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Acronym soup for IT incident management: Lower your MTTK


IT incidents can range from simple power outages to very serious DDoS attacks. No matter the severity, your goal as an IT Operations professional should be to lower “Mean Time to Repair.” More than just an interesting acronym, if this is process is not handled effectively, and in a timely fashion, your organization could see a decrease in productivity, significant damage to its reputation, and/or a drop in revenue.     So what is MTTR? According to Forrester Research’s Stephanie Balaouras, Vice President & Research Director, and Security & Risk, MTTR consists of four distinct parts:     1. Mean Time to Identify (MTTI): The time it takes to detect an incident 2. Mean Time to Know (MTTK): The time it takes to notify and inform the IT response team 3. Mean Time to Fix (MTTF): The time it takes to implement the fix 4. Mean Time to Verify (MTTV): The time it takes to verify that the fix is working     All four distinct parts of MTTR are significant but the most critical is “Mean Time to Know.” The reason for this is that corporate IT ecosystems – applications, services, and infrastructure – have become increasingly complex, which, in turn, has created additional hurdles for MTTK.   Fortunately, IT Alerting solutions can be a major help when attacking MTTK as they enable your organization to leverage a variety of communication methods to reach the critical contacts and stakeholders that are required for response and action. If the right people in your organization are notified about an issue, the problem can be identified and then resolved quickly and efficiently.     As data breaches and IT outages continue to increase in regularity, critical communication systems are an important tool for all IT Operations teams. Organizations can improve (and master) MTTK by ensuring they have the ability to contact critical members of their IT team via multiple methods – SMS, email, landline, push notification, and more – to confirm receipt/response. If contacts don’t respond, the message can be automatically escalated to other resources and be used to help identify on-call resources, optimizing employee productivity during IT incidents. All of these processes can shorten your MTTK, and, in turn, your MTTR. To learn more about the importance of this acronym soup, read our whitepaper, IT Incident and Disaster Alerting: Improving MTTR Through Communication.    

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