IT support refers to various services which entities offer to clients of specific technologies or products. In simple terms, IT support provides assistance to customers regarding specific difficulties with a technological product or service, and not providing extensive training, modification, or provision of that product, or any other support services relating to that product or service. For instance, let us take the use of a computer or a network. If IT support is provided, the client is normally assisted in troubleshooting or fixing computers or networks themselves, without having to contact a technician. The IT support company will provide support only for specific brands, or models of computers and/or networking equipment. Some companies who render IT support services have local offices and branches, which make it possible for a customer to call up an IT support representative at any time of the day or night, even if it happens to be a weekend or holiday, to avail of IT support services from that company.
There are many companies that provide IT support services to both small and large companies
and organizations, with specialized expertise in virtually every field related to information technology. A typical IT support company can assist computer systems owners, developers, software publishers, service providers, business owners, government agencies, schools, hospitals, and various other organizations in terms of maintaining their computer systems and hardware, as well as developing new systems based on those which are failing. Some IT support companies offer software as well as hardware upgrades or modifications, depending upon the needs of the client. Some provide assistance with security systems, data backup and management, power supply, network security, software installation, software upgrading, hardware repairs, and software updates.
There are various types of support staff for technical issues in the IT industry. There are technical specialists who are trained to handle IT support duties. These professionals can be computer hardware technicians or network technicians who can be located on site or at a remote site of a client’s choice. Onsite technical specialists can be recruited by an IT recruitment agency, or an IT specialist firm which can train them to specialized duties. Remote IT support staff can be recruited from a variety of locations including telecommuting, freelance sites and various part time employment opportunities.
There are also consultants who provide IT support services from remote locations or from their own offices. These are the most common types of technical support staff employed by various companies. The consultant generally is located on site or in a remote location as well as equipped with knowledge of specific computer hardware, operating systems, troubleshooting procedures, and network architecture. The consultant’s job is to resolve technical problems relating to hardware, application software, networking, security, and maintenance issues.
A basic tier of IT support consists of two technicians, a lead technician and a troubleshoot technician. The first technician is stationed at the client’s location and the second technician is located on the client’s site or at a remote site. The first technician is qualified to troubleshoot hardware issues and the second is qualified to provide support for software applications. This support group usually employs less skilled technicians than an IT department with additional ranks of technicians. These technicians possess the skills necessary to resolve general and more complicated issues such as virus attacks, software glitches, hardware damage, network vulnerabilities, and telephone support.
A second set of IT support consists of a tier one technician
and level two technician. Technicians in this particular tier are trained to resolve more complex technical issues than those in tier one. As opposed to the first level support technicians who are trained to provide support for software applications, they are trained to resolve conflicts involving hardware. This kind of IT support is necessary when resolving conflicts involving an individual’s computer software settings and files, and is often called “level one” IT support.
- A third set of technicians are employed by a company to provide technical support to the entire organization rather than specific departments.
- These individuals are called internal IT support personnel.
- Some internal IT support personnel are trained as customer service representatives
who are responsible for handling routine questions that customers may have concerning particular products, upgrades, maintenance, installation, and troubleshooting. Other internal technicians may provide assistance to sales representatives, managers, human resources, or executives.
IT support specialists usually belong to a specialized department. For instance, in some companies there are information technology security management advisors, support specialists, information technology professionals, computer systems security managers, and networking professionals. In other organizations, computer systems security managers serve as IT support specialists and work with network designers, antivirus developers, and other IT support staff. Network developers typically belong to an IT support specialist and provide such advice as setting up the routers and wireless networks. Computer systems security management advisors train and qualify computer systems security personnel in a company’s mission-critical programs to prevent and defend against any potential intrusions to computers and information within the company.