IT support refers to various services which entities offer to end users of information technology products or services, aimed at fixing any identified flaws in the systems used. In a broader sense, IT support also provides assistance regarding specific issues with a particular product or service, and not providing customized support, provisioning or modification of the same, or any other technical support services. Hence, IT support is also included in the services map, which aims to enhance business IT departments by providing IT support solutions. The services map comprises a list of all IT support services offered by different service providers and organizations within the organization. In addition to the IT support services on the services map, there are several sub-topics within this umbrella.
Support for information technology involves support for hardware, networks, servers, software, firmware, and documentation.
Some IT support service organizations specialize in particular IT areas such as networking, integrated security management, desktop servers, networking equipment, database management, desktop computers, laptops, and other new technologies. A few others provide IT support services for all aspects of information technology. The goal of every IT service organization is to ensure the optimum utilization of information technology systems, while allowing for cost savings and increased productivity. It seeks to achieve this by minimizing IT expenditures, supporting the latest developments in information technology, and upholding the reputation of the company in the IT sector.
There are two main types of IT support services offered by the companies or organizations. First, there is direct IT support, which refers to a company providing assistance to solve problems of a particular level. For instance, it could be providing remote PC repair, online tech support, installation and maintenance services for PCs and other information technology equipment. Direct IT support is generally used when the client is unable to troubleshoot a specific problem within a reasonable time frame, or when information technology resources are not easily available from a remote location. However, other IT service providers may provide IT support that involves cooperation between the client and service providers.
On the other hand, an indirect IT support system is one that employs both IT support personnel and technicians, who can be called upon when needed to troubleshoot problems. These personnel may be called upon not only when there is a problem with a specific piece of equipment, but also to provide refresher training to employees who use the equipment on a daily basis. This type of system enables employees to get the knowledge they need to solve problems quickly and efficiently without requiring the IT support personnel to stay in front of their computer. This reduces costs because the personnel doing the work can be located virtually anywhere, and their knowledge base is expanded. This allows an organization to save money on both salary expenses and operational expenses.
Each IT support system has two levels of personnel, known as the technical team and the information technology support staff. The technical team, which consists of both trained IT professionals and individuals hired to perform the actual IT support functions, consists of both full-time and part-time personnel. There is also a clerical IT support team, which employs clerical personnel to help with basic IT support functions. Information technology support staff comprises the people in charge of training new IT personnel and providing the knowledge management system that will allow end users to troubleshoot their systems on their own.
One of the major components of an IT support structure is the tier one personnel.
These individuals are employed directly by the company and have the most direct and least amount of contact with end users. These individuals are primarily responsible for managing the IT network, troubleshooting hardware problems, implementing the needed software upgrades, correcting security vulnerabilities, and responding to customer inquiries. In order to be categorized as a tier one technician, an individual should have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar field, and should have experience in managing and maintaining computer networks. Some IT support staffs are required to have additional certifications, licensing, or training to be classified as tier one technicians.
Other IT support personnel are lower down in the hierarchy and consist of l1 personnel and technical assistants. L1 technicians are employed on a temporary basis by larger corporations and are typically stationed in call centers where they will deal solely with complex issues. On call center technicians will perform tasks like answering phone calls for the parent company and will have to be skilled in resolving computer related issues that arise on the telephone. Technical assistants have a slightly different job description involving hands on work with IT related issues. They are typically employed by small to mid size companies and will assist the company with any problems that their customers are having with their computer network.
IT support level two is the next tier in the hierarchy. Technicians at this level have more specialized skills and may perform tasks that require a higher level of skill. Common tasks associated with technicians at this level are support of specific software applications, recovery of data from hardware failures, testing new hardware, and upgrading the company’s infrastructure. IT support level two technicians also specialize in hardware or software installation and maintenance. Most IT support technicians begin their careers as network technicians or system administrators, and some will work in support positions for larger companies in order to gain higher salaries and increase their skills.