IT Tech Support and Its Tiers
IT support refers to various services which entities offer to users of certain technology-based services or products. In short, IT support simply provides assistance regarding specific issues with a particular product or service, instead of providing detailed training, provision, or customization of that product, or any other support services for that matter. Some examples include product support, which provides guidance and assistance with regard to the proper handling of equipment used in an organization; system support, which involve processes for detecting, correcting, and preventing errors that could potentially impact the performance of specific systems; online support and training support, which provide IT professionals with methods to easily troubleshoot specific issues that can arise from time to time; remote support, which are provided by a remote IT support company to minimize unforeseen issues that would affect the timely operation of business processes; web site support, which helps IT professionals improve the internal functions of websites by implementing features that are often available only by purchasing those particular web site applications; and desktop support, which trains IT professionals on specific components of Microsoft Windows operating systems. There are many types of IT support services and technologies, each of which requires different approaches to the support of IT-related systems and technologies.
One of the primary functions of IT support companies, therefore, is to provide information technology personnel with the necessary skills, knowledge, tools and devices for performing their specialized jobs. Such specialists are also responsible for implementing IT policies and procedures based on standards set by the U.S. Department of Defense, according to which companies must implement security measures to protect confidential and proprietary information. In this regard, IT support companies also provide training programs to their IT technicians so that they can effectively handle security related activities. The objectives of providing IT support are, therefore, very clear.
In order to be categorized as one of the specialized support technicians,
IT support technicians should possess the basic skills required to perform their assigned tasks. These skills include the skills to work with the administrative interface (PCI, ISV, PATA), the programming languages (C/C++, Java, Visual Basic, Perl, etc.) and of course, the most important skill is the IT knowledge, which will enable them to resolve issues involving the various components of the IT environment.
IT support specialists work in two modes: first, on-site or off-site. While on-site specialists usually visit a client’s premises during office hours, off-site IT support personnel usually call a client’s computer to perform troubleshooting and recovery tasks when it is not feasible for the technician to come to the client’s location. IT support services can be provided by managed support services firms, which are third-party vendors that bring IT support personnel to the client’s location. Often, managed services firms charge a fee for their services, although there are many managed support services that offer free or at a discounted rate services to their clients. The managed service option is usually more suitable for small enterprises and home computers.
Most businesses and individuals use third-party software applications and computer systems. Third-party software applications are those developed and sold by other companies and organizations. These programs have embedded coding that, when installed in the computer systems of users, poses a risk to the security of the system. Security concerns necessitate IT support services as third-party programmers or developers cannot guarantee the security of the programs installed in computer systems. Moreover, when problems arise in these embedded codes, it is impossible for technicians to trace the cause of the problem and offer a remedy without assistance from IT support technicians.
On the other hand, IT support technicians are technically trained to repair computer systems
and software applications. They have to be aware of every aspect of the computer systems and software applications installed in offices. They also need to be capable of repairing hardware that has become damaged. To this end, some IT service providers specialize in repairing specific brands or types of hardware, while others offer all-inclusive service solutions, which include repairs and replacements of hardware devices.
- While troubleshooting computer systems and software faults on IT hardware.
- IT tech support agents use diagnostic and repair tools that they have been trained to recognize and correct.
- Once problems are identified, they help their customers to determine the best solutions for each problem.
In addition, some IT tech support companies also offer maintenance services, which provide the means for customers to maintain their IT hardware and software systems. However, before customers can use these services, they first need to acquire and activate the corresponding licenses.
The typical IT support system has tiers. The first tier mainly consists of customer support specialists, who help customers locate and consult with technicians trained in the specific technologies that they need to employ. The second tier contains IT support technicians who are trained and certified to solve specific problems. The third tier consists of technicians who specialize in repairing specific brands of hardware or software. These technicians are usually called on to resolve issues that require training or licensing, such as improper shutdown of computers, battery failure, and other malfunctions that require training and licensing.