ITIL What is an Incident?

by Rahulprasad Hurkadli

In the context of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), an incident refers to any unplanned interruption, reduction in quality, or failure of an IT service. It represents an event that disrupts or negatively affects the normal operation of an IT service and causes an impact on users or business operations.

ITIL What is an Incident?

Key characteristics of an incident in ITIL include:

  • Unplanned: Incidents are unexpected and not part of normal operations. They can occur due to hardware failures, software glitches, human errors, or other unforeseen issues.
  • Service Impact: Incidents have an impact on IT services and can affect the availability, performance, or functionality of these services.
  • Need for Resolution: Incidents need to be resolved as quickly as possible to restore normal service operation and minimize any adverse effects on users or the business.
  • Recorded in Incident Management: Incidents are typically managed through a dedicated process called "Incident Management" within ITIL. This process involves logging, categorizing, prioritizing, and resolving incidents efficiently.
  • Separate from Service Requests: Incidents are different from service requests, which are user-initiated requests for information or access to IT services that are typically part of predefined service catalogs.
  • Escalation and Resolution: Incidents may be escalated to higher support levels if they cannot be resolved at the initial support level. Once an incident is resolved, the resolution should be documented, and relevant information should be communicated to users or stakeholders.

ITIL's Incident Management process plays a crucial role in handling incidents effectively, ensuring prompt restoration of services, and minimizing the impact on the business. It focuses on efficient communication, incident categorization, root cause analysis, and continuous improvement to prevent similar incidents in the future.