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The core of the DevOps movement is about breaking down barriers between developers and operations, allowing both sides to work as a team. This means making sure that everyone has access to the systems they require while enabling cross-tool visibility and collaboration. As we dig into the differences and benefits between the tools and processes associated with incident management and incident response, we realize that high functioning teams leverage both — just as healthcare utilizes both an ambulance and hospital to triage an event.
Medical intervention works best when the right treatment is provided in the right situation. Patients with health concerns that visit a hospital consult with a set of specialists that suggest a plan for long-term care. However, in the case of an emergency, an ambulance is dispatched as quickly as possible so the EMTs can assess the situation and stabilize the patient before transporting them to the hospital for more comprehensive care.
More traditional approaches (like incident management based on ITIL) represent the hospital, where work is done over an extended time and requires a different set of experts. IT Service Management (ITSM) tools like ServiceNow and BMC Remedy provide operations teams with the ability to log incidents, classify them by impact and urgency, and report. They exist for long-term care and act as a fantastic system of record in case of an audit. However, they leave much to be desired when downtime occurs and time is of the essence.
That’s where incident response — aka the ambulance — comes in to play. Incident response is a key role in the incident lifecycle; it focuses on getting the right experts working on the problem fast, kickstarting remediation. Incident response tools like VictorOps send context-rich mobile alerts to the right people at the right time and doubles down on collaboration by providing automatic updates and visibility across all IT and DevOps tools.
When implemented correctly, incident response and incident management tools allow actions to flow automatically from one to the other without manual intervention. This is great news for developers who would rather not switch systems and log actions, especially while triaging an active incident. On the flip side, operations teams are able to access real-time updates that are free from human error.
So we can see that leaning on incident response and incident management best practices can drastically improve the efficiency of our DevOps teams. It allows each expert to work in the tools that make the most sense for their roles while still providing necessary visibility across functions. This enables teams to collaborate effectively and quickly resolve even the largest business-impacting, end-user-affecting downtime. Now, that can really help make on-call suck less.
Sign up for a 14-day free trial of VictorOps or request a personalized demo with our sales team in order to learn more about making on-call suck less with automated alerting and real-time incident response.