IT support refers to services which entities offer to clients of computer-related technologies or organizations. In simple terms, IT support provides guidance regarding certain technological issues with a specific product or service, and not offering training, provision of modification or additional support services, or any other related services. The need for IT support is growing at an exponential rate, as organizations need to update their technologies to respond to evolving business needs. The increased need for IT support services is particularly evident in the business sectors that are heavily dependent on computers, such as Information Technology departments in large corporations.
Many organizations that are large-scale, innovative and multinational have entire departments dedicated to computer support. Large-scale corporations often have IT departments that are separate from the business sections, and these organizations require technical assistance in the form of onsite assistance, remote support, consulting, or troubleshooting services when a computer issue occurs. The need for technical assistance is often times evident when the organization encounters hardware issues that need immediate attention, or when the computers that are in use at a given point in time to stop functioning. These organizations must call in professional technicians that are knowledgeable about the latest in technology that may be able to resolve the issue. For smaller organizations, which have limited IT resources, finding solutions to complex problems can be more difficult, as solutions may require higher levels of skill and knowledge in IT.
There are several types of IT support that include onsite, remote, managed and IT-based services. Onsite tech support centers provide assistance to individual users who visit the location for troubleshooting or updates on hardware and software. Remote technical support entails services that are provided by trained professionals via phone calls, faxes and Internet. Remote tech support can work in tandem with onsite centers, whereby they can help to resolve hardware issues as well as software issues that are encountered while travelling from one location to another. IT-based services require the use of computer systems that are based on industry standards. In most cases, this means that computer systems must meet specific specifications and standards, and these services are often provided by established companies that have experience in supporting different computer systems.
The other forms of IT support are divided according to their specific needs. Onsite support specialists work with end-users to solve hardware problems. These IT support specialists will typically visit the location of the end-user and install necessary hardware components that will help resolve the issue. Once this has been done, the support specialist will attempt to reproduce the problem so that the end-user will know how to fix it. Some IT support specialists work in concert with hardware manufacturers and computer software manufacturers to develop specific computer software that is designed to solve common problems.
Management-based IT support specialists work with the higher management in an organization to resolve hardware and software issues. These individuals are typically trained to work with IT managers. However, they do not install any hardware or programmable logic devices, meaning they do not deal with technology at all. Management-based IT support specialists typically report directly to a manager, and their primary responsibility is to ensure that the company’s computer systems are operating at maximum capacity.
Onsite IT support specialists work in close collaboration with onsite computer repair technicians. They perform the same functions as management-based support specialists, but onsite support specialists may work with hardware that cannot be easily moved. For example, it may be more difficult to move a motherboard or processor from one location to another. When a computer system goes out of commission for one reason or another, onsite IT support specialists can come to the location and troubleshoot the issue. This kind of support specialist is able to fix the problem remotely, which makes it easier for the staff who are less likely to be computer savvy.
There are also specialized IT support specialists who can assist with specific hardware. For example, if a network is outdated or doesn’t function as efficiently as it should for certain users, an onsite IT support specialist can set up the necessary infrastructure to make things run optimally again. A data center is another critical piece of hardware that can be quite delicate. It is important for an IT support specialist to know everything about how to properly run and maintain a data center. In fact, if an IT support specialist knows how to properly protect the data in the data center, he or she is likely needed onsite more often than not.
All of these service types have their own benefits and drawbacks. The best option for a company relying on IT to help them stay up to date and avoid potential problems is likely going to be an in-house managed service provider. However, companies who do not have IT budgets or those who do not have a management team who are skilled enough to deal with the intricacies of managed services will likely need to use an external service provider. Either way, the IT service provider the company chooses will provide them with the kind of expertise they need to keep their business running smoothly.