IT Support Jobs – The Many Roles
IT support refers to various services that companies offer to users of different technologies products or services. In simple terms, IT support provides assistance to customers regarding specific technical issues with a computer software product, hardware, or a service, instead of offering training, provision of new software or hardware, or any other service support. This kind of support is offered by computer or hardware manufacturers, who are well-known for their extensive knowledge about various computer software products, hardware and their functions. However, not all manufacturers offer quality IT support. It is important for businesses to choose an IT support provider who can provide the best possible assistance in time.
IT support can be provided through online or offline modes.
Online mode refers to the use of various IT support tools to provide immediate assistance to online computer users, especially those who cannot troubleshoot certain issues on their own. One of the most popular ways of IT support is via email. Many businesses today have set up email servers for business functions such as customer or technical queries, which can be easily accessed by IT professionals through email. Businesses also use this method of providing support by having IT professionals send out emails to their clients, informing them about particular issues or providing basic information on software products.
IT support staff may include IT professionals, hardware and software engineers, support managers, and system specialists. IT support staff may work in tandem with IT support managers. Support managers are responsible for providing direction, supervision and guidance to IT support staff. They also decide how IT support staff should resolve issues and determine what resources should be made available for IT support staff to use in resolving certain issues. Support managers may include a team of other IT support staff, or they may be located in a single location, depending on the nature of their job.
It is important for an IT manager to have a good understanding of the organization he/she is managing. The manager must also be able to assess a situation objectively and provide sound IT support advice. A manager should also be able to make informed decisions about IT support staff. Effective communication can make the difference between making IT support requests for which the company may not be eligible to receive reimbursement and addressing repetitive issues quickly.
IT support models are based on IT support departments’ ability to coordinate with one another and with IT vendors and customers. Some companies have tiered IT support models, where IT support is provided in two tiers, with a core onsite team responsible for basic routine tasks, and a second tier of specialty IT support technicians who concentrate on less common technical problems, or on more uncommon applications. Others have tiered models that divide IT support staff into specialized departments that specialize in different areas of computer technology services (for example, database management, internet server support, software engineering, or web site design and development).
IT support services are categorized into two major groups, these are technical support and data support.
Technical support services to address technical issues of a product or a system. A problem in one part of a system might require a quick fix from a different part of the system, so the two need to work closely together. Information technology (IT) professionals are also responsible for assisting customers with problems related to information technology, such as website design and development. Data support services deal with fixing physical data problems, such as server failure, hard drive failure, computer networking failure, etc.
- Both IT support staff and IT professionals can be called on for help in situations when their expertise is required.
- IT support staff can be called on for help in situations when the entire IT department is not working together.
- Resolving common problems and reducing the impact to the customers.
On the other hand, IT support staff can also be called upon for help when the network or the server is down, for emergency telephonic support, resolving security issues at the enterprise level, dealing with routine maintenance issues, implementing new IT policies, etc. IT professionals can also provide help desk services for handling critical business issues, for e.g.
IT support staff have different levels of involvement in different departments within an organization and can be called upon for immediate assistance in many situations. In short, IT support staff are needed all around the clock, even if only for a few minutes. This is because any problem that occurs, no matter how trivial, requires the immediate attention of an IT professional. Therefore, IT support staff are needed across the organization, in order to keep problems at bay and make the organization function smoothly.