IT support refers to specialized services that organizations offer to end users of computer and technology products. It differs from computer maintenance or support in that support usually addresses software problems. In general, IT support provides assistance regarding specific difficulties with a computer product or service, not providing training, distribution or modification of the product, or any other technical support services. Support personnel are typically employed by major manufacturers, such as Microsoft, Cisco, and Sun Microsystems, to name a few. In some cases, hardware manufacturers provide IT support as part of their standard products.
The support company’s role is to resolve conflicts and identify and correct problems
that an individual user might encounter. Many individuals are self-employed and rely on IT support companies to help them maintain and support their business computer network and software applications. Other professionals in the information technology field to provide IT support to corporations and small businesses, as well as government agencies and school systems. The need for IT support is growing rapidly due to the expansion of information technology into new sectors, such as telecommunications and financial services. Information technology support also has a direct impact on the cost of the overall IT budget.
The typical IT support job description is detailed and quite lengthy. For a basic level IT support employee, the responsibilities include troubleshooting hardware and software issues, resolving conflicts between users, implementing security measures, creating backup plans, and assisting customers with recovery and installation of computer systems. A more skilled IT support employee may be called upon to perform additional functions, depending on the nature of their job description. These functions include documenting the problem, providing advice, testing solutions, conducting research, reviewing documentation, and providing continued support after a failure occurs.
As new technologies are introduced, IT support employees are sometimes called upon to implement a system that was recently implemented, or to assist a company whose computer systems have been downgraded. A typical IT support job may require training for new employees, providing on-the-job training if an employee has already graduated or educating current employees about newly implemented system(s). Support technicians are also often called upon to provide technical support during disasters, such as hurricanes or storms, and natural disasters such as earthquakes. In these situations, the goal is to restore services quickly and efficiently without compromising data.
For companies of any size, there is a possibility that one or more members of the network team
will become frustrated with the slow speed with which they’re moving through information. This can result in both the information being improperly shared, as well as the inability to get the information back, once it’s lost. To resolve these problems, a high level IT support group can be called upon. Typically, this group consists of network specialists who specialize in a particular area of expertise, such as email servers, application servers, email filtering, or network routing and security. Each member of the network team has a different responsibility within the network, and each team is responsible for taking the necessary steps to resolve the situation.
Although a network technician may not necessarily be the most knowledgeable about applications, he or she does possess certain skills that can help them diagnose and solve issues with customers’ computers. Many companies utilize a customer service technical support job description template to set expectations and communicate them clearly to employees. The templates can be very specific as to the type of troubleshooting skills required, such as a basic troubleshooting guide for common computer problems, or a comprehensive exam on the network and server administration for network technicians.
- Some companies still require their employees to take courses.
- Even though they’re already qualified to perform these functions.
- Computer networking and hardware troubleshooting are required skill sets for network technicians.
Sometimes even those managing the IT support job description must specialize in one of these fields. When a company is in the market for a technician to manage its computer systems, it’s always possible to find someone who has both technical knowledge and experience.
Having both is crucial, especially when the employer needs to quickly address technical problems that occur on the job. For example, a company may experience a power outage in one of its branches. This can create a problem that is affecting multiple employees and departments, and it’s unlikely the first person would know how to fix it. The technician should be capable of quickly resolving the issue and providing a report detailing what’s happened. However, IT support staff may need to go out and purchase additional hardware or expertise to resolve problems that occur regularly.