Four Reasons to Use an Escalation Policy

Four Reasons to Use an Escalation Policy Let’s set the scene – an IT professional just received a critical alert, notifying him of an urgent matter. Unfortunately, due to a distracting social event, this professional is completely unaware of the notification. Even worse, he receives incident alerts via email, a communication method which doesn’t have the ability to forward the alert to another person if he doesn’t respond within a short time frame. Maybe he should stop attending social events.

Or, his IT team should develop an escalation policy along with technology that automatically puts the policy into action. Let’s look at four reasons why IT teams should use an escalation policy.

1. Ensuring Alerts are Always Addressed

As mentioned, an escalation policy guarantees that a critical alert is addressed by on-call team members. That’s because escalation policies provide pre-determined criteria, allowing IT managers to select who’ll receive an alert. After selection, alert notifications are fully automated through a digital scheduler, guaranteeing that alerts reach the right person’s smartphone, every time. As a result, IT teams can meet their SLA requirements, quickly resolve downtime issues and satisfy their clients.

Further, alert automation isn’t limited to a single notification type. Whether it’s application alerts, support desk alerts, ticketing alerts or monitoring alerts, all notifications are guaranteed to follow a manager’s implemented escalation policy.

So, what happens in the unlikely event that an alert goes unaddressed after it goes through the entire escalation list? In this case, an escalation policy creates a failover report, which provides information regarding an incident. With this information, an IT manager can then make the proper adjustments, guaranteeing that an alert is properly addressed during an inevitable, future incident. It’s a sure way to improve team accountability, enhance incident resolution performance and reduce human error.

2. Improving Alert Visibility

Escalation policies are often accompanied by redundancies, which enable redundant messaging to phone, SMS and email. Consequently, an alert will always be displayed front and center to all on-call participants or groups.

But, improved alert visibility doesn’t stop there. Incident management platforms, such as OnPage, provide continuous, audible alerts that last for up to eight hours until acknowledged. With this feature, on-call teams can distinguish between their alerts and quickly become aware of an ongoing incident, even at three in the morning.

By easily distinguishing between critical and lower priority incidents, IT teams can also reduce alert fatigue and resulting burnout.

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3. Guaranteeing Incidents are Resolved Within a Time Period

With an escalation policy, IT managers no longer have to wonder when an incident will be acknowledged and resolved. Instead, an escalation policy allows managers to pre-determine the amount of time to wait before an alert is routed to another team member. This ensures that IT teams quickly solve a client’s downtime or server issues for business continuity. By minimizing downtime, IT pros can save medium-sized organizations as much as $1 million per year. Similarly, downtime reduction saves large enterprises more than $60 million on an annual basis.

4. Escalation for Better Communication

Everybody enjoys viewing a good image, screenshot or picture! With a robust escalation policy, IT teams can provide further detail into an incident through informative attachments. At its core, visualizations are more effective in explaining an issue than simple, long text messages. It’s an advanced way to immediately understand an incident and to create appropriate solutions.

Escalate Alerts with OnPage

There’s no question that an escalation policy improves on-call team performance and ensures business continuity. IT teams can turn to OnPage for a reliable, incident management platform. Features of the OnPage platform include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Escalation and Redundancies
  • Alert Automation
  • Reporting
  • Persistent Alerts (Failover Reports)
  • On-call Scheduling

Additionally, OnPage offers a comprehensive scheduler, allowing IT managers to create alert routing policies regardless of country or location. Incident management and resolution are made simple with OnPage, a platform that enables IT teams to productively address critical alerts on a timely basis.

Interested to learn more about escalation policies? Download our latest white paper entitled, A Guide to Mastering Alert Escalation for best practices.


What are escalation policies?
Escalation policies are used for on-call management and ensure that the secondary response team is alerted when the primary response team doesn’t acknowledge a critical alert. This ensures that incidents are swiftly responded to, to mitigate potential incident impacts.
Are escalation policies and tiered support systems the same?
No, escalation policies automatically route incident alerts to a secondary response team when an alert is not acknowledged in a specified time period, while a tiered support system is used when the primary responder is not capable of resolving an alert alone, so they escalate the incident to a subject matter expert to ensure successful resolution.
Do pagers support escalation policies?
No, pagers do not support escalation policies, senders must manually escalate incident, which unfortunately delays incident repsonse. Luckily, newer, advanced incident alerting tools, like OnPage, automatically route alerts to secondary responders in the event where the primary response team misses an alert.

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