Facet Blog

Let’s Talk Network Documentation!

May 20, 2022

IT documentation is a powerful force when it comes to your business network and overall operations. Done well, it can mean less downtime and interruptions. Done poorly or not at all, it can cost your business dearly in the form of lost work and more.

Most businesses, however, still don’t have proper documentation in place.

What replaces a good documentation system?

In many small businesses, one person holds all or most of the IT knowledge. For businesses with IT teams, each person may be able to fix specific problems, but don’t have a good way to share their processes with the others on the team.

Clearly, this method leads to more downtime in emergency situations. The solution? Good documentation. A shift from individual knowledge to common knowledge helps businesses tackle annoying recurring IT problems.

One common refrain from proponents of good documentation practices is that brain matter is not a cheap or effective storage solution. In urgent situations, it can take time to track a person down. People take sick days or go on vacation, and sometimes take jobs at other companies. Having processes and procedures in place when this happens can be the difference between a smooth workday and total shutdown.

What is network documentation?

Network documentation is a collection of information about your entire network and all the devices connected to it. This can include hardware information, software information, passwords, internet information, and processes and procedures.

Who needs network documentation?

Oftentimes, small business owners consider network documentation to only be necessary for large companies and organizations. In truth, it’s equally important for small businesses, even with smaller, less complex networks to maintain documentation.

How can documentation save my company money?

In short, documentation means less time wasted. Whether you are a small company or a larger business with an IT team, having processes and important information recorded means you are no longer searching for that stray password, hardware specification, or other information to complete a task, or trying to find the one person who knows the information. This can save hours of downtime in an emergency!

If you are a Facet managed services client, we maintain change logs and other important documentation for you. One major advantage of choosing managed services over a break-fix “as-needed” approach to IT is the speed at which problems can be resolved. Because we already have documentation and have tracked all the changes made to your network, our technicians can solve tricky issues faster than going in blind.

What should I do if I don’t have documentation?

If your business has little or no documentation for your IT practices, now is the time to make a change to prevent downtime in the future.

Most networks, even in small businesses, are more complicated than they may appear on the surface. Does your business use only on-site servers and data backups, or are their cloud components as well (remember that we always advocate having multiple backups, and at least one in the cloud, in case of disaster)? What are the hardware specifications of each component? What software is running on which workstations, and is it cloud based, installed locally, or both?

This information should be stored securely in IT documentation software for future reference and must be updated regularly.

Facet maintains documentation for all our managed services clients, large and small. This allows us to provide quick and responsive service to our customers and provide information to them as they need it. This also allows for any changes or work on the network to be tracked.

Network Documentation Services: Need a Hand?

If you are a small business owner, you are likely too busy to take on yet another project like network documentation.

If you have an in-house IT team, or are an IT leader at an organization, your team may be too busy with other projects and pressing demands to begin a documentation project.

Facet can help. We maintain network documentation for our managed services and co-managed services clients as part of our world-class IT service. This helps us provide a higher level of service to our customers, 24/7/365. Starting from scratch? Trust the Facet team to build your network documentation the right way to prepare for the future. Contact us today to learn more about managed services and IT documentation projects for your business.

How can we help you?