Enterprise Service Management (ESM) Ticket Classification


The following provides an overview of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) definitions of classification types, provides sample use cases, and provides additional notes regarding how these classifications are used within Enterprise Service Management (ESM).

For some, the distinction between Service Request and Incident is often quite blurry with strong disagreements between a department's employees. The definitions below are based upon the latest ITIL framework guidance, and is a generally recommended best-practice. While it is not necessary for different departments to agree on the distinction between the two classifications, it is important that within any specific ESM ticketing application that the classification is used consistently by all individuals with access to that ticketing application.

Every ticket created must have the correct classification type.

ITIL Classification Definitions

Service Request

A request from a customer for information, or advice, or some existing service to be provided. Service Requests are usually handled by a Service Desk, and do not require an Request For Change (RFC) to be submitted. Service requests are not as urgent as incidents, major incidents, or problems, and they can be scheduled in accordance with existing work priorities.

Examples include: resetting a password, setting up a computer for a new employee, request for training on a product or service.


An unplanned interruption to a Service or a reduction in the Quality of a Service. Failure of a Configuration Item that has not yet impacted one or more Services is also an Incident.

Examples include: network disruptions, the server is down, etc.

Major Incident

An event which has significant impact or urgency for the business/organization and which demands a response beyond the routine incident management process.

A major incident will be an incident that is either defined in the major incident procedure or which:

  • may either cause, or have the potential to cause, impact on business critical services or systems (which can be named in the major incident procedure);
  • or be an incident that has significant impact on reputation, legal compliance, regulation or security of the business/organization.
Service requests are not included in a Major Incident


The addition, modification, or removal of anything that could have an effect on IT System. The Scope should include all IT Services, Configuration Items, Processes, Documentation etc.


A cause of one or more Incidents. The cause is not usually known at the time a Problem Record is created, and the Problem Management Process is responsible for further investigation.

It is important not to confuse Incident management with Problem management. Incident management is focused on resolving issues as soon as possible and restoring service back to normalcy, whereas problem management is primary focused on providing either a viable workaround for a recurring incident/issue, or a permanent resolution.

Is there any additional information I should know about?

If the wrong ticket classification type is used, change it to the correct type. Instructions can be found at Change Ticket Classification

Need additional help or have issues

For support, requests may be submitted anytime by Requesting Support for the Enterprise Service Management service. Support Requests are worked by Priority based on the Impact and Urgency of need as well as the order they are received by the IT Employees with the knowledge and permissions to assist with the request.

For immediate assistance please review the Contact Us page for ways to contact the appropriate support group.

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Article ID: 437
Fri 1/22/21 6:07 AM
Tue 9/5/23 9:44 AM