Ok, so you know you need to improve your documentation. Now what? In order to figure out what solution is going to work best for you, start by taking the time to understand what you want in a solution, and why. Here’s some things to look out for.
This is the big one. Without structure, all the documentation in the world isn’t going to help you. It just turns into information sprawl. So whatever your strategic objectives might be, you need a documentation system that has structure. Structure is what allows you to know what is documented, and it allows you to find it easily. In a perfect world, that structure is based on the needs of your business. A documentation solution designed for a different industry isn’t going to get it done.
The more documentation you have, the more you have to pay attention to keeping it organized. Documentation that has a consistent format from one customer to another makes it much easier to find what you’re looking for. This extends to naming conventions, too, for your SOPs and knowledge base library. Don’t forget to add in a robust search function, because the entire goal of improving your documentation is to make it dead simple for your techs to find the information that they need, instantly.
This is the glue right here. Being able to link related documents to each other should be considered an essential component of an IT documentation solution. By creating these relationships, you reduce the time it takes techs to find the right documents. It also helps to alert techs to the fact that certain documentation already exists in the first place.
Automation & Integrations
Most IT companies struggle at least a little bit to get their techs to document. It’s a lot of work sometimes. So the more documentation can be automated, the better for everybody. An open API, integrations with your other core tools, and the ability to make bulk changes or uploads can all increase the amount of documentation that gets automated, getting you closer to 100% documented, faster.
Anybody can say that their software is secure, but if you’re in the IT business, you know better. The reality is that if you’re storing client data somewhere, you need that place to be incredibly secure. Protip: the cloud is more secure that on-prem, and SOC 2 is the highest standard for cloud software security.
Commitment to Development
Look, a great piece of software is a beautiful thing. But a lot of companies just sort of stop building stuff and their software goes stale. When shopping for an IT documentation solution, check the blog and social media of the competitors – see how many feature releases they’ve dropped recently, and were they big features or just little updates? Look for a solution that not only has a steady stream of meaningful releases but invites feedback and communicates openly about what’s in the pipeline.
Commitment to You
The best solutions aren’t just the ones with the best tech – although that’s a big part of the battle. The best solutions are the ones committed to making your life easier. They offer a strong service desk to help you, a high-quality onboarding program to make sure that you get started right. Their blogs are active and informative, covering a wide range of issues pertaining to your documentation journey.
A company committed to you will keep up the dialogue, provide you with a wide range of resources, and even build value-added features such as business process enhancements or sell-through products. These are the things that can prove surprisingly useful for you once you’ve got your basic documentation up and running.
All told, there’s a lot to look at when considering an IT documentation solution. But always keep in mind what the entire point of documentation is – to save you time, to make your life easier, and to put you in a position to help grow your business.
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IT Glue™ is a proven, best practices-driven IT documentation platform packed with features designed to help you maximize the efficiency, transparency and consistency of your team. With so much of your business productivity lost each day in search of vital information, let IT Glue secure this information and start Freeing Minds™.