Incident management for high-velocity teams

What is incident management software?

Categories, key features, and expert insights

Picture a well-oiled machine smoothly navigating the challenges presented to business operations by unexpected incidents. That's the role of incident management software—a comprehensive set of tools designed to not only identify and respond to incidents but also to analyze, learn, and improve from them.

At its core, incident management software comprises several essential components. Incident tracking software serves as the central hub for recording incident details, tracking their status, and assigning responsibilities. Alerting and notification features also ensure the right individuals are promptly informed when an incident occurs, enabling a swift response.

In the midst of an incident, effective collaboration and communication are vital. An incident management system provides a platform for real-time collaboration among team members, allowing them to share observations, links, and screenshots in a timestamped and preserved manner. This collaborative environment creates a rich record of the incident, valuable for both immediate response and post-incident analysis.

The software also emphasizes the documentation and analysis of incidents. It enables teams to document details and actions taken during an incident, laying the groundwork for postmortems. These postmortems, akin to a detailed narrative of the incident, help teams understand root causes and implement preventive measures to avoid future recurrences.

Ultimately, incident management software like Jira Service Management is a multifaceted solution that enhances efficiency, visibility, adaptability, and security in handling incidents. By incorporating these service management tools, organizations can navigate incidents more effectively and continuously refine and bolster their incident response capabilities.

Features to look for in incident response tools

As incident management becomes increasingly complex, identifying the appropriate features in your incident response tools is paramount. These features can significantly impact your team's ability to respond swiftly and effectively to incidents. Outlined below are a selection of key features to consider.

Automation and orchestration

In the dynamic landscape of incident response, the ability to automate repetitive tasks and orchestrate complex workflows can be a game-changer. Imagine a tool that not only identifies and alerts your team to an incident but can also initiate predefined responses automatically. This not only saves crucial time but ensures consistency in your response actions. When evaluating incident management tools, consider how customizable the automation workflows are and how well they integrate with your existing systems.

Automation and orchestration are pivotal features in incident response tools, and Jira Service Management excels in this area. JSM offers customizable automation workflows that seamlessly integrate with existing systems, allowing teams to not only identify and alert to incidents but also initiate predefined responses automatically, ensuring both time savings and response consistency.

Collaboration and documentation

In the heat of an incident, seamless collaboration among team members is critical. Look for tools that not only provide a platform for real-time incident communication but also facilitate collaborative documentation. Picture a scenario where multiple team members can contribute to incident details simultaneously, creating a comprehensive and accurate record. Version control for incident documentation ensures you have a clear timeline of actions taken and observations made, which is crucial for post-incident analysis and learning.

For effective collaboration and documentation during incidents, Jira Service Management provides a robust platform for real-time communication among team members. Additionally, JSM integrates with Confluence, Atlassian's collaborative documentation tool, allowing multiple team members to contribute simultaneously to incident details. This integration ensures comprehensive and accurate incident records with version control, facilitating post-incident analysis and learning.

Reporting and analytics

Understanding your incident response performance is key to continuous improvement. A robust tool should offer analytics on various aspects, from resolution times to root causes. Consider tools that provide insightful reports, allowing you to identify patterns and trends in past incidents. The ability to customize and export these reports ensures you can tailor your analysis to meet specific organizational needs.

JSM's reporting and analytics capabilities contribute to understanding incident response performance. With insightful reports on resolution times and root causes, teams can identify patterns and trends in past incidents. The flexibility to customize and export these reports enables organizations to tailor their analysis to specific needs.


As your organization grows, so does the complexity of incidents. Your chosen incident management tool should be scalable and capable of handling incidents of varying sizes and complexities. Consider how well the incident management tool adapts to the growth of both incidents and your team size. Whether you're a small startup or a large enterprise, the tool should seamlessly integrate into your incident response workflow.

Scalability is a key consideration, and Jira Service Management adapts well to the growing complexity of incidents and team size. Whether you're a small startup or a large enterprise, JSM seamlessly integrates into your incident response workflow, providing the scalability needed for evolving organizational requirements.

Security and compliance

Security is paramount in incident management, and your tools should reflect this priority. Look for features that adhere to best security practices, ensuring the protection of sensitive incident data. Additionally, features such as audit trails and compliance reporting can be crucial for organizations operating in regulated industries.

