DECISION SUPPORT IN IT SERVICE MANAGEMENT: APPLYING AHP METHODOLOGY TO THE ITIL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT PROCESS
The order in which service engineers in the field of IT service management decide to resolve incidents is crucial considering the impact it has on the business performance of the IT service provider. A possible solution to reduce negative impacts is to support service engineers by means of a decision support system that calculates priorities for the incidents based on their business impact. Considering these priorities in their decisions, service engineers can help reduce such negative impacts on the IT service provider’s business. The aim of this study was to incorporate the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) method into a software tool to prioritize incidents according to the severity of their business impact. As a result, a decision support system called Incident Prioritizer (IP) was developed. It uses the AHP method to calculate priorities for incidents based on typical criteria that are relevant in the field of IT service management to assess the business impact of incidents. These criteria are commonly defined by the management of an IT service provider organization, and reflect the management’s understanding of the business impact that is caused by incidents. The results suggest that the AHP method can be successfully applied for the given problem of incident prioritization. The prioritization is facilitated by an AHP decision model that consists of only one level of criteria and considers judgments from human beings as well as data from external information systems.