IT Support is a Viable Profession?
IT support refers to various services that entities offer to end users of various technologies products or services manufactured by a particular company. In simple terms, IT support simply provides assistance regarding certain issues with a particular product or service, instead of providing customized training, provision of modification or additional support services, or any of the other support services offered. A typical IT support service provider would be a computer hardware shop, a software development company, a network administrator, a computer software consultant, or even an internet entrepreneur. Each of these entities specializes in a certain form of IT support. Their job is to assist and troubleshoot problems involving computers, software, hardware, and telecommunications.
Computer support companies can provide computer repair, optimization, upgrades,
and other related IT support services for both home and commercial computer systems. Home computer systems usually have user manuals that explain in layman’s terms, how to do specific functions. Home computer support companies provide manuals and online guides that help users set up their computers, create an administrator password, download software, set up email accounts, perform basic file searches, download programs and scan disks. Commercial computer systems are a little more complex and they include a wide variety of features and services, not to mention security systems and warranties that are designed to protect against product failure.
For commercial computer systems, the primary goal is to help businesses maximize their profits by preventing costly software faults, system downtime, and system crashes. The ultimate goal of a technician is to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. Many technician jobs are provided by third party computer support companies who are contracted by the manufacturer or vendor to provide on-site technician support.
There are five stages to IT support: Tech Support Tiers I, II, III, IV, and V. These tiers are further divided into five core departments: Customer Care and Service, Web Services, Data recovery, Backup Engineering and Management, and Information technology and Network Security. The first two tiers of IT support are very broad, covering the broadest range of client interactions. Tech Support Tiers I and II cover internal processes, and are typically employed to help customers troubleshoot hardware or software problems. Customer care and service are the backbone of all other IT support tiers, covering everything from advising the client on their product and service needs to actually implementing solutions.
Tiers III and IV cover more specific technical issues.
As with customer care and service, this second tier is broader in scope and difficult for the average IT support agent to manage alone. As such most IT professionals fall into the category of Technical Lead (or TLE), which is a specialized department within an IT support organization. Within the TLE position, you will have the responsibility of handling and overseeing routine IT support calls, as well as resolving simple to moderate IT issues.
- The final three tiers of IT support are comprised of cross-functional teams.
- On tier technical support groups maintain cross functional capability, working with both hardware and software in multiple locations at once.
- This means that they may be responsible for handling both hardware and software issues, but not necessarily both at the same time.
These teams can also cross over to handle different types of issues involving applications and devices. In some cases, these cross functional teams will specialize in only one area of support, while in other situations they may work across multiple interfaces and support systems. These specialized teams will have a defined role defined by their organizational role and function within the IT support system.
Overall, there are many IT support functions within an organization, and they each play different roles. As an IT professional, you will need to perform your role effectively in order to be successful. Your role as a Technical Lead, your knowledge management and troubleshooting skills, and your ability to collaborate with other team members will determine how successful you are at supporting the end user. Your technical support functions can be complex and involve a great deal of knowledge management, analysis, and testing. It is in all probability that an IT professional will need to contact their local vendors for assistance on troubleshooting issues that may arise at the end user.