Everyone is familiar with the saying, "why reinvent the wheel?" We use this whenever someone is putting a great deal of effort into solving a problem that already has an optimal solution. We know it is wrong to waste effort this way.
So why are so many IT teams okay with reinventing the wheel when it comes to incident management?
Anyone who has spent any length of time working in a technical field has seen examples of reinventing the wheel. An incident occurs, a ticket is raised, and then whoever is assigned the ticket goes about solving the issue. Maybe someone says "yeah, I think that's happened before", but then can't remember what the solution was. Time ends up being wasted solving a problem that has already been solved. Then the next time the same type of issue occurs, someone else is assigned the ticket and the process begins anew. The time wasted in this effort results in disgruntled customers and increased operational costs.
A key way to combat this dilemma is through automation. During the post-mortem for an incident, your organization should look at the steps involved in the process and see which ones can be automated. I'm not saying that the entire process can be automated. Sure, in an ideal world you could automate every incident management flow. In practice this will never happen. However, most solution paths present opportunities for automation.
As you identify automation paths, it is important to keep an eye out for automation components that can be used in other incident types. As you build out a library of organizational automation tools, using them across incident types and organizational units will magnify your ROI on your automation efforts. This will help with team scaling, insulate you from knowledge loss over time and ease incident management.
While identifying automation candidates is the bedrock for your efforts, choosing tools with strong automation components is a requirement in actualizing your efforts. All the theory in the world won't help you without a way to implement your ideas. In the world of incident management, this begins with your service desk choice. Jira Service Desk (JSD) from Atlassian was created with automation as one of its cornerstones. This strength of automation is one of the reasons JSD has seen such rapid growth in the ITSM community.