Definition of incident and service request


ITIL provides the definition of incident and service request.


Service Request

A service request is a request from a customer for information, advice, for a standard change, and/or access to an IT service.


An incident is an unplanned interruption or reduction in the quality of an IT service.

It can also be a failure or reduction in quality of something that has not yet impacted IT service but has the potential to impact it. For instance, a failure of something for which a redundancy exists is still an incident.

Incidents may come to the attention of IT staff because they were:

  • recognized by technical staff,
  • detected and reported by event monitoring tools,
  • communicated by customers, or
  • reported by third-party suppliers and partners.