IT support refers to services which companies provide to customers of computer products or online technology services. In simple terms, IT support offers assistance regarding particular issues with a computer product, instead of providing proper training, modification or provision of the same. This enables the provider to save on costs while still meeting the customer’s requirements in the most efficient manner possible.
It is a common sight today to see numerous companies selling and offering computer support services online. This has paved the way for an increasing number of companies who deal with support services for computer products, laptops, desktop PCs, networking equipment and other tech products. A tech support manager, who is in charge of answering questions and providing assistance to customers, can be found anywhere. Common computer support services offered by most companies include repair of hardware, installation of new hardware, installation of software, security updates and programs, recovery of data, installation of software drivers, and setup of new computer systems.
The basic role of a support specialist includes communicating directly with computer users, providing assistance with hardware and software problems and recommending services. A support specialist helps desk users by assisting them with their queries and assisting them in installing new software. In this role, the specialist performs tasks that would be troublesome for the average user. For instance, installing new software requires the tech support specialist to physically visit the customer’s workplace and perform the task. This could be extremely costly and time-consuming for the average user.
IT support specialists are also responsible for performing troubleshooting tasks that require closer observation of the system or computer than what is usually required by the average user. Computer support specialists must first visit the location where the computer or a particular system is located before they can give advice on a possible problem. This process is called tier 1 support. Many organizations have their own internal support teams for performing tier one troubleshooting tasks such as fixing hardware glitches, detecting security vulnerabilities, and downloading recommended upgrades or patches. However, customers generally call in outside IT support specialists for more detailed questions or to report product problems.
In order to become an IT support specialist, the individual must attain some level of knowledge in information technology. In order to enhance one’s knowledge in the field of information technology, one can enroll into an IT educational program that offers both classroom and online courses. IT support specialists may be able to find work through a combination of employment opportunities in companies that offer IT support as part of a job description or through professional organizations that require individuals with specific knowledge sets to provide on-site assistance to their clients. In either case, IT support specialists must possess certain competencies based upon competency in Microsoft Office products, familiarity with various networking technologies, and knowledge management skills.
Some companies prefer to utilize IT support specialists who possess hands-on experience working with network equipment, routers, security systems, and servers. These individuals are often required to demonstrate proficiency by demonstrating their knowledge of a variety of troubleshooting techniques, tools, and utilities. In order to effectively perform these types of tasks, support personnel must also be knowledgeable about electronic data capture, computer networking, troubleshooting procedures, and administrative practices. In some cases, information technology support specialists may also be required to train new hires on the latest versions of important software programs.
For some companies, it is preferable that IT support personnel be able to perform a variety of tasks. If a support staff member is expected to perform a number of functions, the organization may prefer to contract with a firm that provides a full range of services other than just troubleshooting. For example, some companies require personnel to provide support for the entire IT department, while others focus on just one specific department. In addition, some companies conduct training sessions for new employees, allowing them to learn the skills necessary for performing a variety of functions. To this end, IT support firms may provide training seminars, provide on site training, and even offer courses in the form of online classes to help IT support staff members become more versatile and knowledgeable in their field.
IT support specialists work in an exciting arena. In today’s challenging business world, supporting computer systems requires a unique skill set that is difficult to replace. Although some support specialists can choose to specialize in a particular function, such as network maintenance, IT support specialists must possess enough of a broad skill set to provide a wide range of services to their clients. In addition, in today’s ever-changing business world, it is often necessary to implement IT support specialists’ skills in different environments and business models over time. By carefully choosing a business partner that can meet your company’s unique needs, an IT professional can add significant value and reap a substantial cost savings.