Most organizations today deal with the issue of spending too much time looking for information. If you cannot locate a file right away, you have to search your computer, different backup drives, applications, emails and more. If you still cannot find it, you have to wait for the right person to get back online to locate the file. Imagine the amount of time you waste going through this process every day. This is why you need a document library in your IT infrastructure.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the different attributes of a document library and how it can help you efficiently manage critical information.
What is a document library?
A document library provides a secure way to store all the information created in your organization’s ecosystem. It provides a central repository for all workers in an organization to create, view, access and edit files from anywhere. If you are working on a specific project with your co-workers, you can use the document library to manage all the files and store information that needs to be shared with your clients or co-workers.
Why should IT teams have a document library?
In today’s world, many organizations work with hybrid teams or have teams scattered across different parts of the world. Managing these teams without a centralized document library is extremely inefficient and could lead to a lot of problems. Imagine sharing files as email attachments with different stakeholders and getting them back with various edits. The sheer number of file versions and duplicates could overwhelm you. This is why you need a document library.
With a document library, you have a place to store all your files and access them any time you want. You don’t have to worry about creating different versions of the same file or recovering the original file. Most importantly, you don’t have to worry about data security.
What are the benefits of a document library?
Some of the key benefits of a document library are:
- Reduces clutter: A document library can be used to reduce information clutter in your organization. You don’t want random files hanging around in different locations like email inboxes, computers and backup drives. With effective file management in a document library, you can easily overcome this information clutter.
- Structured information management: A document library provides structure to the information you store in it. This structured information is easily accessible to all stakeholders, and they can use any device to gather the required information.
- Enhances security: The information you store in your document library is much more secure than email attachments. Due to this, you and your team members can work in a secure environment without worrying about information theft.
- Saves time: Since the information is stored in a structured, clutter-free environment, you can locate your documents easily. Robust tools like IT Glue can cave at least 50% of your time when it comes to storing and accessing critical information.
- Boosts collaboration: The most important reason for having a document library is to collaborate with your team members. Anyone with access to the library can locate your documents and make the required edits without waiting for their turn. This ensures seamless collaboration with team members in multiple locations.
Document library and knowledge management
Organizations typically have their resources scattered across various tools and platforms. For instance, you may have your files stored on different hard drives, computers, applications and more. With the help of a document library, you can create a centralized platform that can bring all critical information together.
The information you manage with the help of a document library can be used to serve different types of users, including your clients, vendors and employees. By effectively managing all your document-based deliverables, you can preserve your organizational knowledge in the most efficient way possible.
Let’s say you have a business audit coming up. If you cannot locate the correct documentation, it could put your business operations in serious jeopardy. Besides being able to locate the right documents, you will also have the latest versions along with the right information architecture.
Using a document library
The idea behind a document library is to have a unified platform for employees to access whenever they need information. You can use your document library to store various types of files, including Word documents, Excel documents, PDFs, infographics, presentations, charts, policies, procedures and more.
You need a robust document library that can manage all your information needs. Documentation solutions like IT Glue come with a document library by default. You can add files to your document library or create new libraries based on your requirements.
There are many situations where a document library can come in handy. For instance, let’s say you are working on a legacy device in your client’s IT environment. You can look up the device code in the document library that has all the system information of your client. Also, when working on complex tasks, you can use a document library to check SOPs or how-to guides.
Features to look for in a document library
The features you find in a document library may vary from one tool to another. However, make sure you have the following set of features to make the most out of your document library.
- Relationship mapping: You can use this feature to create relationships between various documents you create. When using a specific file, you will be prompted with a list of related files that you may want to check. This feature simplifies the complex task of finding relevant information that the user may not even know exists.
- Integrations: When your documentation library integrates with multiple tools, you can leverage them all to gather all relevant information in a unified platform. This is extremely important if you have multiple tools and applications that gather data in your environment.
- Access control: You don’t want your document library to be accessed by everyone in your organization. You need to have the access control feature to determine who can access the information. Using this feature, you can also assign different levels of access to your users.
- Audit trail: This helps you easily track who has recently accessed a document and made changes to it. With this information, you no longer have to wonder about the edits made to your critical documents. This increases accountability among your peers and makes them access the information only when it is required.
- Sharing functions: Your document library should come with sharing functions to quickly send information to specific people in your organization. This ensures seamless transfer of information among stakeholders working on a file.
Information management with IT Glue document library
IT Glue is an award-winning documentation solution that comes with a robust document library. You can create and manage all kinds of documents in this library. IT Glue also comes with powerful features that facilitate easy knowledge sharing with your team members and allows you to relate them with the rest of your documentation.
IT Glue’s SOC 2-compliant documentation platform also comes packed with an immutable audit trail, network discovery, diagramming and more. All these features are fully integrated and linked with all your documentation.
To learn more about how IT Glue can help you with information management, request a demo of our industry-leading documentation platform.