IT support refers to various services that organizations offer to clients of certain technologies or online products. In general terms, IT support provides assistance regarding specific technical issues with a particular product or service, as opposed to offering training, modification, or provision of the same product. This may involve fixing bugs or repairing security flaws. However, IT support also includes support for specific applications and operating systems. For e.g., Microsoft provides IT support services for its products like Microsoft Office, Windows, Outlook, etc.
There are different types of IT support systems that include on-site, off-site, live chat
and remote service support. Off-site technical support system provides assistance to clients at the location where the product is purchased or leased. Here, technicians are available only during office hours, which makes it difficult for an organization to take advantage of these services round the clock. On the other hand, on-site support system allows technicians to visit the organization’s site when needed to troubleshoot a problem. Remote tech support system is a combination of both on-site and remote services for troubleshooting PC and web-based issues.
The role of a technician includes many tasks including installation and maintenance of PCs, implementation of hardware and software, installation of drivers and configure hardware and software settings, creation of task lists, creation of restore points, etc. managed IT service also can help organizations in using Internet services (commonly known as ISMS) such as email, fax and IM services, web conferencing, video conferences and VOIP services for internal and external communication. They may also help organizations in implementing mobile devices such as tablets, smart phones and netbooks. These technicians may also be referred as technical assistants or computer support specialists. Thus, the scope of this field is very broad.
There are different types of IT support company services including on-site technician support, managed services and outsourced services. A managed service typically refers to support company services provided by an organization’s technical support department that is managed by a service provider. These companies engage one or more technicians who work in their presence. Technicians offered managed services are typically hired on a contract basis where the organization reimburses them for their services. Some companies may also choose to hire a managed support technician on a full-time basis, and compensate him/her with fixed salaries and benefits.
On-site technicians include only those IT support companies who provide services exclusively online. They work directly with the company’s IT systems or hardware. The duties of on-site technicians include installation, repair, upgrade, configuration, installation or maintenance of hardware and software. These professionals must regularly interact with network administrators, support operators, and other IT staff in order to resolve hardware or software problems.
On-site technicians can also perform troubleshooting tasks
that involve configuration of hardware as well as software. In contrast, troubleshooting done via remote access, video collaboration, or telephone calls are categorized as tier one IT support. Tiers of support technicians include one, two, three, and four. One technician specializes in a particular hardware or software type while the other specializes in a particular method of network usage. A technician at tier one level supports specific issues and problems, while a technician at tier two performs general computer support. Computer experts at tier three levels perform different tasks involving hardware, networking, and software problems.
- Tiers of technicians include four, five, six, seven, and eight.
- At level one, a technician can perform basic computer support while level two can handle medium to complex issues.
- Level three technicians possess specialized skills such as intrusion detection.
malware removal, antivirus removal, troubleshooting for hardware and software, and protocol implementation. Technicians at level eight possess IT support knowledge as well as certain other skills.
Computer support companies offer managed services that involve a team of specialists that work together to provide IT support. Managed services usually cover a wide area of computer systems. These companies usually employ qualified staff who are capable of handling any technical issue ranging from virus removal to the PC repair. Support companies are able to manage their customer base through a mechanism called outsourcing.