IT Incident Management
An Investment with a Strong Return
From Reto Caderas, Head of Sales ENCM, F24 Switzerland
A small malfunction, a big impact: crises can be very costly for companies – both financially and in terms of image and reputation. Comprehensive Incident Management ensures that incidents do not turn into crises. People and technology go hand in hand in this regard.
«The flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas.» This is how the meteorologist Edward Lorenz describes the basic assumption of chaos theory: in a complex, networked system, the smallest changes can escalate into a major crisis elsewhere. When or why this happens can be understood, but mostly not foreseen. Modern companies are complex ecosystems made up of people and machines. A small leak in a water pipe in the wrong place can paralyse entire computing systems – and that can have fatal consequences for a company. That is why comprehensive IT Incident Management is essential today.
An incident is not yet an emergency
Incidents are at the beginning of a chain of malfunctions – they are like the flapping of the butterfly’s wings. Just as butterflies will always flap their wings, the occurrence of incidents cannot be prevented: machines fail, people make mistakes, storms cause damage. The question is what happens after an incident: if the leak mentioned in the water pipe is discovered too late, water will flow into the server rooms. The computer systems will fail, data will be lost and production will be interrupted. If this damage cannot be repaired within a short period of time, this emergency will turn into a crisis: customers will lose trust and turn away, the company will suffer losses. If, due to the system failure, dangerous substances are released, it is a hazardous incident that is potentially life-threatening.
The good news is: just as meteorologists can predict tornadoes better thanks to the latest technologies and intelligent data analysis, smart Incident Management prevents emergencies, crises and malfunctions.
Incident, disruption, emergency, crisis – a glossary of terms
IT affects the whole company
A functioning IT system is the heart of a company – an IT malfunction affects almost all areas these days. «Our increasingly smart and networked world can no longer be differentiated into IT and non-IT,» explains Reto Caderas. As Head of Sales FACT24 at F24 Switzerland, the leading solution provider for Incident and Crisis Management, he knows: «modern Incident Management affects all areas of the company – and is relevant for almost every company.» From facility management to production and logistics: those who recognise malfunctions quickly can also rectify them more quickly. People and technology go hand in hand in this regard.
IT Incident Management in three steps
With the help of sensors and intelligent data analysis, networked systems sound the alarm before problems arise. For example, they react to an increased number of contacts in support – as this is often an indication of a general malfunction. Or they alert in the case of temperature fluctuations in the server room – so that it does not overheat. Smart communication solutions give decision-makers an immediate overview in the case of an alert. In this way, they know exactly what must be done.
- Step 1 – Alert
Sensors collect data, intelligent systems process them: A comprehensive alert solution can be linked directly to existing IT systems. They recognise possible failures and automatically initiate appropriate measures. They can alert the right people immediately with defined contact lists. This is particularly essential for time-critical processes.
- Step 2 – Decide
As intelligent as a solution is, in the end, the decisions are made by people. What has priority, who should take over and where? The better the data situation, the better the persons responsible can classify an incident and escalate it accordingly.
- Step 3 – Act
Comprehensive Incident Management means that roles and responsibilities are clear. Defined emergency plans make work easier for everyone involved. However, quality assurance is also part of it: anyone who documents incidents sees mistakes – and can react even more efficiently the next time. Smart systems therefore also archive the communication.
Early warning system for cybercrime
Cybercrime is one of the greatest threats in the IT sector. Swiss companies are increasingly falling victim to cyber criminals. The Cyber Risk Working Group at the Swiss Insurance Association estimates the annual costs in Switzerland alone at CHF 9.5 billion – and this figure is rising steadily (SIA, 2018 – Investigation of ZHAW). Early warning systems help in these areas: targeted monitoring, pattern recognition and fast response times can greatly reduce these costs. «Every second count. This is more true than ever in today’s globalised and networked business world», says Reto Caderas. «Those responsible in all departments should make use of networked technology and sensors where it is possible and meaningful.» Whether cybercrime or a break-in, a natural disaster or a leak in a water pipe: Incident Management is an investment with a definite return.
Experience FACT24 with T-Systems
(german speaking online event)
02.06.2021 | 09:30 – 12:00 (CET)
Our recommendation for you:
Whitepaper “Incident Management”
Would you like to learn more about the operational uses of FACT24? On June 2, 2021, Mr. Andreas Zbinden, Lead Service Desk Operations Manager will provide exclusive insights and information on how T-Systems Switzerland manages incidents and disruptions in general and how the integrated SaaS solution FACT24 is used. Participation is free of charge. To register, please visit the event page (in german) below.
You can find more detailed information on the topic in the Whitepaper “Incident Management”, which you can download free of charge.