Why need an Incident Command System?
In 1970, a series of devastating wildfires swept across California, destroying more than 700 homes over 775 square miles in 13 days with 13 fatalities, and resulting in more than $233 million in losses (over $1 billion in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation). Thousands of firefighters from around the state and beyond responded, but found it very difficult to work together. They certainly knew how to fight fires, but lacked a common management framework that could scale up and down with the incident. They also lacked a standardized approach for incident leadership. Shortly thereafter, several fire service leaders created a revolutionary system for managing emergencies that range from the everyday fire and medical emergency to large-scale emergency events that make the national news. The Incident Command System (ICS) was born, which has since evolved into the Incident Management System (IMS).
This is how Rob Schnepp, Ron Vidal, and Chris Hawley summarized how ICS was developed and evolved into a nation-wide used Incident Management System in the U.S in their Incident Management for Operations book. Modeled after this, we are introducing the best Incident Command System for the digital world, as incidents in this sphere have become intolerable and even devastating. Leveraging the ICS best practices as they directly apply to IT incidents, we introduced our state-of-the-art Incident Response Orchestration platform, and now we are proud to introduce our Incident Command Center (ICC). The ICC complements our previously announced Incident Response Orchestration capabilities to a great extend by enabling the most efficient incident communication and collaboration for the digital world.
Just like ICS, OpsGenie’s Incident Command Center is designed to deal with complexities associated with commanding, controlling, and coordinating the critical response to IT problems. The system tackles problems that cause slow and ineffective response such as:
- Complexities associated with having to use and switch between various tools and platforms during incident response
- Unclear lines of communication
- Difficulty in organizing various teams to access the collaboration platform from different geographies
- Blurred lines of authority leading to response delays and confusion
- Difficulty coordinating the planning among multiple teams
- Lack of accurate and reliable information on the collaboration platform
Our Incident Command Center resolves these problems by:
- Instantly notifying and bringing all responders together in a virtual war room with OpsGenie-Hosted audio & video conferencing.
- Displaying the status and progress of each responder team within the platform itself.
- Granting visibility into the incident status and efforts to see who is actively working on the issue or if extra responders need to be contacted to help.
- Enabling responders and stakeholders to join via mobile devices. It doesn't matter where your responders are or which tools they have access to at that moment; they can start to collaborate easily by clicking a button on their mobile device
- Initiating and tracking all status updates and actions, from one centralized dashboard. No need to switch between various tools such as monitoring, service status page, chat or ticketing tools - the Incident Command Center brings them all together.
- Reporting and analyzing completed sessions’ collaboration metrics for post-incident analysis. This way, learn your team's’ response patterns, see what can be improved and feed your decision-making by your own data.
The Incident Command Center is available upon request for Enterprise plans and up; please contact us to experience it yourself!