Key Components of a Good IT Incident Report

An IT incident report documents a specific event that causes disruption or delay in the service of operating systems. It is used by IT teams to record the details of the incident and actions performed to solve the issue.

An IT incident report should be created once an issue occurs, no matter how big or small. In some cases, IT teams neglect to create an incident report when one could have easily addressed the issue. It is a simple action that has a large impact on any business because it could prevent bigger threats, such as data loss or system breakdown.

An incident report is essential in raising an organization’s awareness about the things that go wrong within an IT system. Reporting an incident is easy to do, but what else makes a good IT incident report? Here are key components that can help you to create a good IT incident report:

Description of the Incident

You cannot solve a problem unless you have the details of an incident. Describe and classify the issue as reported by the user. Do not put opinions and hypothetical solutions that may cause confusion and misconfiguration. Analyze the root cause to determine the extent of the issue and be as factual as possible. Include supporting documents, such as screenshots, received emails, and quoted user statements, if necessary.

Affected Systems

Point out all systems that have been impacted by the service outage. Categorize whether it’s a hardware, software, or network issue. This will help to determine that which group from the IT team should work on the issue.

Don’t forget to send a notification to all users of the affected systems. This will help to lessen the probability of other users experiencing and reporting the same issue.

Priority Level

Determine the gravity of the issue and its effect on the business. This will help IT teams to decide which issues to address first. Consider these factors when prioritizing issues:

  • Impact: How will the service outage affect business activity?

Determine whether the issue involves loss of or compromised data, damaged systems, system downtime, financial loss, integrity damage, or violation of legislation.

  • Urgency: Will the service outage cause delays to business output?

Check the maximum time required in resolving the problem. Would the damage caused by the incident expand rapidly? Could the issue delay the submission of deliverables?


Record all the steps taken to solve the issue. Take note if it has been escalated for further investigation and diagnosis. This would help to determine if you have successfully resolved the issue or need to reassess and come up with an alternative solution. The team can also use this for future reference if ever the same problem occurs again.

Effectively communicating IT system incidents or events across the organization will help to raise awareness and improve overall safety and efficiency. Furthermore, these events can be minimized, if not prevented, through regular maintenance checks of your server, equipment, and other IT systems.

About the Author

Jona TarlengcoJona Tarlengco is a content writer for SafetyCulture, a software company that enables businesses to perform inspections using digital checklists. By enhancing the overall digital inspection experience, SafetyCulture has helped companies across the globe to enhance efficiency and safety standards by providing intuitive digital checklists for IT incident reports and others.



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