If you’re a managed services provider (MSP), this might sound familiar. You log into one platform for IT documentation, another for tracking, and yet another to run analytics. You’re constantly toggling between these different platforms to keep everything running smoothly. But, let’s face it— it’s inefficient, time-consuming and confusing.

If this is you, then an IT documentation platform is going to be your best friend. It allows you to manage everything in one place, on one screen, and ideally from one provider.

Easy access to all MSP business applications, PSAs, and RMMs

Today’s IT documentation platforms leverage advanced technologies to deliver on the professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM) needs of MSPs. They can link critical information across companies, contacts and assets as well as get client feedback, password vault, ticket, asset and data monitoring from external IT platforms and services in once central hub. All of these mean MSPs will have a cost-effective, user-friendly, feature-rich platform to streamline IT documentation processes.

Let’s take a closer look at a few reasons why an MSP should consider using an IT documentation platform.

Centralized IT documentation, KPIs, and feedback should be easy

At the heart of every top-tier IT documentation platform is a versatile, centralized dashboard hosting the most advanced tools, and showcasing MSP outputs that are needed from your external IT services, including:

Organization Dashboard: MSPs benefit from an individualized look at each contact within an organization and access to quick lists of all activities within the business. These activities are organized by dates, categorized with unique icons and customizable to fit your requirements.

Dashboard Configuration with RMMs: A dashboard is available for servers and workstations that are already integrated with your RMM, detailing charts, graphs and other metrics with statistical information specific to that configuration. Even more convenient, matching rules help to identify any existing records in your PSA.

Integration with External Services: A reputable IT documentation platform should offer an extensive list of integrations with external software, programs and tools. Integrations allow MSPs to connect platforms for faster turnarounds and easier collaborations. For example, VoIP integrations with Ring Central and Jive, provide on-screen prompts that deliver all the information your techs will require to provide seamless, consistent customer support experiences.

Knowledge Base (KB) Management: Your tech experts can view a list of all the articles and documents available in their knowledge base, within a list of folders and sub-folders. Plus, a handy tool allows you to import documents into the platform.

Custom Templates: Your business has different needs and requirements when it comes to KB. Any reputable IT documentation platform should allow you to create custom templates for configuration so a standardized documentation process can be created for your customers.

Customer Feedback Dashboard: Customer feedback is important. A robust documentation platform will show you how happy, or unhappy, your customers are. This can also be used to make corrections or further improve your service to drive customer satisfaction.

Security and Backups: Documentation platforms need robust security and backups for your business. This includes roles, permissions and multi-factor authentication. It gives administrators control of who can access and see various areas of the platform. Users can also track, edit and restore all assets, passwords, domains, SSLs and KB articles.

Password Vault: Password vaults, lists and reports allow a user to pull up, view, edit, alter or even audit the trail of another user’s password.

Cost improvements and operational efficiency drive the market

One major challenge small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face is a limited IT budget. Every decision related to spending is connected to a cost-benefit analysis and that means expenditures with high returns have priority. Each business also needs to utilize technology to keep up with the competition and grow. When you employ a seamless IT documentation platform, your business and your clients can expect a sizable return on their investment.

When MSPs use the right IT documentation software, SMB clients no longer need to hire in-house personnel to manage their IT infrastructure. And when you are no longer counting on the skills and expertise of in-house IT personnel to take care of the problems associated with the maintenance and upgrading of their infrastructure, you eliminate expenses such as salaries and training costs.

And let’s have a look at some sobering statistics that further demonstrate the need for an all-in-one IT solution you can trust:

    • On average, 9.3 percent of documents shared externally in the cloud contain sensitive content
    • Cybercrime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021
    • One in four enterprises (1,000+ employees) is increasing 2020 IT spend due to a recent security incident

If you constantly find yourself dealing with security risks, having difficulty accessing your KPIs or grappling with misaligned project structure, it is often due to a lack of streamlined IT documentation procedures between you and the vendors you rely on. There is no exchange or release control. Your IT documentation is missing visuals like graphs and topographic maps – meaning your documentation is not properly secured.

This fractured way of working – recurring issues, lack of proactive support, inefficient monitoring systems and delays in response time – directly results in clients leaving MSPs. Delivering subpar service consistently is a sure-fire way your clients will head for greener pastures.

That said, the more effective and efficient you can make your IT documentation practices, the more successful your overall operations and management will become.

Photo: megaflopp / Shutterstock

Ali Peracha

Posted by Ali Peracha

Ali Peracha is Vice President of Product, ITBoost, and a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 19 years of experience in the IT/MSP space. Ali joined ConnectWise in 2019 following its acquisition of ITBoost, the company he founded and led as CEO. Prior to ITBoost, Ali served as COO, CFO, and CEO of TheHelpDesk, and as a senior solutions engineer for TeamLogicIT. He was recognized as an MSPmentor Top 501 MSP in 2015 by Channel Futures.

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