosing the right incident management software, you may be wondering about your next steps.
Beakon’s incident management software offers industry-leading reporting, tracking and reporting abilities. So, contact us for a demo to see for yourself how our incident management software can meet your needs!
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