Quick, off the top of your head, how many network switches are in use at your office? How many wireless access points? How many routers are past their warranty or no longer getting support?
That’s not a question most business owners are asked on a regular basis, and we don’t really expect you to be able to rattle off the answers. You should have all of that information documented though.
Documenting your entire IT infrastructure saves you a ton of time and hassle later. It can help with insurance, it can help simply keep track of everything you are supposed to be keeping secure, and it can help prevent you from buying something you don’t need.
What Information Needs to be Documented?
While it’s going to depend a little bit from device to device, you’ll at least want to track some of the basics.
Device Name: Pretty straightforward—the name of the device on the network, if it has one, or give it a descriptor name if it doesn’t, such as “Conference Room Network Switch.”
Device Model and Serial Number: You’ll want this for support and warranty issues. It’s easier to have it written down than having to find the tiny label on the device after it is in place and hooked up.
Installation Date: When was the device purchased and installed?
Who Installed It: It never hurts to know—if a particular company or employee set it up, and it wasn’t set up properly, you’ll want to know who to reach out to.
Warranty Information: How long does the manufacturer’s warranty last? Did you purchase extended warranty? Does the device have an estimated end of life date?
Vendor Information: Is there a support number? Did you purchase the device directly from the vendor or a third party?
Location: Where is the device located in the office? Is it in the server room, or behind the reception desk?
Service History: This one is huge, and the hardest information to keep up with. If work is done on the device, it should be documented. That includes the initial setup and ongoing administrative changes. If the device has a tendency to fail often, your documentation will show this as you audit your network.
Documenting your IT is a huge part of keeping your IT running smoothly. You don’t need to do this by yourself. At Advanced Automation Inc., we document every piece of hardware and software we touch and keep a very clear historical record of the work we do so we can always adjust our processes and help business owners make informed IT-related decisions.
Want to learn more? Give us a call at 770-448-5400.