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ITSM: IT Incidents vs. IT Service Requests


A deeper dive into IT Service Management (ITSM), a way of ensuring that what Information Technology Services does matches what you need, means using the right terminology. Two key terms are “incident” and “service request”.

Per ITIL, the ITSM framework we are using, an incident is an unplanned interruption to a service or reduction in the quality of a service. In other words, something is broken and needs to be fixed. For example, your printer has an error message and won’t print, or your computer can’t get on the network. Incidents are usually unplanned, have a limited effect on one user or service, and need more immediate resolution.

A service request, on the other hand, is a request for something to be provided. Nothing is broken; you just need an available service that you weren’t using before. At our campus, installing a new computer, creating a new listserv, or accessing Banner in a new role are all examples of service requests. Service requests usually can be planned and scheduled, and they follow a predefined process.

In our current ticketing system, incidents and service requests are handled much the same way, which slows resolution. However, our new IT service site, coming in July, will send service requests straight to the people who can address them, meaning a quicker return to business for you!

In the coming weeks, you’ll learn more about the services that are available to you, and the place where you can find them all.

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