How To Choose An Incident Management System

Factors you should consider when selecting an incident management system, including what features to look for & how to select a software vendor.

March 7, 2023 · READ

Your organization’s physical security is a top priority. The right incident management system will enable your security team to observe, document, and respond to situations through data collection that may otherwise be missed. This means that the data won’t be fragmented, thus preventing more near misses and capturing more details during an incident.

Choosing the right incident management system takes thought — and like most strategic business decisions, it pays to get it right the first time.

The right solution is something your security operations and investigations staff will have to rely on every day. You need to know that it works, that you can be confident about its value, and that your incident management tools can grow with your business.

To learn how to take a proactive approach to incident management, you first need to know how to determine the best incident management software for your organization. Get the Ultimate Guide Now.

What is an incident management platform?

First things first: what is an incident management platform? Why do you need one for your organization? Who’s responsible for maintaining an incident management system?

Physical security incident management software is designed to help you manage and respond to physical security incidents in a timely and efficient manner. It typically includes a range of features to support incident reporting, tracking, and analysis, as well as tools for communication and collaboration among relevant stakeholders.  

No matter what industry you’re in, your organization has a responsibility to take action against existing and potential security threats. As technology advances, so does the sophistication of threats to your organization’s security. An incident management platform allows you and your security team to take a proactive approach to protect your organization, providing an easily accessible software solution that supports your incident management team workflow, from intake to reporting on your impact. In addition to improving your data collection and analysis, the right incident management software solution can fast-track your organization’s security investments and needs by allowing you to show the effects of vulnerabilities on KPIs and the ability to report on the impact of security initiatives.

The best incident management solutions improve a robust security program by decreasing gaps in visibility while providing greater efficiency, clearer insights, quicker time to value, and complete, comprehensive security.

Who is responsible for maintaining a physical security incident management software system?

The responsibility for maintaining a physical security incident management software system can vary depending on the organization and the specific system in question. In general, it is often the responsibility of the organization’s security or risk management team to oversee the implementation, configuration, and ongoing maintenance of the system.

The security or risk management team may work in collaboration with other teams within the organization, such as facilities management, IT, and legal, to ensure that the system is properly configured and integrated with other systems and processes. The security team may also be responsible for defining incident response procedures, training staff on how to use the system, and regularly testing the system to ensure that it is functioning properly. Additionally, some organizations may choose to outsource the maintenance and support of their physical security incident management software system to a third-party vendor, in which case the vendor would be responsible for maintaining the system on behalf of the organization.

Read more: Avengers, assemble! Roles and responsibilities of your incident management team

What features & benefits should I look for in incident management software?

When determining the incident management system that will work best with your organization, there are critical features to consider. Your ideal incident management solution must:

  • Have simple tools that are easily accessible to the people who use them
  • Can be customized to include the features and configurations you need for your organization’s use cases
  • Provide reliable risk data and reporting capabilities

Before comparing available incident management solutions, you first need to know what type of system you need. To do this, ask yourself:

  • Do you need a workflow system to help you stay on top of incidents, investigations, and assignments
  • Would it be beneficial to you to have a case management solution where you can group multiple incidents together?
  • Do you require an investigations section that can be hidden from other users?
  • How robust does your reporting need to be?
    • Do you have an internal person doing data analysis, or would you need the tools to do this yourself?
    • Are you looking to remove the need for a third-party reporting system?
  • How important is your search functionality?
    • Do you want to be able to search everything in your incident management system, including user-defined fields?
  • Do you need real-time dispatching and officer management software?
  • Is it important for you to have a way for your employees, or anyone in the corporation, to fill out an incident report or request an officer using their desktop, tablet, or smartphone?
  • Do you need anonymous incident reporting capabilities, like hotlines?

Now that you know the basics to look for, here are some of the most important features and benefits to look out for:

Efficiency and ease of use

When searching for an effective incident management platform, comparing your options is key. Speaking to vendors can help better understand their systems, but understand that they want the sale; so they’ll try to convince you that their incident management solution is the best out there. Consider your organization’s needs, including:

  • How can it help keep track of your organization’s incidents, and make sure business rules are enforced
  • For an individual user, how easy is it to query data, and gather reports about a specific activity, incident, investigation, or case?
  • Are the incident management tools usable out of the box?

Look at how the incident management system makes your workflow more efficient on a macro and micro level. There are no absolute numbers here, but the solution should minimize the number of clicks to create an incident, eliminate redundancies, and, ultimately, detect, and manage security threats.

Don’t just take a vendor’s word that their solution is the best. Challenge them to give you a demo, speak to their customer references, and create a proof of concept when needed. Let them show you how closely the incident management system fits with how you work. If it doesn’t fit right out of the box, then look at what adjustments need to be made so that their application can fit your existing system.

Flexibility, adaptability, & scalability

As your business grows, you don’t want to be stuck with a cap on users or a singular region limit. Make sure the application can grow and adapt to your security department and the company as a whole. After all, in the future, you may want to have your HR, Legal, or Brand Protection departments adapt and share your incident management solution.

Almost every software deployment is dynamic, and the needs of two customers will never be exactly the same. You want to make sure that the vendor offers a strong out-of-the-box application that can be configured to meet your unique needs.

