IT support refers to various services that businesses offer to clients of technical products or online technologies. In simpler terms, IT support simply provides assistance to clients in relation to certain technological issues with a particular product or service, instead of providing customized training, provision of modification or other technical support services. The scope of IT support can differ from large, multi-million dollar enterprises to small, home-based companies, as well as including government and educational organizations. In most cases, IT support is provided by specialized or contract organizations, but there are also many vendors who specialize in this field. However, there is a great deal of confusion as to what IT support entails, so it is important for businesses to understand the basic functions of IT support before they can understand how IT support providers can resolve specific issues with their clients’ technologies.
The first function is the primary duty of IT support technicians to first assess a client’s requirements.
In this assessment process, they must first determine if the clients’ systems require IT support, which requires evaluation on the part of technicians to determine the problem. Based on the evaluation, the technicians can then determine the kind of IT support needed, whether it is support for hardware or software. Afterward, a detailed plan on how to provide IT support to the clients is given to the technicians, which includes identifying the IT problems as well as the steps to be taken to fix them.
In IT support, the ultimate goal is to provide improved IT support methodology and more effective IT support methodologies to customers. For this reason, IT support technicians need to have proper knowledge management skills, which they acquire by carrying out the duties assigned by their client. IT knowledge management involves the use of information resources to create knowledge and find out relevant information. For instance, in troubleshooting, IT techs perform an analysis of the problem and develop a plan on how to solve it using the available information they have gathered. They are also responsible in forming IT knowledge by answering questions from the clients. This way, they help the client solve their problems, making use of the existing IT knowledge and information.
IT support services include managing scheduled job cycles, block hours, and the availability of qualified and semi-qualified technicians on call. Also, they can perform scheduled maintenance to ensure that a computer’s functionality is not affected. These scheduled maintenance tasks include disk defragmenting, program installation, system setup, and installation of updates. They can also instruct users on how to perform upgrades automatically.
At tier one, IT support staff are capable of handling routine IT support issues,
which includes fixing hardware problems, assessing the security of the network, and scheduling and managing scheduled job cycles. At tier two, they are capable of fixing technical issues caused by virus attacks and malware, detecting intrusions, correcting connectivity issues, and performing recovery tasks for damaged computers. They at tier three can handle issues that involve network and data security, network management, system integration, management of network resources, configuration management, troubleshooting processes for IT systems, and training users.
The IT support services can also provide IT support to an organization’s information technology infrastructure. The scope may cover network installation, management, installation, configuration, upgrading, and certification. The IT technical support staff are able to install upgrades and patches to ensure that a company’s information technology infrastructure is kept updated, is secure, and can respond quickly to capacity constraint problems. They can also train IT personnel and provide training on information technology related topics.
- IT tech support may also provide remote access services to its customers.
- Remote access allows IT technicians to access company networks, work on laptops, and access servers remotely via the Internet.
- IT tech support staff can perform troubleshooting tasks using live chat functions, web conferences, email, and phone.
In some cases, users may be authorized to enter restricted areas of a network or to gain temporary access to computers and servers. These services can help improve IT department efficiency and employee productivity.
IT support services are divided into several different types. Each type offers different features that are required in order to deal with specific IT issues. Depending on the IT environment, the IT support service offered may differ. The various types include the following: