IT Documentation - The Blog

IT strategy and design with Docusnap

August 14, 2020

Every IT manager is struggling with the same paradox of requirements: The demands on IT are increasing exponentially, but at the same time cost pressure and savings targets are becoming ever more stringent!

In medium-sized companies, there is virtually no business process that is not based on IT systems in some way or another. There is special software for virtually every application, from e-commerce to machine automation to time recording for services and project work. Even the telephone systems are IT-controlled and which company would still be able to survive today without telephone, e-mail or internet?
At the same time the working world is becoming more and more mobile: The management wants to hold company presentations with the private iPad, field staff want to access company data directly at the customer’s or business partner’s premises, entire departments are supposed to work from one day to the next in the home office…there are countless other examples. Nowadays, the demand on corporate IT is to be accessible from anywhere and at any time. This means high availability 24×7 and massive additional effort, both technical and organizational, to secure the “open” IT environment.

On the other hand, however, IT departments are set generous savings targets every year. Budget cuts of 20% and more are not uncommon.
So the aim is to provide more and better service, at lower costs. How is this to be achieved?
It can only be done with perfectly structured systems and highly efficient processes.

Reality: Ad-hoc solutions instead of long-term IT strategy

As is well known, the reality is quite different. In most cases a long-term strategy for the development of IT is missing. Instead, requirements from outside are constantly being “pushed” into IT, which are always extremely important and very urgent. For this reason, the IT department has no choice but to constantly implement special solutions. In this way, the current structures have grown over decades.
Of course, this is now clearly noticeable. This “uncontrolled growth” in IT brings with it very high costs for software and hardware, as it involves individual single solutions instead of being able to rely on consolidated standard products. This also means that the manual maintenance effort for the administrators is immense. Not to mention the fact that it is almost impossible to keep an overview.

The way out: Consolidate, structure and use standards

What is a possible way out of this misery?

The entire IT would have to be consolidated and cleanly structured. Special solutions would have to be replaced by standards and the processes would have to be made more efficient.

Problem: Overview and IT strategy missing

This procedure seems logical and, at first glance, perhaps even simple. But why then does its implementation present so many companies with almost insoluble problems?

Most of them are already setting sail due to the sheer size of this undertaking: How should I convert my entire IT? Where do I start? Which systems can I migrate without any problems and without any business impact?

However, all these questions can be reduced to a common denominator: There is no overview of the current IT infrastructure!
Only those who have a complete overview can recognize and understand connections, identify business dependencies on IT and ultimately develop holistic, long-term IT strategies.

Implementation: Comprehensive analysis as the basis of the IT strategy

What is the best way to proceed?

The first step is to take a complete inventory of the existing IT landscape: Which systems, software etc. are in use in the company?

This data is then analyzed thoroughly and from different perspectives: How do the systems communicate with each other? Which business processes are based on which IT systems?

Once this information is available, a holistic IT strategy can be developed on the basis of this information, which will clearly structure the IT environment and make the processes more efficient: Which systems can possibly be combined? Where can standard products be used instead of special solutions?

The long-term nature of the strategic planning is particularly important here. On the one hand, such a drastic conversion of the entire IT is only possible step by step and, on the other hand, future developments must be recognized as early as possible and prepared technically and organizationally in IT design.

The solution is called Docusnap

But how do I get a complete inventory of my IT environment?

One thing is clear, a manual inventory and documentation of the entire IT goes beyond the resources of any IT department. At the same time, however, this is an indispensable prerequisite for a serious IT strategy and planning.

We have developed the Docusnap software for exactly these cases.
Some of you will already know Docusnap and perhaps even use it yourself. For all others, a brief summary: Docusnap has been around for 15 years now, is market leader and has received several awards.
And what makes Docusnap so indispensable as the basis for an IT strategy?
Docusnap automates the time-consuming inventory and documentation tasks, gives you a complete overview of your IT and highlights business-IT dependencies.

The Docusnap principle is based on three pillars:

  1. Inventory
    Docusnap offers an automatic, time-controlled and recurring inventory of your network infrastructure, hardware and software, application servers etc.
  2.  

  3. Documentation
    More than 200 clear plans and reports are automatically generated and dynamic concepts containing both your prose text and independently inventoried Docunap data are automatically updated and distributed.
  4.  

  5. Analysis
    Based on this information, dependencies and the need for action can be identified quickly and easily. In this way, the data in Docusnap provides the perfect basis for long-term planning and strategic decisions.

An IT strategy starts with a current IT documentation

If you know your IT infrastructure, you can…

  • Identifying expense and cost drivers and taking targeted countermeasures
  • developing strategies for the future
  • actively design and build your IT
  • eliminate contaminated sites

Put an end to the externally controlled proliferation of your IT and start actively planning and designing with the help of Docusnap!

Additional Information

Here you find further information on the topic