Article | June 23, 2020

Driving Agility: Runbooks

Source: IT Glue

By Jonathan James

Documentation Traps

You never know what the next catastrophe will be. The future doesn’t disclose what’s to come, and so your only plan of action is to be agile enough to sidestep or weather whatever storm comes your way. This series of blog posts zones in on specific IT Glue features that provide the agility you need. First up: Runbooks.

What are Runbooks?

The Runbooks feature lets you generate professionally formatted documentation packets in .pdf format. These packets give offline access to structured information in IT Glue, whether it’s for a single client, a group of clients, or all of your clients—each organization gets its own .pdf file.

You might be asking: Why would a world and industry that’s gone digital need such an analog feature?

Well, I’d bet cold hard cash that you have at least one client who grew up in the age where hard-copies were the status quo, and they just need the peace of mind that a physical record provides. Runbooks let you quickly and easily satisfy this neurosis. But that’s not all.

Scenario 1: Economic Recession

Downturns of the economy are inevitable. The ebb and flow of world markets impact your clients, and therefore your MSP. When things go south, not everyone survives the storm. Some of your clients will take a really big hit, and some might not make it.

This means your MSP is faced with multiple clients terminating their contract, all while you’re faced with stretched resources, rising accounts receivables and increased pressure on your net income. In this situation you need to be able to act fast and efficiently.

Runbooks give your MSP the agility to execute sudden, large scale offboarding. Client data is exported into two main sections (Core Assets and Flexible Assets), and automatically generated so there’s nothing your help desk has to configure. The only exception is when it comes to masking password values to protect private information.

Client information is handed over and a positive relationship is maintained, increasing the likelihood that they’ll re-engage your MSP when the situation improves. The offboarding process is quick and painless for everyone.

Scenario 2: Natural Disaster

Natural disasters are relatively rare and few people expect them to occur, but you should always plan for the worst case scenario. Say, for example, that a client of yours has an office located in northern Texas right along Tornado Alley. A twister rips through the client’s office, causing severe damage. IT infrastructure is down and operations are completely crippled.

If the client’s records are gone, they’ll look to you, since you have a complete record of their physical IT environment. This information can support the process of proving what insurance coverage they should get, and help you rebuild their IT infrastructure as quickly as possible. Runbooks makes this a simple and straightforward process. This document can be used to validate what insurance coverage the client should receive, and can be used when discussing with the client how to rebuild and optimize their IT infrastructure.

Scenario 3: New Compliance Standards

Government standards for the protection and privacy of user data are becoming established around the world. Standards vary, but one key area is the end user’s right to request and receive all the information you have about them. Once again Runbooks can help meet this standard, and even has the ability to execute automatic scheduled Runbooks, making this process even more streamlined and straightforward.