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Key Criteria for Evaluating Incident Response Platforms (IRPs)v2.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. IRP Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take
  8. About Ron Williams

1. Summary

Incident response platforms (IRP) are specialized tools designed to streamline the detection, management, and resolution of incidents within IT systems and operations. By consolidating alerts, facilitating real-time communication, automating escalation processes, and integrating with monitoring and collaboration tools, IRPs enable organizations to address and mitigate issues rapidly, ensuring minimal service disruption and optimizing system uptime. As the core of IT operations, they are pivotal in maintaining system health, availability, and performance.

Scheduling and escalation are the backbone of IRP solutions. Incidents must be assigned to a resource, either an individual or a team. Which resources are available when an incident is prioritized determines how quickly the problem is resolved–or in the case of major incidents, when business activities may resume. Ideally, managing resource schedules is a simple process. However, individuals have paid time off, become ill, or have personal emergencies that could interfere with workload and timely response to incidents. The higher the priority of the incident and the greater the impact to the business, the more critical the ability to reassign an incident to another resource or escalate to a team lead, line manager, or supervisor.

The evolution in IRPs has been measured, with incremental feature additions and user interface improvements. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence have entered the IRP space, adding functionality that allows auto-remediation of known events, consolidation of related incidents, and creation of reports at the conclusion of incidents, all of which give operations teams insights to improve the recurrence of the same or related issues.

A new generation of collaboration tools such as Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams, among others, has improved group communication, alerting, and responsiveness for many teams. In many cases, these tools provide prebuilt, out-of-the-box integration features–and custom integration via APIs or other means–with a wide variety of commonly used applications and platforms. When reviewing IRPs, it’s important to understand the organization’s existing use of communications infrastructure–it’s often deeply ingrained in workflows and culture. A solution requiring new collaboration tools or skills may slow implementation and compliance.

This is the second year that GigaOm has reported on the incident response space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the past year.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report highlights the capabilities (table stakes, key criteria, and emerging technologies) and non-functional requirements (evaluation metrics) for selecting an effective IRP solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those capabilities and metrics. Together, these reports provide an overview of the category and its underlying technology, identify leading incident response offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.