IT support refers to various services that non-IT corporations offer to clients of technology products or online services. In simple terms, IT support simply provides assistance to customers regarding specific issues with a particular product or service, and not providing technical support in general, including training, provision of modification or additional training of the product or service, or other technical support services. The first step in IT support is an assessment of the problem. It is then followed by solution development and deployment. Since IT support can cover a wide variety of issues, companies often find themselves employing more than one IT support service provider. In addition to employing multiple IT support service providers, some companies employ more than one MSP (Mobile Service Provider).
For example, some businesses may require IT support for specific departments, systems, operating systems, software, hardware, firmware, diagnostic tools, networking, servers, and/or network security devices. A small business may require IT support for billing, accounts receivable, credit card processing, shipping/delivery, web site design, e-commerce solutions, payroll processing, personal digital assistant (PDA), marketing programs, point of sale, customer service, and content management. Large corporations may require IT support for their enterprise system, networks, servers, information technology infrastructure, customer information systems, corporate intranet, desktop machines, and telephones. In some cases, a business organization may require IT support for its entire network infrastructure, or its information technology infrastructure. Regardless, of whether a business requires IT support for one or a number of its components, IT professionals need to understand their company’s needs prior to hiring an IT professional to perform support functions.
An IT technical support job description typically includes the identification of current issues, and the correction or prevention of such issues. IT professionals are often asked to conduct surveys on important issues affecting current and future IT needs. This information is then used to implement changes that will benefit the organization. In some cases, IT technical support personnel are called upon to train users on new software or hardware.
How IT Support Companies Manage all IT Issues
The responsibilities and duties of IT support groups usually change depending on the size, industry, and the clientele of the provider. The first tier of providers usually consists of small and mid-size companies with one or two computers. The tier one clientele typically consists of smaller organizations with between ten and fifty computers. These organizations may utilize the services of tier one technical support groups for basic computer support and applications support. They will most likely contact IT technical support companies for the purpose of installing new equipment, enhancing their current systems, troubleshooting computer problems, and providing maintenance services for the organization’s computers.
Companies that have higher end computers frequently contact IT technical support specialists for specialized computer support. This may include customized hardware, software, routers, switches, IP telephones, imaging devices, enterprise security systems, backup software, and multimedia devices. In addition, larger organizations may utilize a variety of other IT solutions and components. A common area that IT technical support specialists will be called upon to assist with includes managing user training and education, training end users on proper use of computers, hardware, software, and peripherals, troubleshooting productivity concerns, and upgrades that are needed to meet departmental goals.
There are a number of specialty areas that support specialists can specialize in. One such specialty is that of network security. Network security technicians are responsible for helping to protect an organization’s private computer networks from unauthorized access. There are also a number of support specialists who work exclusively with computer repair companies. In this case, the support technician works directly with the computer manufacturer to troubleshoot hardware issues that are related to the manufacturing process of the specific computer being repaired.
The Role IT Consultants play in an IT Support Department
A number of information technology (IT) support technicians operate as consultants. A consultant provides information technology support to organizations on a fee-based basis. Many companies prefer to hire a consultant because it allows them to focus on their core business priorities rather than spending time on smaller details. A consultant also allows an organization to focus on implementing new technologies. For organizations that are already operating systems based on Windows Server OS, hiring a consultant can be extremely advantageous because they can focus on implementation details rather than learning how to repair specific hardware or software issues.
A tier one support service, also known as the troubleshooting tier, is what most organizations employ when they need assistance with more complicated IT issues. The troubleshooting tier can range from basic computer repair or diagnostic system needs to advanced troubleshooting techniques. Support specialists within a tier one IT support service are typically very knowledgeable about the inner workings of a particular product or software program. As a result, they can easily pinpoint the cause of a problem and, as a result, provide a solution. Support specialists within a tier one IT support service are the types of professionals who receive special training in a specific technology or software program. This professional is usually able to provide information on fix tips for common problems and he or she may also have knowledge of a resource or online community where other IT professionals may seek assistance.