This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best incident management tools and other incident management solutions.
How do you best handle database change management? What is the best incident reporting app for your situation? What items should you have in your toolbox when it comes to organizing request management? In this post, I’ll share with you how incident management software can address all of these concerns and more.
Quickly Compare & Evaluate The 10 Best Incident Management Software
Enterprise incident management is crucial to a healthy IT ecosystem and overall IT infrastructure. Here are some tools that can help navigate the ups and downs involved.
The Best Incident Management Software List
Here’s a shortlist of the best incident management tools:
Have some questions about incident management software before I get started? Check out this helpful FAQ first.
What is incident management?
Incident management is the framework in which IT teams restore “normal” service operation with speed and efficiency after a problem or disruption of service arises. The goal is to work fast and thoroughly in order to minimize the impact on the business. Incident response tools are designed to help with this sometimes daunting process.
Why is incident management software important to QA?
During the QA testing phase, the goal is often to find weaknesses in the target software in order to iron them out and make the app launch-worthy. Proper incident management reporting can help QA team members explain what problems they are seeing, which can then be better translated by the development team, who can come up with more sturdy and accurate solutions.
What is ITIL incident management?
The incident management process can be complicated. That’s why there are frameworks that help IT staff work quickly in the aftermath of disruption or incident. The ITIL (which formerly stood for IT Infrastructure Library) process includes the following stages: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and then Continual Service Improvement.
What is a software inventory tool—and how does it help incident management?
A software inventory tool provides information about the software being used within a network. This type of network inventory software is useful for incident management because it provides in-depth details about any errors or disruptions within the program. Proper network inventory management helps to identify the time, circumstances, and details of any particular incident.
Software Testing Tools Comparison Criteria
What are we looking for when we compare software for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? Does it look and work like the modern software? Is item placement intuitive, even for low-tech individuals?
Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, a knowledge base, tutorials, and training? Is there an online community/forum around the product?
Features & Functionality:
Customizable & Consolidated Alert System – Can the tool pull incident alerts from different sources, such as chats, emails, phone calls, and more; organize them; and notify the appropriate groups? Are these settings intuitive and flexible?
Issue Categorization – Does the tool offer a robust system for issue categorization? Can an issue be flagged in detail with keywords that will help future analysis?
Investigation Tools – Does the software offer: a report or sequence of events per incident, orders for corrective actions, a record of findings, other action management items, and so on? Does using the software help reduce resolution times?
Analytics & Reporting – Is reporting output detailed, readable, and customizable? Can you import/export results via third-party tools as needed?
Problem Management – Does the software offer processes or directions for getting to the root of the problem after incident closure? Can the tool guide steps after the incident lifecycle ends?
Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations? Can you import objectives and goals designed in other software? Does it integrate with other software you already have in use, such as asset management software or ticketing systems?
Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
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Overviews Of the Top Incident Tracking Tools
Below you’ll find a few details about the incident tracking software selected for this list to help you better pick the right one for you.
Developed by Atlassian, Opsgenie is an end-to-end incident management software for development and IT operations. This tool groups relevant incident alerts filters out the noise and assesses notifications across multiple channels for a response.
With over 4000+ apps in their marketplace, Opsgenie does plugins better than most. Their robust third-party connector options scored them highly in the Integrations section of the evaluation. Opsgenie supports iOS and Android as well.
Integrations include Slack, Datadog, Jira, Amazon CloudWatch, Zendesk, Cherwell, BigPanda, BMC Remedy, SignalFX, Atlassian Statuspage, Azure, Bamboo, Bitbucket, Campfire, Catchpoint, CloudMonix, Crashlytics, Freshdesk, Freshservice, GitHub, Hipchat, and many more. You can also connect to additional 1000+ apps using Zapier.
One con to be aware of is that filtering alerts to different individuals or groups are a bit convoluted to set-up. Additionally, a training/onboarding/best practices resource of some kind would do the service good.
Opsgenie starts at $9/user/month and has a freemium subscription for up to 5 users.
The Zendesk Support Suite allows your team to work seamlessly with a single set of tools and processes that work the same on any channel: email, chat, voice, and even social messaging apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, WeChat, and more.
As far as paid software goes, Zendesk is a great deal when it comes to the monthly costs. You can, of course, add products or services to your plan, which will increase costs. Thanks to the low per-item cost and flexible plan, Zendesk scored highly in a review of Value for Cost.
Integrations include Zoom, Kaizo, Productboard, SessionStack, Amazon Connect, Nicereply, CloudTalk, Harvester, TypeGenie, Zoho CRM, Snapchat, Capsule CRM, Google Hangouts, Mailchimp Activity, Simplesat, ChargeDesk, Nutshell, Gainsight, SendSafely, TeamViewer, and hundreds more.
One downside of Zendesk is that it seems to be best suited for small- to mid-sized businesses. The operation may be vulnerable to overloading if you regularly process thousands of incidents per day.
