IT support refers to various services that certain entities offer to end users of certain technology products or online services. In a broader sense, IT support also offers support in terms of technical issues with a particular product or service, and not providing training, modification or other support services on the product itself. Some examples of IT support services are software or hardware upgrades, security updates, system integration, training management and advice, and computer repair. Sometimes, an IT support organization may also provide consulting services to clients. In most organizations, an IT support provider is usually connected to the company’s internal IT support team.
An important function of IT support is to provide support for software products.
In some cases, the products may be purchased from the vendor or through third-party vendors, while in other cases, customers purchase the products directly from the vendor. In some cases, the client may only require IT support for specific software products, while in other cases, the IT support may be required for all software products. When a system integrator provides IT support, the integrator also serves as the customer service representative, handling calls and advising customers as necessary.
For software products, IT support may involve a single customer interface or an application integration approach. In the former approach, one IT support team manages the support requests originating from the customer. This team can include one person in each geographical location of the enterprise. Depending upon the needs of the organization, different types of IT support teams may be employed, including a tier one support model which involves a single technician, a tier two technician, and one or two professionals who deploy and customize IT solutions according to the customer’s requirements. These technicians are called associates, and they perform their duties in a manner that is documented in an integrated support model.
In tier one scenarios, the organization employs a single certified technician who performs the entire range of IT support functions. In such a scenario, designated staff members are employed to manage hardware and software updates, diagnose problems, and resolve issues. In tier two scenarios, on the other hand, different staff members may be employed to handle each IT function, depending upon the size of the organization and its IT needs. Some organizations have IT support technicians who can perform hardware and software upgrades, install new hardware and software, provide remote diagnosis, and migrate systems to a specified server. Other support technicians may perform diagnostic testing and validation tasks only.
The third type of IT support technicians is the information technology specialist (ITOS). They can be specialized as network specialists (for example, routers and firewalls), data technicians, security technicians, and software technicians. ITOSs also have a defined set of duties that include the provision of information technology infrastructure, training and development of new software, maintenance of current software, upgrades and implementations of new procedures and policies, and training and development of new practices and systems. In order to become an ITOS, the individual must possess both technical skills and a comprehensive set of knowledge in a number of business disciplines.
As an information technology support specialist, your primary obligation will likely be assisting customers with computer problems.
You will then conduct troubleshooting sessions with the customer to determine the cause of their computer problem and implement a workable solution. Some IT support services employ call center representatives who can assist customers via email or telephone. If you are employed by a call center, you can conduct live phone interviews with customers as well as conduct webinars. Many call centers conduct training sessions for their IT support technicians to ensure that they are up-to-date on the latest tools, software, and methods for computer support.
- An alternative method of IT support services includes remote support.
- In this scenario, an IT technician will utilize specialized software to access the server of the client’s system.
- The technician will then access the file servers of the client’s system, as well as any backups that may be on the hard drives.
Clients can typically access IT support services through a telephone line, a website interface, or a form on a web page. Remote support services are ideal for businesses that do not have physical access to a computer system.
Many businesses struggle to adequately maintain their computer systems, which often results in costly human error, hardware failure, and improper use of information technology resources. To avoid these costly mistakes, many businesses opt to contract with an IT technical support provider. Outsourcing your IT support services can allow you to concentrate on your core business activities, while your computer systems undergo routine maintenance.