Security and compliance are critical, and Jira Service Management prioritizes these aspects with features adhering to best security practices. This includes robust protection of sensitive incident data and features like audit trails and compliance reporting, making JSM suitable for organizations operating in regulated industries.

Mobile accessibility

Incidents don't wait for you to be at your desk. Choose a tool that offers mobile applications, allowing your team to respond to alerts and collaborate on incidents on the go. Check if critical features are accessible through mobile applications and if the mobile version ensures secure remote access and authentication.

Recognizing the dynamic nature of incident response, Jira Service Management ensures mobile accessibility through dedicated applications. This allows teams to respond to alerts and collaborate on incidents on the go, ensuring that critical features are accessible securely and remotely through the mobile version of JSM.


How to choose incident management software

There is no single, one-size-fits-all tool for incident management. The best-performing incident teams use a collection of the right tools, practices, operating systems, and people. Some tools are specific to incident management, while others are more general-purpose tools your team uses for other tasks. Some tools might be a bespoke experience built upon layers of integrations and customization.

No matter the use case, good incident management tools have a few things in common. The best incident management tools are open, reliable, and adaptable.

Open: In a high-pressure environment like an incident, it’s vital that the right people have access to the right tools and information immediately. This not only goes for incident responders but also for company stakeholders who need visibility into response efforts.

Reliable: There are few things worse during incident response than having your essential response tools go down. Utilizing cloud tools, like Slack and Opsgenie, minimizes the risk of an outage on your infrastructure, taking down your response tools.

Adaptable: Integrations, workflows, apps, customization, and APIs all open up the possibilities behind the product. You may want to get started with an out-of-the-box configuration, but as your practices and processes mature, you’ll want your tools to be flexible enough to support changing needs.

Before the incident


Monitoring systems let DevOps and IT Ops teams collect, aggregate, and trigger alerts from data from thousands of services in real-time. These are critical to providing full visibility into the health of your services and often trigger the first alarm bells during an incident.


Monitoring tools give your team constant insight into the health of the infrastructure. Modern monitoring tools also proactively trigger alerts during unexpected activity.



Feature Set

Questions to ask

24/7 coverage and analytics

Does the tool have visibility into all my servers and infrastructures?

Integrates with alerting tools

Can my team see real time analytics and dashboards and set alerting thresholds?


Does the product integrate with my alerting and on-call tool?

Service desk

Service desk software gives customers and employees a place to both report issues and manage incidents and potential incidents.


Along with their many other use cases (service requests, IT help desk), service desks empower your team to quickly learn about incidents from the people who matter most—your customers.




Feature set

Questions to ask

Enable self serve

Can customers quickly file tickeCan customers quickly file tickets through a self-service support portal?


Can customers find the help they need with automated knowledge-based suggestions?

Our recommendation: Jira Service Management

Alerting and on call

Prompt and reliable alerting and on-call management is a critical step in incident response. This is how teams ensure the right people are aware of an incident.


Alerting tools notify designated on-call responders through a sophisticated combination of scheduling, escalation paths, and notifications.




Feature set

Questions to ask

Works globally

Can I send notifications (SMS, voice, email) to almost anywhere?

Multiple notification methods

Can I send notifications using multiple notification methods like email, SMS, phone, and mobile app push and try them multiple times?

Our recommendation: Opsgenie

During the incident

Leveraging a configuration management database (CMDB) for a faster resolution

Understanding the interdependencies of key processes within your infrastructure is key to determining the full impact of the incident and reaching a faster resolution.


A CMDB helps you understand the relationships and dependencies within your IT infrastructure. If something goes down, this map lets you rapidly find:

  • Potential causes of the incident. For example, determining which host a service is running on at the click of a button.
  • Trickle-down effects of the incident. For example, discovering other services running on the same troublesome host.

This means you can quickly investigate and communicate all aspects of the incident.



Feature set

Questions to ask

Multiple channels

How flexible is the CMDB? Can I store any CI or asset?


Can I visualize my infrastructure graphically?


Can I link CIs/assets with my service desk issues?


Can I link CIs/assets to change requests?

Our recommendation: Insight

Insight logo

Respond to incidents faster

Map your infrastructure and its dependencies natively within Jira. Quickly find and resolve the cause of incidents and increase up-time!

Team communication

Clear and reliable incident communication is undeniably critical during incident management.


