IT support refers to various services which entities offer to end users of certain technology products or online services. In simple terms, IT support provides technical assistance in terms of resolving problems with a particular product or online service, instead of providing training, provision of hardware or software, or other such support services directly. There are also some companies that provide IT support services to small and medium-sized businesses. In most cases, companies with IT support departments are small firms that specialize in providing IT support services to large organizations.
There are certain IT support services, which include hardware repair, upgrades, installation, configuration
and maintenance, networking and security, system recovery, and hardware monitoring. There are different types of IT support services, which are based on the type of hardware or software a computer or a network machine requires to operate normally. These service types also differ from one company to another. For instance, a small firm may provide e-mail or desktop support, while major firm might provide full server support, including hardware backup and management.
Small and mid-sized enterprises have two IT support structures to cater to their needs. Initially, there are tier one technicians, who provide basic hardware support services, ranging from setup and recovery to upgrading and adding new hardware. As the business grows, additional technicians are added to the support team. The best part about this is that it reduces costs, as the technicians do not require training and have professional certifications, whereas the support team does have specialized knowledge and experience. As such, there is a marked cost-effectiveness with this type of IT support system.
However, when compared to managed services, it is seen that there are more benefits. Managed services involve the provision of hardware according to the customer’s specifications, remote access to the systems and installation and configuration of the same, with the help of network infrastructure professionals. In contrast, IT support companies offer managed services over the internet, via telephone or mobile devices, which requires the assistance of network experts and technicians.
IT support services are provided by various service providers, such as computer hardware stores, local computer shops, computer software resellers, and IT support engineers. The computer software reseller is the most common form of provider, as they usually provide a range of hardware products. Computer hardware resellers usually offer a wide variety of motherboards, processors, memory, hard drives, optical drives, computers, and other related peripheral hardware, such as printers, keyboards, scanners, mice, video game machines, audio equipment, and others. As many people use computers everyday, there is a huge demand for computers and related hardware products. There are huge competition among these service providers, as well as between different vendors, in order to win market share. This has resulted in price reductions, bundled offers, freebies, and discounts, especially for new customers.
There are also independent computer systems manufacturers, such as Microsoft, Cisco, Apple,
and Compaq, that provide IT support for new technology products. Most of these companies provide both desktop and server support. With the introduction of newer technology products by these companies, their support staff has become quite knowledgeable about these products and can assist customers with installation, troubleshooting, and basic information technology.
- Another option for IT support services is to contact a third-party vendor.
- These vendors specialize in providing customized computer support services tailored to meet the needs of specific organizations.
- Some of these vendors sell complete systems, while others sell only computer components, such as processors, hard drives, optical drives, and motherboards.
The computer components may include such peripheral components as printer cartridges, audio cards, scanners, USBs, and network adapters. With the help of these vendors, organizations can install new technology, update current hardware, and migrate to new technology.
As technology changes and develops, organizations need to update their support job descriptions to reflect these changes. Organizations also need to upgrade their technical support infrastructure, as well as their supporting staff, in order to provide proper customer service and support for their specific needs. Organizations that perform these tasks effectively will enjoy a reduction in their IT support costs, an increase in productivity, and the ability to provide quality IT support services to their customers. Organizations that perform these activities will also reap the benefits of increased revenues from providing effective computer systems support to their customers.