IT Documentation Best Practices?

IT documentation (which is our bread and butter) is extremely beneficial to businesses of all sizes and sectors. You can perform the following with good IT documentation.

  • minimize the amount of time it takes to find information
  • reduce the amount of time it takes to troubleshoot
  • control capacity issues in your IT infrastructure’s assets and inventories

Your IT and network workers will be more effective, productive, and able to focus on their primary functions if they have accurate and up-to-date documentation.

Despite these advantages, IT documentation frequently falls by the wayside…until an audit, an outage, or future expenditures are required, at which point IT documentation (or the lack thereof) is thrust into the spotlight.

Though it’s critical to locate the correct IT diagram solution, as with other company expenditures, the more you put in, the more you get out. To get the most out of your investment, make IT documentation a part of your normal operating procedure.


The following are seven IT documentation best practices that will help your company experience a significant return on investment:

  1. Identity

You can’t have good documentation unless you document the appropriate things.

You must first determine your requirements on what needs to be visualized and documented. Do you require a network topology diagrams that shows your main routers and switches, for example? What about servers and VLAN information at layer 2? Is there an office with phones, printers, and workstations? What about a data center and a telecommunications room?

We’ve seen a lot of things from clients who utilize netTerrain, our IT documentation software. What are the most critical IT documentation jobs you must complete?

What attributes and data do you require access to? Do you want Network Diagrams both Logical and Physical? Information on network equipment, software applications, passwords, warranties, and prices?

  1. Locate

You must know where your information is in order to document the network. You have a problem if Robert, your network guy (will have all of your network’s information in his brain), is about to retire. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could incorporate his expertise into your new system?

Do you already have accurate and reliable spreadsheets, Visio diagrams, or data sources to build your new documentation repository and system? Which departments must be involved in order to collect the data?

  1. Automate

Automation and IT documentation are inextricably linked. The easier it is to adopt and implement your IT documentation system across the firm, the more extensively it is used… and the less labor you do, the better. There is no need to keep playing the guessing game of “when was this diagram last updated…can I trust this data?” once everyone is on board.

Automation, such as the kind provided by netTerrain, gets all of your data in — from third-party vendors, homemade systems, weekly spreadsheet imports, and so on. It helps you save time while also improving the accuracy of your data.


Ensure that your documentation is consistent. As previously said, you must create data fields that display your IT equipment: make the fields uniform.

For instance, Windows 10 can be written in a variety of ways, including W10, Windows 10, Win 10, and so on. Make a field format choice and stick to it. This makes it easier for your team to enter and display data, and it also helps your IT personnel locate what they’re searching for much faster, thanks to netTerrain’s search feature.

  1. Enforce

As part of your operations, you must include IT documentation. Make this an integral part of your IT staff’s processes so it becomes a part of your team’s workflow.

You risk having inadequate documentation if you don’t manage change; for example, your IT staff may have neglected to update the documentation when making modification to your Network or IT equipment, or you just didn’t get around to recording it. Remember a change is not complete until the documentation has been updated accordingly. From the top down, ensure that change management protocols are followed.

  1. Share

Share information and reports with your clients and customers (internal and external consultants, system integrators, and your clients) to demonstrate that you are systematically managing information critical to their IT environment (and their business continuity).

  1. On Board

You’ve just started your new job and have no idea what’s on the network or what IT equipment your organization has… IT documentation is a lifeline for any new staff, allowing them to get up to speed quickly. A new staff member can examine all of the information at his or her fingertips thanks to IT documentation. “I’m new here and have no idea what’s on my network,” I’ve heard numerous times. The learning curve for new hires is shortened with proper IT documentation.

Following IT documentation best practices will not only provide you the assurance that IT information will be available when you or your company require it, especially when there is an IT Systems outage. There will be less impact to the business and it will also save you time and money. IT documentation is critical for firms that rely on technology, and it should be a top priority initiative. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your IT documentation investment pays dividends for your company.

To discover more about how netTerrain IT Documentation may assist you in resolving your IT issues.

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