IT support refers to non-technical services which entities offer to end users of technologies or technical products. In simple terms, IT support offers assistance to customers regarding particular issues with a technological product or service, as opposed to providing training, provision of customization or other support services themselves. In fact, IT support can be considered as the first line of defense between the product’s manufacturer and end users, as well as its buyer. Without an effective support system, products may experience early and irreversible damages, which may render them useless or even risky for use.
Most IT support involves managing hardware resources in the company. For instance, computer network servers and their supporting network equipment require regular maintenance to ensure that they’re running at maximum capacity. In addition to this requirement, companies may require additional hardware, such as backup tapes, on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. It is up to the IT support technicians to determine which hardware these companies require, and how frequently they need to be updated. With the proper IT training, they can also determine how much software licensing costs, and how much memory they need to store data. IT support personnel can also help users download and install updates to their operating systems.
In today’s information technology world, there are many different hardware devices that users require. This is why IT support specialists often manage the hardware in a given organization. Because information technology is a fast changing field, the hardware requirements for managing IT change with it. When a new operating system or software is required, there are usually corresponding changes to the hardware necessary for IT support specialists to manage. If a company’s hardware is not up to date when a new version of software is released, it may be unable to support that new program or function.
As an IT support specialist, you must be familiar with the newest technology in order to support end-users adequately. In some cases, you might be mandated to carry out upgrades to current hardware in order to work with the new software or version of software. You must also be knowledgeable about what types of hardware to purchase, and whether that hardware is compatible with the operating system in use by the end-users. You must know how to troubleshoot any hardware issues that your client’s computers are experiencing. IT support specialists can often recommend high quality replacement parts if needed, but they cannot diagnose problems on their own, so it is important that you are aware of all the hardware features that your client might have, as well as what those features might mean to the end-user.
When it comes to repairing hardware, you are typically not only looking for the problem, but also diagnosing the problem. If the end-users do not have the ability to troubleshoot the problem themselves, you may be required to provide them with online assistance, through remote management, or you may be required to provide specialized training for end-users to enable them to run specific applications that will fix their hardware problems. The final level of IT support involves responding to any questions or complaints that the end-users have, ranging from advising them to obtain additional technical support to instruct them on how to properly care for their newly purchased equipment.
Some companies provide technical assistance to individual customers in addition to providing IT support to companies. These companies specialize in helping customers solve hardware issues. For example, some provide information technology services to small businesses, such as help desk solutions to assist in software setup, network configuration, hardware optimization, training and troubleshooting. Other companies focus their resources on providing information technology support to corporations, such as corporate information technology support, help desk support, and e-mail solutions.
Companies offering information technology business support may require a combination of practices to ensure quality customer service. They may require business support specialists who have an understanding of information technology to manage their computer repair calls. This includes having computer repair technicians who understand the basics of how a PC works as well as how to troubleshoot common computer errors. Business support specialists may require information technology support specialists who have knowledge of telecommunication technologies. This includes understanding the basics of VOIP, voice over IP, broadband Internet, voice mail, file sharing and other pertinent technologies. In addition, the business support specialists may require professionals who are familiar with other computer hardware, such as routers, modems, storage devices, switches and motherboards.
Computer technicians can be found in most local telephone directories under “computer technicians,” “hardware” and “information technology.” The Internet also provides a way for IT technicians to be found. There are many websites available that feature professional profiles of IT technicians, as well as companies that post information on how to find a IT technician. In addition, some employers post information about openings for information technology and computer science positions.