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NOC Incident, Problem, and Change Management: Understanding the Differences

By Bee Moua, Director, Network Operations Center

Whether it’s a down network, a software malfunction, or a security incident, information technology (IT) issues have serious impacts on your productivity, bottom line, and customer trust and satisfaction. To reduce or eliminate these concerns, your company needs proper strategies to address incident management, problem management, and change management. While each of these NOC service management approaches are related, it’s critical to understand their nuances and have the tools in place to address each one.

This is where Tilson’s Network Operations Center (NOC) comes in. We provide expert and customizable monitoring and maintenance services to take the burden of incident, problem, and change management off your plate so you can focus on your business.

NOC Service Management Demystified

Incident Management: When an IT problem occurs and there is a service disruption, incident management is the process for identifying the problem, correcting the issue, and restoring service. The key objective of incident management is to minimize any negative impacts of the disruption on business operations. For example, if a company’s email server goes down, incident management would involve identifying what caused the outage and getting the server back up and running as quickly as possible.

Tilson’s NOC provides 24/7 monitoring of networks with automated ticketing and incident reporting, so we know the moment an event occurs and can kick off the incident management process. With experts in the field nationwide, our U.S.-based call center is ready to help at all hours.

Problem Management: While incident management responds to an individual service incident, problem management proactively identifies root causes to recurring incidents in order to eliminate them completely. Keeping with our email server example, let’s say a company’s email server goes down each day at the same time. Problem management would determine why this consistently happens and take the necessary steps to fix the issue and ensure it doesn’t happen moving forward.

NOC monitoring provides real-time insight into network performance, while custom dashboards and reporting allow companies to track trends and identify areas of improvement before they become issues. Tilson’s NOC not only makes data more visible, but it also gives data meaning for smarter and more efficient problem management.

Change Management: Managing changes or upgrades to a live environment or to systems and applications in production is considered change management. The goal of change management is to handle changes in a controlled manner with minimum disruptions to IT services. As an example, if a business was upgrading its software to a newer version, change management would be the planning and implementation needed to upgrade in a way that minimizes downtime and doesn’t disrupt employees or clients.

From Tilson’s NOC team to its software implementation experts, we understand what it takes to make changes, big and small, to a live or production environment. We will work with you to find the best way forward to reduce interruptions to your own IT networks.

Take the Next Step in NOC Service Management

While incident, problem, and change management may seem similar at first, they each play unique roles in maintaining a smooth IT environment. By implementing intentional NOC service management strategies, businesses can mitigate disruptions, resolve issues more quickly, and keep their IT infrastructure updated, all contributing to the achievement of their overall business objectives.

If you need guidance for your own NOC service management approach or want help getting started with incident, problem, or change management, Tilson’s NOC is ready to chat with you.

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