Zendesk starts at $5/user/month and has a free 30-day trial as well as a free demo.
3. AlertOps – Best for large organizations and enterprises
AlertOps caters to large, multi-team international organizations that need an incident management solution to protect critical business services and notify stakeholders, customers, and business partners. It is available as a cloud SaaS tool and is multi-tenant ready.
Integrations include Microsoft Teams, Nagios, Panopta, ServiceNow, Slack, Zendesk, Airbrake, Alerta, AppDynamics, Apteligent, AWS Cloudwatch, Catchpoint, Cherwell, Connectwise Manage, Datadog, Freshdesk, GitHub Issues, Google Stackdriver, Hipchat, Honeybadger, Jira, LogEntries, Loggly, Microsoft Teams, Pingdom, Slack, and many more.
One minor critique of AlertOps is that it can be a bit complicated to configure and navigate. Creating new integrations may take a bit of time, depending on your skill, and many other features have a steep learning curve as well.
AlertOps starts at $5/user/month and has a free 14-day trial for their standard plan.
4. BigPanda – Best for machine learning and autonomous operations
BigPanda’s autonomous operations platform can help capture alerts, changes, and topology data from all your tools and uses machine learning to detect problems and identify their root cause in real-time so that users have fewer outages and faster resolution.
One thing BigPanda does really well is the grouping of alerts from separate monitoring systems into a single database; additionally, it has a robust de-duping capability that filters out multiple entries around the same incident.
Integrations include AppDynamics, Catchpoint, Amazon CloudTrail, CloudWatch, Datadog, Dataloop.io, Jira, Jenkins, Logz.io, LogicMonitor, LogEntries, System Center, Nagios, Okta, Opsgenie, Pingdom, Sensu, SunoLogic, ServiceNow, Splunk, Slack, SolarWinds, Sematext, VMWare, Zabbix, Zenoss, and more.
Even broken down monthly, BigPanda’s pricing model is hefty compared to every other software on this list. Thus, they lost a few points in the evaluation for Value for Cost.
BigPanda starts at $144,000/year for up to 2000 nodes and offers a free demo.
5. OnPage – Best for usability and customer support
OnPage is the industry-leading HIPAA to secure an incident alert management system. Built around the incident resolution lifecycle, the platform enables organizations to get the most out of their digitization investments, ensuring that sensors and monitoring systems and people have a reliable means to escalate abnormality notifications to the right person immediately.
OnPage does well in the Usability section of the evaluation criteria; it’s easy to get up and running and once you have everything organized you can “set it and forget it.” Customer support is very responsive, should any additional issues arise.
Integrations include ServiceNow, ConnectWise, Autotask, Uptime Robot, Slack, Amion, IBM Maximo, Cisco Spark, Thingworx, Webhooks, Logz.io, Twilio, Veeam, Kaseya, SolarWinds, Nagios, Opsview, BMC Remedyforce, REST API, SOAP API, and more.
OnPage suffers from an inability to completely customize notifications, particularly when pushed through the mobile app and smart devices. For example, the tool will not push through a phone on silent, the tone cannot be altered, and the occasional notification glitch may stop them from getting through at all.
OnPage starts at $13.99/user/month and has a free 7-day trial.
NinjaRMM has been recognized by G2 Crowd as the #1 top-rated remote monitoring and management (RMM) system in eight categories, including ease of use, product direction, quality of support, and overall satisfaction. It’s a real-time endpoint management tool for patch management and updates.
NinjaRMM uses a favorites list, an intuitive and complete dashboard design, and live updates for the workstations and servers which scored them bonus points in the Usability evaluation consideration.
Integrations include TeamViewer, Splashtop, Webroot, Bitdefender, Malwarebytes, StorageCraft, CloudBerry Lab, Accelo, Autotask, ConnectWise, Computicate, Harmony PSA, Promys, RepairShopr, SherpaDesk, IT Glue, Passportal, Warranty Master, and more.
One downside is that this relatively new-to-the-space incident software may seem a bit feature-light compared to others on this list. Their roadmap is robust, though, and they deliver updates frequently.
NinjaRMM starts at $3/user/month and has a free 30-day trial.
Rundeck began in 2010 as an open-source project created by founders Damon Edwards, Alex Honor, and Greg Schueler. Rundeck works as part of any IT operations strategy with features like automated runbooks, unlimited nodes, and self-service for provisioning.
A standout component of Rundeck is a seamless open-source tool that can connect to Jenkins and Salt, and will run scripts managed by a rerun. Integration with external sources for node and options data is a valuable feature.
Integrations include PagerDuty, Bluecat Networks Gateway Plugin, ABAP SAP, GitHub, Ansible, VMware, Docker Container, GCP Nodes, Logstash, Jabber, WebDev, Slack, Azure, Jira, Powershell AWS, Hipchat, Google Cloud, Cloudify, and more.
