As businesses continue to rely more heavily on technology to operate, it becomes increasingly important to manage IT systems and infrastructure effectively. One way to ensure that IT resources are used efficiently and effectively is through proper IT documentation. IT documentation is essentially a record of an organization’s IT infrastructure, systems, and procedures. It includes everything from network diagrams and IP address distribution tables to active directory user audit spreadsheets and firewall access control lists. Here are four reasons why IT documentation is essential:

1.Knowledge Transfer

One of the most important benefits of IT documentation is knowledge transfer. When key IT staff leave an organization, they take with them a wealth of knowledge about the organization’s IT systems and infrastructure. If this knowledge isn’t properly documented, it can be lost forever. However, when IT systems and procedures are properly documented, this knowledge can be transferred to new staff members, reducing the impact of staff turnover.

2.Standardization and Coordination

IT documentation helps to standardize and coordinate IT systems and infrastructure across an organization. By providing a clear and concise record of IT systems, it becomes easier to identify areas where standardization can be achieved. This reduces the complexity of IT systems, making them easier to manage and more efficient.

3.Time Efficiency

Time Efficiency By providing quick access to IT documentation, staff can be more productive, spending less time searching for information and more time focused on their core responsibilities. This can be particularly valuable during high-pressure situations such as outages or emergencies, where quick access to accurate information can be the difference between quickly resolving an issue or prolonged downtime.

4.Improved Transparency & Communication

Finally, IT documentation provides a clear picture of what is going on within an organization’s IT systems and infrastructure. This makes it easier to identify potential issues before they become major problems, and to respond quickly when issues arise. Additionally, IT documentation can be used to identify trends and patterns in IT systems and infrastructure, helping organizations make better-informed decisions about future IT investments.


What should be documented?

Some important things you should document, and the list is by no means exhaustive:

  • Network and system overview. This gives any IT-savvy individual a general overview of your IT infrastructure. This may be one or more documents, depending on the size and complexity of your infrastructure.
  • Administrative credentials and passwords. Needless to say, they should be stored in a secure, preferably encrypted, location, but accessible in case of an emergency and by other IT staff.
  • IT policies, reflecting the IT approach to various aspects of managing the infrastructure. This includes
    • Network and Security Policy (what networks and systems exist, for what purpose, who has access, etc),
    • Information policy (privacy, appropriate email use),
    • Internet policy (access to third-party resources like cloud platforms, what content is accessible, what content is blocked),
    • Hardware management policy (how often hardware is replaced, how old hardware is used, etc),
    • Backup and Recovery (when and how recovery is done),
    • …and many more.   
  • Information system. All the software that supports business processes and how it interacts between each other.
  • Hardware inventory. What hardware you have, where it is, who uses it, and if any spare devices are available if needed.
  • Software and license inventory. What software you have, who uses it, and if any spare licenses are available if needed. This will prove invaluable in the case of a licensing audit.
  • Project-related documentation. This is especially critical for knowledge transfer if multiple individuals successively work on the same project.

How to keep documentation updated

First and foremost, work with your IT department or IT consultant to work out an approach to documentation. Make your position in this matter clear, and work out a policy to make sure important documentation exists and is updated, while avoiding excessive time spent on documentation.

It is best to update documentation real-time, as policies and environment change, but that is not always possible. Some documentation should in fact be updated immediately after changes are implemented, like administrative passwords. BALANCED+ recommends that IT policies and procedures should be revised and updated on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. This will also ensure that outdated and inaccurate documentation does not clutter up document library.


In conclusion, IT documentation is a critical component of effective IT management and support. By providing knowledge transfer, standardization and coordination, time efficiency, and a clear picture of what is going on, IT documentation can help organizations reduce the complexity of their IT systems, improve efficiency, and achieve better business outcomes.

As an IT consulting company, BALANCED+ can help your organization develop and implement effective IT documentation practices. Contact us today to learn more about our IT consulting services and how we can help your organization achieve its goals through effective IT management.