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Using Incident Data to Proactively Avoid On-Call Disasters

Dan Holloran August 17, 2018

DevOps Monitoring & Alerting On-Call
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Proactivity is essential to success in any business or operation. Incident management and on-call response is no exception. Your employees and customers will thank you for actively working to prevent system downtime and avoid on-call disasters.

If your Operations, IT, Support, or DevOps teams are only reacting to issues, your company will continue to struggle with its responsiveness and will therefore affect customer experiences. That’s why it’s so important to review the data from past incidents and use it to mitigate future on-call horror stories. So, let’s look at some ways you can use incident data and technology to better prepare for future on-call scenarios:

Want the deep dive? Download our free Incident Management Buyers Guide to learn more about how incident management tools can help you avoid on-call disasters.

Intelligent Collection of Data:


Of course, the first step will be to collect highly relevant data and organize it after an on-call incident has been resolved. This typically means that you’ll run all information regarding an incident through some form of post-incident review. Here, the information can be dissected and broken down into useful metrics. Among other data, you’ll want to track high-level statistics such as mean time to acknowledge (MTTA) and mean time to resolve (MTTR) to determine the efficiency of your on-call teams.


You’ll want to aggregate your monitoring, alert, and log data in one place through one efficient channel. Then, you can begin to standardize this information and break it down in a way which is useful and comparable to other historical incident data. This way, your engineers and operations teams can quickly review previous on-call incident data, which may help resolve current on-call disasters. Half the battle of dealing with on-call incidents must be through preparation for when they arise.

Smart On-Call Rotations

The on-call setup can be vastly different from company to company. On-call rotations and the departments involved will depend on the way your team is set up and the product you offer. However, your on-call rotations must always be assigned and organized based on your incident data.

You should be able to determine how often your Operations, DevOps, IT, or Customer Support teams need to get involved with incidents, and how much time they spend resolving issues. Armed with that information, you can then assign your on-call rotations accordingly. Intelligently developing on-call rotations can help to avert on-call disasters from happening on your watch.

Implement Tools That Actually Help

On-call teams have to be quick and effective. An on-call incident team is only as good as the tools available to them. Tools that can automate incident management processes, improve team communication, or offer more transparency of information are essential to your success.

Anything that reduces on-call alert fatigue, system downtime, or time to incident resolution will be beneficial to your business. The less time you spend resolving on-call disasters, the less money you lose resolving those same incidents. Do your research and make sure you’re providing the right monitoring, alerting, and collaboration tools to your on-call team.

Make On-Call Suck Less.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

The best way to handle on-call incidents and fend off disasters is to prepare. Keeping a finger on the pulse of where incidents arise, how often they come up, and how they can typically be resolved will drastically improve your on-call incident response. Actively monitoring incident data, proactively implementing alerting and collaboration tools, and organizing on-call teams to handle incidents will give you peace of mind.

Proactive incident management will help you avoid on-call disasters and prepare solutions ahead of time. All in all, the most important thing to remember for avoiding on-call disasters is to do everything in your power to proactively prepare for an incident before it even happens.

Don’t forget to check out our free Incident Management Buyers Guide where you can read more about the necessity of incident management tools for your on-call team.

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