Optimize Your Incident Management Communication
Most companies today depend on many IT-systems in order for their business to function. When problems occur within these systems, incident management communication is vital for getting things up and running again. In this post, we look at how good incident management communication can help your IT incident management.
Minimizing Economic Loss During an IT Incident
Defining an IT incident is no simple task. They can range from business-critical system or server shut-downs, to minor breakdowns in less vital systems. The broad spectrum and potentially devastating consequences of IT incidents demands a flexible and reliable incident management communication system.
Bigger companies usually have some sort of monitoring system that will signal if something has stopped working. Each matter that arises is classified based on its level of severity. Which systems and business functions are at risk, and how important are they for business continuity? If a system is vital for a company’s business, that incident will get the label ‘severe’. If there are only internal system errors that have small effects on business, that incident will get the label ‘minor’. Different classifications call for different grades of preparedness and response. These pre-set responses are designed to ensure systems are back up within a time frame that minimizes their impact.
While having incident management communication procedures might seem like a given, their true value isn’t often seen until an incident occurs. This is in part because it can be hard to find systems that can get the right information to the right people, quickly. It’s also because setting up incident management protocol can seem daunting. However, when a business-critical incident occurs, the effort taken to establish the right incident management procedures proves worth it. So finding a system where you can trigger contact flows for different scenarios with ease is crucial!
Fast Communication is a Must!
To handle an IT incident, you must be able to assign the right people to the job without delay. Perhaps you need to get in touch with technicians with a specific skill-set; maybe you need to contact your PR team to respond to any bad press an incident might cause. Whoever you need to involve, communication needs to flow easily and reliably immediately after and throughout the incident. Companies can handle this information sharing in various ways; it can be posted on a website, sent via email, delivered via telephone calls or sent via SMS.
Well-functioning incident management communication is crucial for spreading important information, and thus plays a central role in handling any issue. It also makes it easier for companies to focus on finding and implementing solutions, instead of figuring out how to keep people informed. This means your communication preparedness has a direct effect on your ability to efficiently handle an IT incident.
So why not just use the same communication channels you use in less critical situations? Trying to contact your staff via telephone can be time-consuming. Emails don’t have the same open or response rates that SMS have. And sending SMS one-by-one isn’t optimal either – it takes too much time and doesn’t provide the tracking you need. To avoid tying up time and resources, it is best to have an enterprise system that lets you prepare communication in advance, segment and send to the right people via SMS, a channel that we know has the highest open rates, all while tracking responses.
Critical Incident Communication Requires the Right Tools
Incident managers can also use SMS systems to send status updates. These systems leave them more time to focus on managing resources and solving the problem at hand. This removes much of the manual labor usually associated with sending vital information.
While many companies use SMS in their communications, the tools used are rarely designed with incident management communication in mind. This means they lack things like segmentation capabilities, informative dashboards and reports, simple contact list updates, or pre-set message templates. This can lead to mistakes and slow-downs. For example, when outdated contact lists can cause several different problems. In some cases, people don’t get the information they need during an incident. In other cases, or the wrong people may get information they don’t have the clearance for.
The ability to effectively communicate is a huge determining factor in incidents management. With the right tools and preparation, companies can efficiently handle IT incidents and guarantee customers’ continued satisfaction, trust and loyalty.
Learn more about incident management with our free guide!
Download this free incident management guide to learn more about how your company can be prepared for any situation!