IT support refers to various services that organizations offer to end-users of different technologies products or services. In a broader sense, IT support also provides assistance regarding specific issues with a particular product or service, and not providing customized training, provisioning or modification of the technology product, or other IT support services. Many organizations offer IT support services to clients who require assistance in their implementation of technological systems. In addition, some companies offer IT support for a business as a whole, instead of being specifically tied to a specific department. The aim of IT support is to solve IT problems, by improving IT operations and practices.
Implementing an IT support model involves the creation of a tiered collaborative team
of support staff who work with the customer to determine what the problem is, how to fix it, and to find ways to prevent and handle customer dissatisfaction. This methodology results in enhanced customer satisfaction because of more efficient and reliable systems. These models have been shown to be highly effective when implemented properly. The following are four common IT support models used today.
tiers of support technicians. The first tier of support technicians consists of persons who have basic IT knowledge, while the remaining personnel are IT experts. At the top of this ladder are management personnel who report directly to the higher-ups. They decide which IT services are important to a company and assign technicians to departments within the company to perform their duties. This structure creates opportunities for IT support technicians to specialize in a specific IT service area.
There are four tiers of support staff. The first two tiers, called the support technicians, have very little IT knowledge and can perform basic issues. They are usually responsible for answering simple questions, handling simple problems, and directing customers to the relevant support staff for additional information. Support technicians in tier one can also perform other functions such as archiving and retrieval. If an issue comes up that requires more expertise, the support staff in tier two (also called the support engineers) can perform tasks such as data recovery or problem diagnosis.
The middle tier consists of technicians who possess more technical knowledge and are able to solve more complex problems. At this point, there is a balance between the basic support and advanced technical support. The higher up in the IT support structure you go, the more technicians there will be. There is generally less turnover in this position, and there is a greater emphasis on quality of work to make sure that problems are fixed as soon as possible. Some support systems place technicians in different tiers, such as first responder or incident response. Other support structures do not have tiers; instead, a single technician answers all support calls.
The third tier consists of technicians who have at least some IT knowledge
and are able to solve more complex problems. This level of technical support is usually run by a department and there are greater communication and teamwork within the department. At tier one, there is usually only one person who handles calls and the job description is very detailed. In tier two, there may be several technicians, but the job description is more open-ended because the technicians are allowed to solve different problems as they arise.
- The final tier consists of the regular technicians.
- These people are trained and hired on a permanent basis
- Their job description is usually quite flexible because the company may include them on staff for a limited period of time.
They receive regular training to update them on the latest technology, such as Microsoft Windows. In some cases, support technicians may include these technicians on staff permanently because they possess certain skills that cannot be learned from books or software.
IT support is broken down into four levels based on how difficult the problem is. If it is not critical, basic troubleshooting is performed. If it is critical, support level two technicians help in providing guidance as to what steps to take. At the highest level of IT support, all efforts are made to resolve problems as quickly as possible so the business can go on with running smoothly. Basic IT support technicians are usually trained on basic issues and troubleshooting techniques and they perform basic functions such as answering email, filing server maintenance issues, setting up and maintaining a backup system, answering customer questions and updating the existing customer database.