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Most companies struggle with documentation. It’s true, I didn’t make it up, you can check it here. Doesn’t matter if it is the IT hardware location, software expiry date, service contracts or even HR contracts, software licenses or building access information. Usually the solutions available tend to only support one or another need, and the ones that include more functionality are often bulky and very expensive.

Along my journey as an entrepreneur I too faced the same need. Organisation in a business is key for success, so having both your physical and digital assets structured is a major requirement for a good decision making process. 

I eventually found i-doit, a simple, yet powerful software created by synetics GmbH. This software not only provides a low investment solution for the above mentioned needs, but for those smaller businesses like us that are the majority of this world they provide an open source version. 

In this brief article I will share with you four tips on how we at IT SQUARE used and keep using to this day i-doit to solve our company documentation needs. Please be mindful that some might be from the paid version of i-doit, named i-doit Pro.

1. Be mindful of what you really need documented

It’s common… wanting to document everything we own or provide as a service in a company, we do not want to miss out on any kind of info. 

But we need to take care not to include too much information in our i-doit installation, as this will backfire. 

i-doit Quick Configuration Wizard

The i-doit quick configuration wizard

I’m a strong believer of the keep it simple mindset, therefore my advice here would be to start small and document what is mission critical first and then grow it over time to include less critical information. 

Unless you have a huge reason for it, don’t go documenting all keyboards on your business. i-doit is a very flexible solution, so you can use the Quick Configuration Wizard initially and later go back to add or remove categories as your experience with the software grows.

2. Define a clear structure and object dependencies

You should first brainstorm what the first categories to be configured will be and afterwards their linking and relations. Should you add servers and all their installed software? Will you only include a subset of software that is meaningful for your business? Answer these questions first to keep things clean from the start. Start on paper or use a software for brainstorming like Cawemo BPM.
i-doit toolbar
i-doit comes with a huge list of categories prepopulated for you, it’s just a matter of hiding the ones that are not needed. You can also create your custom categories and even object types if they are not already reflected on the software. The software by default will display an organised set of tabs on the top menu with their respective object categories inside to make things clean and tidy. Perfect for people that start getting eye twitches when they see clutter like me.
Object view Categories customization

3. Use object links to see a clear overview of their relationships

Having your objects documented is amazing and super helpful, but if you have no idea what they are linked to then you are not using the software as you should because you won’t be able to check when a software licence is expiring on a server.
Operating System Link and List

Linking operating system is a breeze (simply select the OS from a list)

If you have an updated cmdb content the system will create a fancy, easy to read tree of relationships between objects. This is perfect for a quick overview of your business current condition.
i-doit CMDB tree view

Smaller view of relationships between objects

CMDB tree view large

The cmdb explorer shows you all relationships and expands as needed

4. Add-ons enrich your experience and make your life easier

i-doit has a large set of add-ons that increase the software functionality. Some add monitoring integration functionality others turn i-doit into a full ISMS management software. I personally like the Jdisc add-on which adds auto discovery functionality to i-doit, saving crucial time in quickly documenting your IT landscape. 

The floorplan add-on let’s you design your server rooms, offices and any custom room that you need documented, giving you that “The Sims” game feeling, that I am sure you have spent hours playing in the past. 

Be sure to check their add-on list here, please be aware these are for the paid version of i-doit, which to be honest is still as they call it “fair licensing model” where you buy only what you really need. 

Also be sure to check more information on their product page here and see if it fits your needs, I’m sure it will.