IT support refers to various services that enterprises provide to end users of certain technologies or products. In simple terms, IT support provides support to the customer regarding specific technical issues with a particular product or service, and not providing training, distribution, or modification of the said product, or other extended support services to the end user. In some cases, the IT support function performs administrative tasks involved in supporting the IT infrastructure of the organization. In other instances, a single IT support personnel is responsible for managing the entire IT support function of an enterprise. The IT support roles vary in nature depending upon the nature of technologies deployed in an organization. The scope of IT support service delivery may be very broad in small enterprises which may only include hardware, software, firmware, networking, and security aspects of the IT support functions of an enterprise.
On the other hand, the IT support function can be extremely specialized
in large enterprises which may encompass all aspects of their IT support operations. Small enterprises often utilize their IT personnel to perform only the basic functions of support like troubleshooting, upgrading, and restoring computers, scheduling, and deploying services, etc. On the other hand, large enterprises may utilize technicians who specialize in software, and hardware upgrades, security fixes, database backups, desktop management, server maintenance, etc. Some large enterprises may utilize tier 2 support technicians who are additional representatives of the company whose primary role is to resolve technical issues involving the company’s network, server, and software products and services.
On the other hand, there exists a broad range of technician functions within each primary role. Within each technical problem area, there exists two broad tiers of technicians: basic technicians and specialist technicians. A basic technician is a technician who can execute basic troubleshooting techniques that can resolve most minor IT support issues. He/She generally possesses specialized knowledge in one or two IT support functions such as server troubleshooting, software, or hardware upgrades, networking troubleshooting, etc., and he/she has enough knowledge to resolve most troubles.
A specialist technician, on the other hand, possesses more IT support knowledge and experiences which give him/her the capability to resolve major IT support issues that involve more sophisticated IT solutions. A specialist technician possesses at least the following IT support skill sets: comprehensive knowledge of Windows server administration, managing servers and networks, knowledge of Microsoft Windows Exchange Server, knowledge of Cisco Internet Protocol (IP) technologies, understanding of networking technologies, understanding of software or hardware upgrades, experience with complex problems concerning server applications and managing back-end server applications, and effective command over database servers and file servers. To meet the above skill needs, IT support specialists are expected to possess additional qualifications which are defined by the industry as key benefits for the positions. They should also have knowledge of emergency management, troubleshooting methods, the basics of disaster recovery, understanding of business continuity planning, knowledge of telecommunication technologies, and being familiar with other IT functions.
In order to be considered for a position in one of the IT support departments,
one must posses the minimum qualification specified by the industry as IT support specialist. The minimum qualification required is the basic level of IT support knowledge. This level of knowledge mainly requires knowledge in computer networking, data backup, configuration management, server administration, troubleshooting techniques, and basic usage of Microsoft Windows as well as Cisco Networking technologies. Other IT support skill sets required by the professionals in IT support are the following:
IT support services cover support for: client-server management, server application management, desktop management, and integrated technical support, including help desk support, remote assistance, help desk telephony, and third-party telephony. IT support services are provided by experienced and highly trained technical professionals who possess the knowledge and capability to resolve issues arising out of the usage of the following technologies: Microsoft Windows 2021, Microsoft Windows XP, Cisco networking technologies, Oracle, Linux, Novell, Solaris, and Sun Microsystems. The IT support services are provided by service providers who offer managed services for the companies and organizations on a fee-based basis. Some of these service providers offer help desk support and web site maintenance services on the Internet.
- Live chat technology helps the organization in getting faster responses to its online tech support needs.
- This technology provides the users with real-time interaction options through toll-free numbers.
- The discussion topics are chosen by the users based on the pre-established criteria such as types of queries, issues that need to be solved, time constraints, and geographic locations.
The tech support services also provide solutions to problems in a fast way. The technical support services also allow the users to receive manuals, brochures, pamphlets, and CDs in the form of CDs or DVDs.
IT support service providers offer IT service desk options which include first-tier hosting services, medium-tier hosting services, and tier 2 hosting services. First-tier hosting services are meant to provide basic support to the domain and are offered on the cheap. Medium-tier hosting services offer more technical assistance to the client. These services are usually hosted on servers maintained by the third-party service provider. And the best part about it is that these service providers to provide assistance on all types of computer problems, including antivirus support, security system support, data recovery services, website maintenance services, fixing software, security systems support, and other management and repair services, including troubleshooting tips and guides.