xMatters platform advancements automate incident management lifecycle phases

xMatters announced new adaptive incident management feature advancements that provide increased automation across each stage of the incident management lifecycle – diagnosis and collaboration, resolution and post-incident learning.

New features give DevOps and SRE teams the ability to collaborate across the enterprise, streamlining and automating issue resolution. Technology teams can also benefit from continuous improvement throughout the incident management lifecycle to prevent incident recurrences – leaving more time for product innovation.

Pandemic-accelerated digital transformation has placed a strain on DevOps and SRE teams responsible for maintaining digital services and uptime, while they are already under pressure to constantly deliver innovative new services.

However, traditional incident management processes do not provide organizations with the agility, adaptability or information needed to identify trends and potential areas for improvement.

The 2020 State of Automation in Incident Management study revealed that while 73.9% of support and development teams reported to perform cross-team collaboration after incidents, only 14.5% of respondents use any form of automation for postmortems and root cause analysis.

As more organizations adopt agile and DevOps, an increase in the number of change-related incidents and the furious speed of new software releases demand more automation be applied across the incident management lifecycle to accelerate actions, reduce downtime and promote continuous learning.

“Incident response automation and incident management is quickly evolving to keep pace with digital operations teams. Enterprises need a better way to assess, prevent, respond, solve and learn from technical issues and interruptions,” said Troy McAlpin, xMatters CEO.

“Easy-to-build and use automation is a precedent step toward an adaptive approach to incident management. Continuous improvement of traditional ITIL or ITSM practices toward SRE, data-driven and automated approaches are much more effective. If you want to deliver an ‘always on’ customer experience you first have to deliver automation with continuous learning to avoid, prevent and resolve impacts.”

Adaptive incident management solves the challenge of responding to service interruptions across teams, cultures and systems by allowing teams to scale up and down based on changing conditions to efficiently manage incidents of all sizes, impacts and severities.

New xMatters platform advancements further enable this adaptive approach by applying increased automation to the phases within the incident management lifecycle. The following innovations address incident management challenges that technology teams face:

  • Diagnosis and collaboration: New ChatOps integrations offer time-saving ways to engage with incidents and collaborate across teams. With the app for Slack and the new xMatters capabilities in Microsoft Teams, DevOps and SRE teams can remain in their app of choice when declaring an incident and also access incident details for easier collaboration and seamless incident resolution. For on-the-go teams, Android and iOS mobile apps make it possible to manage incidents regardless of location.
  • Resolve: To facilitate automated incident responses, reduced downtime and improved overall customer experience, new xMatters Incident Resolution Templates and walk-through guides pre-package workflows for easy customization. Additionally, the new merge step functionality within xMatters Flow Designer reduces the effort and complexity of creating workflows. Teams can now reuse parts of their workflows without losing the valuable context that each unique path provides.
  • Post-incident learning: New purpose-built processes guide teams to create an informed postmortem and thorough record of an incident. With the single press of a button, the new Post–incident Report Builder automatically allows teams to review the incident’s impact and timeline; the root cause and contributing factors; as well as actions taken to mitigate and resolve. Teams can also document and assign follow-up tasks, and create reports that drive learning, continuous improvement and the prevention of recurrences.

These advancements are powered by the foundational architecture of the xMatters platform. This includes Flow Designer for workflow automation; application agnostic integrations that can be used to build powerful toolchains; robust data capture capabilities that allow teams to create comprehensive post-incident reports; sophisticated on-call management, reporting and group definitions; and configurable dashboards for visual incident and team performance tracking.

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