As the second most expensive tool on this list, Rundeck struggled somewhat in the Value for Cost section of the evaluation and review. This was aggravated by the fact that they don’t offer a free trial, which can make it tough to assess what you are getting before you commit.
Rundeck starts at $20,000/year and has a free demo.
ServiceNow is a 6-time Gartner Magic Quadrant for ITSM Tools Leader designed to transform the impact, speed, and delivery of IT services. With it, users can automate support for common requests with virtual agents powered by natural language understanding (NLU).
ServiceNow boasts a colorful, organized, and sleek interface and menuing system that will appeal to users of all experience levels. Dashboards are tightly designed, making it easy to glean and gather information. Hence, a favorable score in the evaluation review for UX.
Integrations include Evergreen Instance Analyzer, VividCharts, Unifi, YDS OneSearch, Automize Me, Guardrails, Kudos, 4Facility, SalesWon, SAP KeyUser Pro, Dynamic Workflow, GraBit, newLab, AssetTrack, Yansa TrendSeeker, EZPrinter, HR Talent Management, Fujitsu Cloud ERP, Org Hierarchy, and more.
A downside of the ServiceNow system is the user’s request list has some peculiarities, like poor sorting and searching for completed tickets or closed requests still appearing in the “My Open Requests” menu erroneously.
ServiceNow starts at $10,000/year and has free Personal Developer Instances (PDIs) to build apps or try the software.
Issuetrak boasts a 25-year track record of developing innovative issue-tracking and process management software for companies of all sizes. Users are empowered to set up fixed schedule submissions for issues that occur regularly, like routine maintenance requests.
One thing users will appreciate most about Issuetrak is its ability to minutely categorize any and every issue you come across. There is a robust list of problem categories designed to cover every problem scenario you can think of.
Issuetrak allows for administrators to seamlessly integrate other third-party apps with the Issuetrak API. However, Issuetrak did not list specific applications or plugins on their website.
As you can probably tell from the associated screenshot, Issuetrak’s interface is nothing to write home about. A bland design and dated feel lost them a few points in the UX section of the evaluation criteria consideration.
Issuetrak starts at $59/user/month and has a free demo.
Spiceworks is made to help users streamline and keep a tight rein on IT incidents and tasks: easily accept tickets, reply, add private comments, and close them out. Plus, use custom fields to track only what you need, access the customizable user portal, and integrate with Active Directory.
As a free-to-use tool, Spiceworks is obviously a standout in the Value for Cost segment of the evaluation criteria consideration. Rather than a monthly charge, Spiceworks relies on ad revenue from interested IT vendors, which will pop up through users’ experience with the tool.
Use Spiceworks’ API to connect tools to their system or browse already available integrations in their App Center, where you’ll find the likes of Help Desk PowerPack, Intel AMT Terminal, Portal Tweaks, SQL Server Monitor, Intel Maintenance Manager, Friendly Network Scan Entries, TeamViewer, SQL Server R2 Monitor, and more. Spiceworks is also supported on mobile devices.
One slight con of using Spiceworks is a lack of third-party integration options. You’ll notice above that they do offer many-a-plugin but most of them are developed for or by Spiceworks’ team. Your daily workflow tools may not connect nicely.
Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for a handy incident response platform, check these out.
Derdack – A notification and incident response system for on-premise and hybrid cloud deployments with drag-and-drop on-call duty and shift scheduling and reporting.
LogicManager – Advance your incident management system with automated tasks, alerts, and reminders—plus objective risk assessments.
VictorOps – Web-based software designed for on-call engineers with features like integrations, mobile-readiness, post-incident reviews, and code ownership. Ingest and aggregate incident alerts with advanced monitoring integrations and a live timeline to address critical items
Resolver – A complete view of incidents with security risk reports, drag and drop configuration, and custom reports and visualization. Resolver also offers a mobile application for ease of use.
Freshservice – SaaS-based incident management to track, prioritize, and assign tickets, automate resolution processes, and set multiple SLA policies for creating task deadlines.
LogicGate – Incident management software with custom, automated processes to respond to and address issues as they occur.
xMatters – Used by Pepsico and HSBC, this tool’s Flow Designer simplifies incident management with a no-code drag-and-drop interface. xMatters supports DevOps and other IT teams with incident management.
Mint Service Desk – A free ITSM platform with change management, communication channels, widget views, a ticket filtering view, and multi-company support.
PagerDuty – Connect to any system to analyze machine and human data and identify incidents and opportunities in real-time with machine learning.
ManageEngine – Cloud or on-premise options for incident management software with extensive reporting capabilities and codeless customizations.
SolarWinds – IT service management to automate the consolidation, management, and prioritizing of incoming tickets—with a robust employee service portal.
What Do You Think About The Above Incident Reporting Software?
What incident management system do you use? Would you recommend your current tool or are you in the market for a new incident reporting system? Are there any IT incident report tools that you would add to the above list? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.