With modern-day IT environments becoming increasingly complex, understanding the relationships between various components often poses a great challenge for IT professionals. You can understand the entirety of an IT environment only if you have instant access to everything, and this is where relationship mapping comes in.
In this blog, we’ll explore the significance of relationship mapping in today’s complex IT environments and how you can use it for effective information management.
What is relationship mapping?
Relationship mapping refers to how individual components are related to each other in an IT infrastructure. Here, you need to understand the logical relationships between various assets and their documentation. For instance, when you relate components like hardware devices and their configuration documents, you can instantly access the documents while working on understanding the hardware devices. Similarly, you can have easy access to all the information you need and use them whenever you want through relationship mapping.
What is the role of relationship mapping?
To start creating relationship mapping, you need to have building blocks. This includes your company’s technology assets such as desktops, servers, other infrastructure hardware and software applications.
You also need to build relationships with the rest of your IT, including software applications installed on devices, passwords to access the devices, and knowledge and how-to guides for troubleshooting the devices. This is what relationship mapping does. By linking your assets with the rest of your IT, you can have access to critical information at your fingertips.
In large organizations with complex IT environments, information often gets buried and can be extremely difficult to locate. Even when you have sophisticated documentation with multiple layers, relationship mapping makes everything easier to understand since you aren’t bouncing between different tools to find that one piece of information you need.
Why is relationship mapping important?
The most important aspect of relationship mapping is to provide you with a full picture of your clients’ IT environments. You can enter all assets in your relationship mapping tool and create logical, two-way relationships between them. Following that, you can check the dependencies and relationships for a single IT component. With this, you can easily understand what’s at stake whenever a new problem is identified within the network.
This logical structure ensures better information management and drives performance as a result. In other words, relationship mapping provides you with actionable insights into your IT assets and helps you connect the dots in the asset management process.
What are the benefits of relationship mapping?
The biggest benefit of relationship mapping is that it provides instant access to critical information even if you have a complex IT infrastructure. This drives performance and helps you make informed decisions. You can identify issues instantly and troubleshoot them or incorporate temporary fixes until a permanent solution is found.
Here is a list of reasons why relationship mapping is extremely important in IT environments.
Reduces research time
Let’s face it. Sifting through multiple Excel sheets or Word documents to gather information about a single endpoint isn’t just tedious but practically impossible in today’s age of complex networks. When you have a map of logical relationships between various pieces of information, you won’t have to search for everything manually. From ticket resolutions to project management, technicians save a significant amount of time every day with relationship mapping.
IT professionals receive tickets every day about workstations not functioning well. Also, MSP technicians receive complaints from their clients about issues in multiple workstations. When working on these fixes, you may need access to various information, including vendor info, hardware details, passwords, SOPs, etc. Imagine trying to search for this information through huge volumes of unstructured documentation. Sounds daunting, doesn’t it?
With relationship mapping, you can instantly isolate information pertaining to a specific device and get preliminary information like connected devices, software installed, firewalls, etc. This accelerates troubleshooting and helps resolve complicated issues instantly.
Promotes self-service culture
Having a documentation tool with relationship mapping features is a great way to empower your technicians. When technicians understand the relationships between various elements in the network, they can work on their own without waiting for information from multiple sources.
This helps you avoid issues arising from simple forgetfulness or misplaced information. With all the relevant information about the IT infrastructure right at their fingertips, technicians can be more independent and proceed to resolve issues on their own more confidently.
Comprehensive understanding of your IT environment
In many complex IT infrastructures, relevant information can get buried deep inside the environment without the possibility of instant access. As a result, network administrators have to painstakingly go through various documents and Excel sheets just to get an understanding of their network.
You can overcome this with a powerful documentation tool that has relationship mapping capabilities. By getting instant access to related items in your IT environment, you can get a complete understanding of how your devices are connected and how they interact with each other.
Speeds up onboarding
When onboarding a new technician to your team, you need to provide them with a full understanding of the devices you manage. However, providing a manual overview of the entire infrastructure can be overwhelming. Relationship mapping can come in handy during the onboarding process. By providing a glimpse of all the components in the network with the help of a relationship map, you can speed up your onboarding process and get your technicians accustomed to their work in no time.
What are relationship mapping tools?
Relationship mapping tools are software solutions that help you map relationships between assets, giving you a full picture of your clients’ IT environments. In a relationship mapping tool, you can enter all your assets and create two-way relationships between them. This provides you with information on the dependencies and relationships for all IT components.
When you get the relationship information between your assets through a relationship mapping solution, you can easily understand what’s at stake if you encounter a problem within your IT infrastructure. Robust tools like IT Glue also provide you with a logical structure to manage your information better. This drives performance and helps you identify permanent solutions whenever a new issue is encountered.
Understand IT relationships with IT Glue
IT Glue is a robust documentation solution that comes with powerful relationship mapping capabilities. You can link related items together and view all the required information anytime at your fingertips. IT Glue also helps you understand relationships between various elements of your documentation, dramatically reduces research time, and provides instant peripheral vision and awareness. You can also build new relationships on the fly to continuously deepen and improve the resolution of your documentation.
IT Glue’s SOC 2-compliant documentation platform also comes packed with an immutable audit trail, network discovery, diagramming and more. All these features are fully integrated and linked with all your documentation.
To learn more about how IT Glue can help you understand IT relationships, request a demo of our industry-leading documentation platform.