By Ali Peracha, Vice President and Founder, ITBoost
Knowledge, as the saying goes, is power. As an IT professional, it’s absolutely critical, as your organization relies on you to have visibility across systems, flag and resolve issues early, and discover new ways to be smarter with technology use.
That’s where IT documentation software comes into play.
Give Me the Lowdown
What does IT documentation software actually do? IT documentation software presents the ability to filter through multiple applications, managed endpoints, users and network configurations quickly, automatically and consistently. With easy access to information, you can gain insight on anything from billings and budgets to user satisfaction and customer feedback. Providing this kind of robust reporting to clients or managers enables them to make strong, data-driven decisions regarding technology and business operations. And the best part is, you barely have to lift a finger.
21st Century Data Collection
Ed Koch, former New York City Mayor, famously held a citizen satisfaction campaign while in office in the 1980s. He openly invited criticism by simply asking, “How am I doing?” The objective of this campaign was to gather extensive data to better understand the operations of the city. More often than not, problems and bottlenecks in complex systems can be invisible to day-to-day administrators. This in turn weakens the ability to make the right decisions or provide the best support.
Fortunately, IT professionals in 2020 don’t have to administer in-person interviews around the office to understand what’s going on with critical business technology. Today, software and automation can be used to collect data from all corners of the network. By gaining insight into every level of operation, decision-makers can make the right choices for their users and their business.
Satisfying Clients by Maintaining Compliance
Customer satisfaction measurements are so important to an organization’s health that the ISO 9001 dedicated an entire compliance section on the topic. As of 2019, organizations are required to use management and satisfaction software to help ensure quality.
A regimented set of guidelines is provided that specifies the need for documentation that is detailed and frequently reviewed. The ability to poll data and create an action plan to address a state level of satisfaction is also essential. IT documentation software can provide powerful insights into sales, billing and finances, operations, and projects to help organizations meet this critical requirement.
Less is More
Wasting capital on goods and services that are unnecessary is perhaps one of the worst business practices there is. In the technology world, this is a widespread problem for many organizations. Typically, when software is licensed, it is done in bulk purchases. Many times, this is done without accounting for which users need the application to successfully do their job. With the capability to pool the network and determine which users access specific utilities, licensing software can help clients reap immediate savings. The ROI as a result of implementing an IT documentation solution can typically cover the entire first-year cost.
We’re All in this Together
Tracking all devices such as computers, tablets, desk phones and anything else plugged into a network is a difficult task at best. It becomes nearly impossible without the ability to automatically review all networked devices at any given time. IT documentation software, partnered with an RMM, can successfully run through complex networks to create an inventory of all connected devices. Staying on top of issues like security and update patch releases, hardware obsolescence, and physical device locations becomes easier with a complete view of the company or support client’s asset inventory.
For MSPs, this enables you to seamlessly transition services for accounts between multiple support representatives with client information readily available to whomever takes the call. Details such as current patch and update levels, equipment and application inventory, and network configurations can be securely stored for clients. This allows support reps the ability to resolve issues and restore functionality. With the ability to automatically create detailed network diagrams, ancient sketched-out versions are no longer needed.
By delivering the detailed information that is essential for business strategy, as well as the delight of having everything in one place, proper asset management can positively impact client and end-user satisfaction.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Even the most committed IT professionals are subject to human error. The number of hours it takes to perform a manual inventory and documentation of corporate technology makes it difficult to guarantee accuracy. Manual efforts can also become unreliable due to interruptions to support end-users, errors in capturing data, and the potential to do favors for specific users. Automating the full documentation process guarantees complete and error-free accounting of all activity on a client network.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
In reality, every conversation with a client is a sales pitch, one which tells them how great your services are compared to the competition. But wouldn’t it be far more influential to show them? IT documentation software empowers IT departments and MSPs with the ability to easily demonstrate their value. Earning trust and accountability with clients becomes much simpler with the ability to review customer issue response times, lost ticket volume, closure of service tickets and requests, and much more.
Documentation software also enables MSPs to have more sophisticated conversations with clients regarding potential risks to their business, in the event of a specific technology issue. Business risk analysis tools allow you to demonstrate the cost that a data corruption occurrence can have on an organization in terms of productivity and profit. With an inventory of departmental data and technology interdependencies, IT teams and professionals can strengthen the sense of security they provide to clients and users.