When shopping around, it’s important to consider:

  • How easy is it to change up the fields and fields labels (even add new fields) to match your organization’s terminology and priorities?
  • Will any of these changes impact your ability to update to new releases?
  • Can the solution grow as your security department does?
  • How difficult is it to add new users or locations?

Keep in mind that you can always ask the vendor to work with you to solve unique challenges or information requirements. For example, if your company has a policy where a year or more of data needs to be purged, ask your incident management solution vendor if they can create a script that allows that to happen.

Data segregation & application security

Another feature may want in your security incident management platform is the ability to allow sharing of certain types of data (say, for collaboration between your IT and Legal departments during an investigation). At the same time, you want to ensure that a security officer isn’t seeing all the information that the Director of Security sees. That’s why, when comparing incident management software, you should look at:

  • Whether or not the incident management tools let you share or restrict data
  • If the incident management solution can accommodate your data-sharing needs while, at the same time, enforcing data security

Integrations & mobile solutions

Integration and interoperability are key for your security operations center (SOC). Whether it’s other devices, security applications, ERPs, or legacy systems, you’ll need to ensure that the data flow can be pushed and pulled between the incident management system and other applications.

Adding a mobile solution can also help security officers or investigators who are in the field. Having activity, incidents, people, vehicles, and company data on a smartphone are critical. Your team needs to connect from anywhere, at any time.

Depending on your organization’s needs, having an incident management system that breaks down data silos may be an important feature. Other items to consider may include:

  • An open API or a web service that allows you to connect the system to other applications
  • An AI-enabled incident management software that either integrates into an existing or runs on its own, application for ease of use
  • A mobile solution with the same (or similar) capabilities of a desktop application
  • The ability to create an incident on a mobile app and synced later if an internet connection is lost
  • Uploading photos and videos from smartphones right into an incident record

For more, take a guided tour to see Resolver’s Incident Management Software in action.

How do I choose the best incident management platform for my organization?

Now that you know what to look for in an incident management platform, it’s time to select the right vendor. It’s important to remember that an effective solution will provide support before, during, and after an incident. From monitoring to communicating and following up, there are plenty of full-service platforms for you to compare. Below are some factors you may want to consider:

Company authority

When considering an incident management solution, ask questions about the vendor and their clients. This will help you get a better sense of their expertise and capacity to handle deployment for your organization.

  • Has the company been around for a while or are they a start-up?
  • Have they completed three to five deployments of similar size and scope?

If the vendor you’re considering is a start-up with fewer than three deployments at sizes and scopes similar to your organization’s, it’s very possible that they’re biting off more than they can chew. However, it’s also entirely possible that they have the capabilities to fulfill your needs. In order to figure out which option applies, you need to press them for more information. Make sure that they know exactly what your needs are, and don’t be afraid to provide detailed examples so you can be confident in their abilities.


Look at the partnerships your potential vendor has established, and how they fit in your overall security integration incident management operations. Integrations can save you money and time by bringing each of your systems together in one place. As your incident management system is a long-term solution, can the vendor fit your current and future needs?

  • Do they have a partner list of systems they can integrate with?
  • Can they do custom integrations? What about connectors out of the box?
  • Do they have a forward-thinking partnership strategy that allows their system to adapt to future technology changes and needs?

Data migration

This is important. You want to make sure that all of your current data can be migrated into your new system, especially when it comes to reporting. And, if you opt for a hosted model with your data stored in the cloud, find out what sort of data backup the vendor has in place to ensure your data is always safe. When speaking to a potential vendor about their incident management platform, it’s important to know if:

  • They can migrate data from your current system (should you be switching to a new incident management solution)
  • The quality of that data will improve, or if existing issues will continue
  • The transferred information will be reformatted
  • The potential fees for data migration are worth it

Support & resources

When sourcing a new incident management system for your organization, make sure your potential vendor has the resources to provide quality service in addition to the product. Some of your systems are going to be mission-critical, such as a dispatching system that runs into a security operations center. These systems cannot fail, so make sure the vendor has a backup plan.

Selecting the best incident management system can seem overwhelming, but knowing what you need, and how you want the system to work, will help you find the right solution for your organization to rely on now and in the future. Consider these questions when speaking to a potential vendor:

  • What types of training and support do they provide before, during, and after deployment?
  • Do they have board-certified security professionals (CPPs) on staff that can assist you with setting up your incident management software?
  • Do they have a dedicated project management team to ensure timelines are met?
  • Is their tech support done in-house or outsourced? Is it available 24/7?

What makes Resolver’s Incident Management Software stand out?

Resolver’s incident management software solution improves data capture, increases operational efficiency, and generates actionable insights to let security teams get ahead of incidents. Resolver’s built-in reporting capabilities enable security leaders to prove the value of their fast-track investments through an easy-to-use, best-in-class platform. After adopting Resolver’s incident management solution, customers estimated that their ability to report on the impact of their security initiatives improved by 40%. “No-code-required” implementations add to the ease of use and are supported by our highly skilled and experienced implementation team.

Are you interested in purchasing an incident management software platform for your organization? Resolver’s risk intelligence software is trusted by over 1,000 of the world’s largest organizations.

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