IT documentation? Is it important? Yes, indeed!

If you think well-maintained IT documentation is as sexy as ChatGPT, you are not alone! Many IT managers feel the same way. Unfortunately they are reluctant to address it properly due to lack of understanding. But those who have implemented a professional solution to properly document and manage their IT assets and resources can’t imagine life without it. The same is true of their AI, by the way …

Imagine you are the CIO of a large company with multiple data centers and more than 50 locations worldwide. At noon on Friday, the head of development calls you and asks for several development servers and three technically equipped offices for 20 new employees at one location. He would also like to know what this will cost and how quickly it can be implemented – by Monday at 2:00 pm.

Depending on whether you have well-maintained IT documentation in place or not, the answer may be “No problem, we can do it” or “No way, we need two weeks for that”. The first answer strengthens your reputation, the second weakens it. But even from a completely objective point of view, every IT department benefits from the advantages of a professional solution:

  1. Complete transparency at your fingertips 

In our everyday work, we have become accustomed to the fact that some things are complicated and take weeks – without even realizing it. For example, many people take it for granted that they have to do a time-consuming analysis of the as-is situation in the run-up to a major project, or that they have to travel to a location several times because the technology on site is completely different from what they thought it would be. This lack of knowledge consumes a great deal of time and resources. These hidden costs do not show up in any report, but have the potential to hinder rapid business development and ongoing operations. 

What is missing is complete transparency. If you have an up-to-date database that can display all IT components, software, cloud instances and much more at the push of a button, planning can be carried out in days instead of weeks. Service technicians can do all the necessary work at once because they know in advance whether switches and servers can still provide capacity for new projects and employees. 

  1. Meaningful 3D visualization 

Large enterprises today rely on a hybrid IT infrastructure with on-premises data centers and cloud servers. Applications are interconnected in many ways and rely on network connections being designed to be stable and secure. Anyone who wants to make changes to such a complex structure should be absolutely sure that they are replacing the right cable or installing the right switch. Simple mistakes can have serious consequences and result in high costs. 

Professional IT documentation supports IT specialists on site with realistic representations of buildings, racks, servers and switches. Interactive 3D images provide them with precise visual information on where to make changes and what to change. Service technicians can easily navigate through the data center buildings using a realistic 3D representation of the affected equipment on their tablet or smartphone. 

  1. One single data repository instead of siloed knowledge 

For historical or organizational reasons, the documentation of IT is not uniformly organized in many mature companies. Each department has its own standard and manages its own devices. This makes it difficult to know where capacities are still free or which department has unused devices. As a result, existing available resources go unused and unnecessary purchases are made simply because transparency and knowledge are lacking. 

Requests for devices, server capacities, licenses or space in racks or data centers can only be answered immediately and reliably if there is company-wide documentation. Only a central single source of truth can, for example, automatically suggest the best place to put a server. 

Professional IT documentation is a matter of processes 

IT managers can only benefit from all these advantages if they have accurate, up-to-date, and consistent data. You do not get this with an “I’ll do that later” mentality. All IT staff must document changes in the database immediately. This ensures that the software always accurately reflects the as-is infrastructure and acts as a digital twin. It also makes sense to only allow changes to the IT infrastructure if planning has been carried out in the software beforehand. This has the advantage that after the work has been carried out, employees can use the planning to create the new as-is state with a single click. 

The white paper Why Professional IT Documentation Pays Dividends describes in detail the full range of advantages that result from the implementation of central IT documentation. 

In addition, you can use our Excel Checklist IT Documentation to find out in just a few minutes whether your company needs professional IT documentation and the reasons behind the assessment.