Four things to consider when evaluating incident management platforms

Four things to consider when evaluating incident management platforms--from whether you have the culture and process to support a potential tool, to understanding your pain points, to knowing which key stakeholders to involve.

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By Robert Ross on 5/26/2021

When you’re feeling the stress and pain around incidents, making the decision to find an incident management tool is a no-brainer. But how do you choose the one that will work for you, your team, and your business? 

You might be asking yourself:

  • Where do I start?

  • What do I need to know?

  • What questions do I ask?

  • What are the options?

  • How can I be sure we’re choosing the right tool?

The team at FireHydrant put together an Incident Management Buyer’s Guide to help you through the decision-making process. Below, we’ve highlighted the top four things to consider as you start your search.

1. Do you have the culture and processes you need to support an incident management solution?

Different business models require different approaches to incident management. You should be looking for a platform to fit the unique needs of your organization. More importantly, even if you find the solution - do you have the people, culture, and processes necessary to support a new tool? (And if not, do you have a plan to put them in place?) 

Implementing solutions successfully takes planning, so you’ll want to make sure that you and your team can handle the workload.

Not sure if you have an answer to this question? Check out our WTF is Incident Management webinar and our Reliability Guide

2. What are your pain points and goals?

You’re looking for an incident management solution for a reason, but do you know exactly what pain points you hope to solve? Your top goal may be to “make it easier” - but every solution is likely to tout that they make things easier. Determine what you’re hoping to accomplish. Do you want to automate processes? Bring your team together more quickly? Track every action from declaration to retro? All of the above? If you prioritize the problems you want to solve, it’ll be easier to check off boxes when you investigate your top choices.

Find more questions to ask in our Buyer's Guide.

3. Who should be involved in this search?

You may be the one taking the lead on searching for a better way to manage incidents, but knowing who else should be part of the decision will make your process more efficient. You’ll need to know if you have support from your team, who’ll authorize the budget for your new tool, and who has to sign off on your decision.

And don’t forget other stakeholders outside of your team! Incidents impact all parts of an organization, so consider who needs to be a part of the selection process - from your client success team to your sales team.

4. How will you make a decision?

Finding and implementing an incident management solution requires time and resources. It’s especially important to account for the time it will take to onboard your team and configure your solution - including assigning individual roles on your team, setting up integrations with your existing tools, and test-driving your incident management process. 

The worst-case scenario is that you purchase a platform but don’t have time to implement and utilize it. You won’t be happy, nor will your team or executive stakeholders. 

So have a clear idea of what you need to make a final decision - whether it’s considering who’s involved, how much budget you need to secure, what your timeline is, or how you’ll address any legal or security issues.

Ready to start your search?

Check out the full guide to buying an Incident Management Platform.

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