The Different Levels of IT Support
IT support refers to support services which entities offer to end users of specific technology products or services, generally to resolve problems. In short, IT support provides technical assistance regarding specific issues with a computer software product, hardware device or even other support services, instead of providing training, distribution, or modification of the item, or any other support services itself. To put it simple, it covers a wide range of activities which deal with hardware, software, security, networking, and other aspects of IT support.
There are many IT support services provided by service companies
for all sectors related to IT. These include business to business computer systems support, network configuration and troubleshooting, information technology support, software and hardware security, personal computer support, system and network management, training and educational aspects, and new technology implementation and deployment. Each of these sectors carries its own unique IT support needs, and each one of them requires different IT support approaches. For instance, when looking at new technology or software, each of these sectors will have different needs, and each of these needs will also require different IT support methods.
For instance, in order to support new technology or software, IT support companies may opt to deliver managed services or engineering services, as opposed to on-site technical support. Managed services involve the use of an IT professional to provide on-site assistance to customers and may also be delivered through on-site workshops or telephonic explanations. On the other hand, engineering services are usually used for providing on-site repair or recovery services for computer systems. The IT support company may also choose to deliver telephonic or webinars support, depending on the nature of the particular industry in question.
As part of IT support, there is also tiered technical support. This means that there will be several levels of technical support, depending on the severity of a problem. The first level of support is for simple basic computer problems, and this type of support is often known as the ‘low tech’ level. IT professionals at this level will have little IT knowledge and they will primarily be required to resolve issues with website browsers or with basic office software.
The second level of IT support involves more IT knowledge, and it is what is commonly known as the medium-tech support level. IT support staff at this level will have a good combination of IT knowledge and skills, along with a good combination of basic office skills. Medium tech support may include the use of a remote server for simple problems, although its support staff may include the use of telnet or similar technologies for network connectivity and troubleshooting. It’s support staff may also use Microsoft Office applications and specific program utilities for common office problems.
Thirdly, there is the top-tier technical support,
which involves direct technical contact with an individual or an organization. The most skilled individuals are likely to work in this capacity, and its often the case that a company will hire several individuals to this level. Top-tier tech support may involve the provision of hardware and software for a single computer or a collection of computers and its sometimes required that the support staff work in teams to solve problems related to a specific piece of hardware. In addition, its sometimes required that the support staff know how to replace hardware, and they may also need to know about how to connect new hardware to existing networks.
- The fourth tier of IT support, referred to as the remote tech support team, is the most specialized of all.
- Its often the case that only a few people in a company (typically the lead employee
- One or two backup staff) are responsible for the management and maintenance of a large IT support staff.
These individuals are usually proficient enough IT specialists that they can perform the job of resolving issues relating to a single computer or a set of computers. However, unlike the other IT support staff tiers, remote tech support may involve a significant amount of travel, which means that this position requires a person who is highly organized and able to work without much human contact. The typical remote technician would require a high level of skill in many different computer programming languages. This position is most frequently found in the finance and insurance industries, and requires the person to have excellent computer programming skills and to be familiar with the operational procedures of various computer operating systems.
The final IT support team, the onsite support team, works to provide specific IT services to business clients and customers. The primary purpose of this department is to provide hardware and software support when hardware failure or software problems occur at the end user’s end. Onsite support team members are generally well versed in the hardware that they are provided to support, and they are trained to resolve specific IT support issues that a business may have. These technicians are also trained to perform software installs and maintenance, and they are typically provided onsite by a third-party computer support provider.