IT support refers to various services that commercial entities offer to end users of computers or technology products. In simple terms, IT support provides assistance to customers in having their computers or technology products repaired or returned to them after they become problematic or do not function as expected. In most cases, IT support does not provide customized training, provision of new hardware or software products, or other repair services. Rather, the technical staff provided by an IT support company provides basic computer skills and knowledge so that customers may continue to utilize their computers or technology products to the best of their ability.
Computer hardware is generally purchased from vendors that specialize in the manufacturing of that item. In most cases, computer systems are sold to end-users either through mass market retailers or electronic stores. While some companies choose to sell their computer systems directly to consumers, other companies work with IT support specialists who work closely with end-users to ensure that the computer systems meet their needs and are compatible with their hardware and software applications. In this manner, an IT support specialist helps the end-user maintain the appropriate hardware and software configurations so that the computer systems to function at peak levels.
Computer hardware, such as personal computers, laptop computers, desktop computers, networking equipment, printers, scanners, video game systems, and others are sold or supplied by manufacturers. Retail computer software comes in the form of discs, compact disks, CD-ROMs, and other media. IT support specialists help end-users install and download the appropriate computer software to operate the hardware. Some examples of computer software include word processing programs, spreadsheets, Internet software, audio and video software, office applications, gaming software, video editors, and image viewers. A technician’s job is often intertwined with the installation of computer software.
Common Tasks and Troubleshooting
One of the most common tasks for an IT support technician is trouble-shooting computer systems. This may include repairing or diagnosing hardware problems, identifying potential issues, and recommending a solution. In order to be effective at troubleshooting a computer system, a technician must have an understanding of the components involved, and they should also possess certain specialized skills. For example, a level 2 support specialist must be able to determine the type of problem that is being experienced. Computer systems professional should not only be able to identify the problem but they should also be able to provide the best solution for the particular problem. As part of their job duties, they may want to perform a scan of the entire system or they may simply look for specific problems.
Troubleshooting involves the use of various technological tools, including online or offsite tools, diagnostic tools, and testing tools. The two most widespread ways to troubleshoot computers involve using offsite resources and utilizing remote support services from the Internet. With offsite technical tools, professionals may troubleshoot problems on site in person. However, this has been less common over the last few years, as there are a number of reasons for this. One reason is that remote support technicians often require advanced training and licensing in order to use them. Another reason is that there is more risk involved with troubleshooting on the Internet because remote support services are often hosted on third party networks that could be compromised.
On the other hand, with offsite technical support, a technician can troubleshoot troubleshooting issues remotely from their office. This option is usually less costly because it requires less specialized tools and employees, and many IT staff members are accustomed to performing different types of troubleshooting. However, because this type of support requires the IT support technician to have a specialized understanding of specific computer hardware, it can be more expensive than in-house technical support. Remote IT support professionals may want to use specialized software in order to conduct scan, diagnose, and resolve computer hardware issues.
Duties of Computer Support & IT Specialists
Computer support specialists may also be called upon to implement upgrades, repairs, installs, upgrades, installs, and software modifications, depending on the nature of their job. Computer support specialists who work with hardware are less likely to be called upon to do recovery operations or data recovery tasks because these technicians are typically trained to use specific computer software. If the technician does require some recovery tasks, he or she will probably perform them using computer software that does not have the same problems that the hardware itself might have.
IT support specialists should keep a good understanding of all computer software and hardware. They should also have an understanding of how the companies they work for provide support for the products they maintain. The types of problems support specialist encounters may be very different than those a hardware technician will encounter, but they share the same goal in mind: resolving customer issues. Therefore, the two types of IT support specialists will be able to work together effectively. However, it’s important that both IT support specialists and the one responsible for hardware repair and maintenance understand the differences between in-house and remote support, especially in terms of managing inventory, diagnosing problems, and conducting recovery operations.