CAI Managed IT Blog
Improve Your Business With These Documentation Practices
With the amount of technology that the modern business relies on today, each business needs to maintain comprehensive documentation outlining it. As a managed service provider, we can provide an expert perspective on what needs to be included in this documentation. Let’s get into it.
What Should My Documentation Include?
Basically, your documentation should be a complete inventory of all the technology you have, first divided between your hardware and software solutions.
There’s a lot of information regarding your hardware solutions that you will want to keep a record of, as it will make a lot of processes a lot simpler moving forward.
Serial/Model Numbers – These will help you to ensure that the device you are working on is the one you think it is, in addition to simplifying things for your support team.
Purchase Dates – If any of your decisions are going to be based on the age of the device (i.e. whether to repair or replace), knowing how long you have had it will help you to evaluate if you got the value from your investment.
Warranty Information – On a related note, knowing the terms of an item’s warranty can help you make the best decision for your business while taking this into consideration.
Installation Dates – Let’s say that one of your workstations is acting up. If you knew that it was installed the day before an extended brownout hit your office, this information could help you narrow down the issue.
Physical Locations – It is important to know where a device is supposed to be. This makes it easier for the service team to keep it maintained, as well as boosts your security somewhat.
Device Names – Having a name for a specific device, aside from the one the manufacturer assigned, adds another level of differentiation.
IP Addresses – If you need to find something on your network, knowing the IP address will help immensely.
Just as is the case with your hardware, there’s a lot of information about your software to carefully record and track. Make sure you’re establishing the following in your documentation:
Product Licenses – Similarly to the serial number, keeping track of your product licenses ensures you are aware of how many copies of a given title you have available to use.
Purchase Dates – Again, as with your hardware, knowing when you acquired something helps you find out of your purchase is still under warranty, along with other pertinent details.
Install Dates – Once again, if you know when a given software was installed on a system, you’ll know a lot more about it through inference and deduction.
Subscription Details – If you maintain a subscription to a software suite or similar tool, keeping track of your subscription details can ensure your ability to use that title.
Usernames or Registration Emails - Knowing who in your organization is associated with your various software titles can help you log in to a vendor’s website or otherwise receive support later.
Version History – Finally, keeping up with your software’s current version in your documentation can help you keep track of where updates are needed, and where you may be susceptible otherwise. Of course, your documentation should outline the proper update procedures as well.
Why Bother with All This Documentation?
Simplicity. Security. Peace of mind.
Maintaining your technology will be so much easier with these details recorded for future reference, allowing you to get the maximum value for your investments into IT. For assistance in establishing these processes, or for insights about what we track, give us a call! Our professionals can be reached at (800) 422-4782.