Why IT documentation matters in times of crisis
For managed services providers (MSPs), providing the highest quality returns on your customers’ investments is always a top priority. There are many reasons for a business to hire an MSP, but increasing IT productivity and strengthening their bottom line tends to be at the core. While many practices are essential to achieving that goal, few are more important than IT documentation, which can increase productivity, boost quality of service, and heighten consistency.
Unfortunately, when technicians are doing everything they can just to keep up with requests, thorough documentation becomes far too easy to put off. And worse, MSPs often don’t realize their mistake until they are facing the consequences. The reality is that investing time and effort into cloud-based documentation is always important, but it is even more critical in times of crisis.
What is IT documentation and why is it important?
At its most basic level, IT documentation is an organized survey of all the information an IT team needs to operate effectively and efficiently. It involves creating a written record of all your key business data, including information related to onboarding, problem resolution, and more. The ultimate purpose is to save MSPs from constantly needing to reinvent the wheel every time they face a problem.
In line with that goal, documentation includes a number of significant benefits that can help MSPs ensure they are meeting—or even exceeding—their customers’ expectations. These include:
- Better continuity of service: An MSP’s employees may take vacation days, sick days, or even quit, but their customers—and their IT problems—certainly won’t. Without proper documentation, the absence of key technicians can cause a huge interruption to services. However, if thorough documentation is practiced, these situations are less problematic.
- Faster incident resolution: The first time an IT technician encounters a problem, they’re probably going to need to do research to find the solution. If they don’t document their findings, every technician who encounters the same problem after them will likely have to waste time going through the same process to find the same answers. Thorough documentation means faster issue resolution and happier clients. It also means less stress and more saved time for MSP technicians.
- Higher, more consistent quality of service: Human error is natural, but it can be very costly in an IT setting. Technicians who wing it are more likely to make errors. Nowadays, systems are far too complex to rely on memory—written documentation is a must for consistent problem resolution. Using standardized documentation means an MSP can deliver a reliable, high quality of service to its customers. It also helps to ensure the customer receives the same quality of service through the same proven approach—no matter which tech is tackling the problem.
- Greater internal standardization: IT documentation does more than just help techs resolve problems for customers. It also helps define internal processes for the MSP and ensures everyone is on the same page when it comes to everything from onboarding to the exit interview. Having these processes in place can increase efficiency and standardization within the MSP, which translates into a higher level of professionalism and a greater ability to support clients.
IT documentation in times of crisis
The benefits of IT documentation mentioned above are, if anything, exactly what makes having strong processes so essential during times of crisis. When the demand for rapid service delivery is more urgent than ever, it’s critical everyone within the organization is on the same page. Without effective documentation, MSPs may find themselves struggling to meet their customers’ expectations—and to keep their own business afloat.
The current work from home (WFH) era exemplifies why proper documentation matters more than ever. The switch to remote work has forced companies around the world to adopt new ways of working. For MSPs, that means making sure all their own employees use a standardized set of processes, even while working from home. It also means navigating an onslaught of new issues from customers as their employees navigate the switch and the adoption of new technologies and procedures.
Effective documentation ensures technicians can step in and help customers with urgent problems—whether or not they have navigated a similar issue before. The boost in both efficiency and efficacy can pay dividends for MSPs as they navigate ever-increasing demands and their own internal challenges.
IT documentation that makes your life easy
Any MSP hoping to survive during times of crisis needs to commit to effective IT documentation. To ensure that creating standardized documentation processes is simple and will set you up for success, you need to use the right tool. N-able™ Passportal™ + Documentation Manager is that tool.
Passportal offers a complete IT documentation add-on specifically designed to meet the needs of MSPs. With features like streamlined customer incident resolution, relationship mapping, web domain and SSL certificate tracking, asset management, and both built-in and fully customizable templates, Passportal + Documentation Manager can improve MSP efficiency, technician training, and customer satisfaction—whether you are dealing with a crisis or not.