A solid communication platform helps teams communicate, share observations, links, and screenshots in a way that’s timestamped and preserved. This brings the right information and people together during an incident, and creates a rich record to learn from after the incident.




Feature set

Questions to ask

Multiple channels

Can my incident response team quickly spin up a dedicated channel for an incident?


Can other tools in my incident toolchain post into my team's communication channel?

Our recommendation: Slack (text), Zoom (video)

Customer communication

Customer communication tools help keep customers informed during an incident.


There’s no getting around it, incidents are typically a bad experience for your customers. Keeping customers informed builds trust and speeds up response efforts. Communicating with customers lets them know you’re aware of the incident and working on a fix.




Feature set

Questions to ask

Off of my infrastructure

Will my communication tool be operational and accessible even if my internal infrastructure is down?

Subscribers and notifications

Can customers opt in to get notifications when I post about an incident?

Our recommendation: Statuspage

Incident command center

Your canonical record of the incident and its key details live in an incident command center. This could be an incident tool like Opsgenie or an issue-tracking tool like Jira.


A command center tool offers one place to get everyone up to speed during and after an incident, listing key details like incident status, associated alerts, updates, and more. It also provides a historical record of the incident and its associated response effort.




Feature set

Questions to ask

Source of truth

Can team members and stakeholders use this record to locate all the other details of the incident and response activities?


Does the tool aggregate a chronological timeline of key events?


Can team members and stakeholders quickly get up to speed on the incident?

Our recommendation: Opsgenie

After the incident

Postmortem and analysis

Postmortems are a written record of what happened during the incident and any follow-up actions taken to prevent it from happening again.


After an incident is resolved, teams still often don’t know the root causes and are at risk of the same incident happening again. Postmortems help to prevent that by bringing the team together for a post-incident analysis.




Feature set

Questions to ask


Can my team use a template to fill out a postmortem?

Map out next actions

Can my team plan out next actions and remediation work during a postmortem?

Our recommendation: Opsgenie

Issue tracking

An issue tracking tool helps the team map out future remediation work that needs to be done.


Resolving the incident often brings the service back online without addressing the root cause. Typically, more engineering work needs to be done to remediate root causes and ensure the incident doesn’t repeat itself. Issue and work tracking tools — which your team is hopefully already using for other development work — help ensure this work is prioritized and doesn’t fall through the cracks.




Feature set

Questions to ask

Shared workflow pipeline

Can my team plan any incident remediation work alongside their other work and priorities?


Can my team pull in data and content from my other incident tools?

Our recommendation: Jira Software

The incident management process plays a crucial role in maintaining normal service operations within an organization. IT service management solutions, such as incident management systems, are designed to address incidents promptly and restore normal service operations efficiently. These systems often include asset management capabilities to track and manage the organization's resources.

Incident management software for seamless service operations

Incident management processes are integral to any service management solution, ensuring that incidents are handled systematically and in accordance with established protocols. The goal is to minimize disruptions, report incidents using incident reporting software, and use incident management platforms for effective resolution.

Popular incident management tools like Jira Service Management offer collaboration tools for real-time communication among team members. These tools facilitate collaboration, problem management, and addressing incidents promptly.

ITIL incident management principles guide organizations in managing incidents effectively. This involves identifying root causes, utilizing incident tracking tools, and implementing solutions to prevent future occurrences.

Endpoint management and security tools are essential components of an incident management solution, providing IT professionals with the necessary resources to address security incidents, report incidents, and create tickets for incident closure.

Quality control and support portals contribute to user satisfaction by ensuring that incidents are managed efficiently. Automated workflows within ticketing systems enhance the platform's ability to handle incidents, identify trends, and support data-driven decisions.

Machine learning and integration with commonly used tools further enhance the incident management process by enabling a data-driven approach. Knowledge bases and the analysis of similar incidents contribute to identifying issues and making critical decisions to prevent unplanned interruptions.

In short, incident management involves reporting, analyzing, and resolving incidents through a structured and collaborative approach. Leveraging the capabilities of incident management tools and incorporating a data-driven mindset allows organizations to address critical issues, report incidents promptly, and maintain uninterrupted service operations.

Companies of every size frequently turn to Atlassian's suite of products, such as Jira Service Management and Confluence, to seamlessly integrate incident reporting, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing into their service operations. These tools provide a comprehensive ecosystem that aligns with ITIL principles, fostering efficient incident resolution and continuous improvement in service delivery.

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