Normally, IT networks are one of the areas in companies that are subject to frequent and regular major changes. And it basically doesn’t matter whether IT needs to adapt to new challenges or simply expand due to company growth. In any case, a conversion, expansion or even a completely new acquisition must be carefully planned by IT experts.
Those who have themselves been involved in an extensive renewal of an IT system know the process. Observers usually only notice the last part of the work, such as the installation of new workstation computers or the temporarily restricted operation of important services in the network.
For many, it is not even apparent that this is the last part of a large-scale operation. But the journey begins some time before.
Starting with the inventory
Unless it’s a new IT network with no existing hardware, you can’t just buy new equipment and set it up. In fact, the first step begins with recording an as-is inventory.
In doing so, the approach of different IT departments differs significantly. While some swear by good old-fashioned manual work and send their internal staff crisscrossing through the departments to catalog all the IT assets, others have decided to burden this task on different tools.
The result of these two types of approach can be one way or the other and sufficient. But whether you can really rely one hundred percent on whether everything has really been recorded is questionable with both methods.
A third option would be to use a professional IT documentation solution. Many companies already have such a solution in place, such as Docusnap. With this, an inventory, which normally requires a lot of time and manpower, can be done in the blink of an eye. Or rather – at the push of a button.
Professionalism makes the task easier
Docusnap, for example, automatically determines all of this inventory data at regular intervals and stores it in a central database. This also includes devices that are often forgotten or easily overlooked when recorded manually. Especially the hardware that was set up “just for a quick test” or the small switch that “temporarily disappeared under the table in the accounting department until the actual solution”.
Also, very old computers often eke out an existence somewhere in the network. Of course, we hope that there is not a single old man, aka Windows XP (or even older?) in a closet or a lonely meeting room. Which was originally only needed for presentations and delivered PDFs to the beamer. And then at some point it was equipped with Internet because ___________________________ (insert reason or instruction from above).
Planning is easier with a complete inventory
As just mentioned, it doesn’t matter where a device is located on the network. Thanks to the sophisticated scanning methods of the professional software, everything is stored in the database. However, the fact that not only the hardware but also the software installed on the devices is documented plays an important role.
The deciding factor is not only that old software (operating systems, applications, etc.) can be quickly filtered out, but rather the fact that, based on the installed version, a comparison can be made with the requirements of new devices or program versions. If, for example, the latest version of Windows does not work with the somewhat older Photoshop version, you will be in for a nasty surprise when it is rolled out.
Detect problems in time
But not only old operating systems and application software can cause problems. Older devices such as routers or firewalls, which are often designed as “appliances”, also run software. Only these programs are not installed on the known operating systems as usual, but use their own operating systems, mostly based on Linux. Here, too, the version status is decisive for further planning. This is because it is often only on the basis of this version that it is possible to determine which features the hardware is equipped with and whether the device still plays a role for further planning or has to be replaced despite its supposedly young age.
All this data is not collected manually, but can be output at the push of a button by the convenient reporting system of the professional software. Or simply export it to a list in Excel format that suits you.
Not only IT devices play a role
If you are already using Docusnap as a professional IT documentation solution, then you are probably also using the license management function. After all, existing licenses, maintenance and warranty contracts are also crucial when planning the new IT. Here, too, a professional solution comes up trumps with an easy-to-use overview function.
The data is then supplemented with information, some of which is added manually, which may still contain important details when planning for the new generation of hardware.
To bring the awareness of a professional IT documentation solution to the point – anyone who has now run through some of these scenarios in their mind knows how time-consuming the entire process is and that, even with the most careful planning, not everything always works out as it should the first time around.
With Docusnap, however, some factors that play a major role in planning are eliminated from the outset. For example, all inventory data is up to date and all information about the network, software, licenses and detailed information is securely stored in a central location.
Not yet using professional IT documentation? Then try Docusnap for 30 days free of charge and without any obligation.
And because we want you to use the full potential of the software, we also offer you our full, professional support during the free trial period. Our team of experts will help you with questions about installing and setting up the software solution. From professional to professional.