You Own Your IT Infrastructure, Do You Own Your IT Documentation?
You should have all passwords and be the registered owner for all things IT related.
When we work with clients, we ensure that they’re listed as the owner of the account, and we are merely technicians responsible for the technical aspects of the solution.
The same rule applies for documentation. You should be the keeper of all the data, and your IT support company should be responsible for documenting any changes that they make.
It amazes us when we take on a new client and provide them a full copy of their infrastructure documentation. Most say that they have never received anything like it from any support company.
If you don’t know where to find your IT related documentation, or if you are not sure what to look for, here are some guidelines to use.
Start with the basics…
What software do you have?
What is your internet service provider’s configuration?
Where is your firewall configuration backed up?
What are the passwords for all systems? These could include:
- Internet Service Provider
- Phone Provider details
- Website Hosting Provider
- Email Provider (Administrator logon credentials)
- Email Spam Filtering Provider (Administrator logon credentials)
- Backup Solution Information (Accompanying documentation is beneficial)
- Internet Registrar where your Domain Name information is accessed (Such as GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Wix, Registrar.com, etc.)
- Anti-virus Provider
- Anti-malware Provider
- Software Vendors (Both on premise and cloud-based solutions)
- Hardware Vendors (Warranty information for all hardware is quite helpful)
- Hardware Key Locations (Some servers, racks and other hardware items have key lock options)
- Hardware passwords (routers, firewalls, switches, servers, laptops, desktops)
- Most Importantly, Server and/or Firewall “Administrator” logon credentials
…and build your documentation from there. This will be a living document that will require updates frequently.
Dusty Rollins, owner of Oxford Wealth Strategies, asked how often we go into a client for the first time and are handed holistic documentation. The answer is few and far between.
Small and medium businesses are all too often forced to pay dearly for this lack of prior proper planning when unexpected issues arise.
What ends up happening to smaller organizations over the years is that financial information will be handled by one person and documented in one place, while marketing was documented by another person and saved to a different location and so on.
It is imperative that all your information be in one place and accessible from multiple locations for you to truly be in control of your IT environment.
It just takes a little bit of time on your calendar to ensure that you are aware of how organized your infrastructure is.
We at Advanced Systems Solutions have helped many IT departments get organized by documenting their systems and procedures. If you’re looking for a support company that can assist with cutting edge solutions with unmatched customer service, contact us. We love to help!
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Disclaimer: The above information is not intended as technical advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an IT Professional before acting or relying on any information in this communiqué.