IT Contractor – tiers of IT Support
IT Support refers to the services which companies offer to customers of various IT products or services. In simple terms, IT support provides assistance to customers about specific difficulties with a particular product or service, and not providing technical support, provision, or customization of that product, or any support services. As compared to the earlier definition, in the present day meaning, IT support does not only focus on IT products and services, but also encompass Web based solutions and e-Learning training services.
In the world today, many companies rely heavily on Information Technology Services, for both product and services development. The market has also witnessed a rapid growth in IT departments and the related services, which in turn led to IT Support. It is often seen that a number of companies require IT Solutions, but lack the capacity to implement those solutions, due to a variety of reasons. At such times, it might be prudent to outsource IT Solutions from a remote third party provider. Outsourcing is by no means new, with several companies operating on this principle, however the methodology has been refined and made more efficient and effective in the light of recent developments in Information Technology and the wider global economy.
Outsourcing an IT Support function may include remote hands-on monitoring, telephonic or pager monitoring, and email or telephone support. Telephonic or pager services are commonly used by small companies who require personal monitoring and assistance at the workplace, whereas email and telephone support may include telephone answering and voice mail services, in case of emergencies. The activities related to IT support may include implementation of new programs and upgrades as well as maintenance and training of staff. One of the most significant roles of an IT support team is to educate and train the employees, based on the latest information technology solutions and practices.
A major IT support services function is to help train and certify its customers in information technology practices and application usage. One of the most common tasks included is providing a live chat solution to customers who may be experiencing difficulties with a particular piece of software. In order to facilitate a productive and customer friendly work environment, a large portion of IT tech support services focus on providing adequate training and educational tools to its clients. Proper knowledge and training of personnel in an IT support department helps to reduce employee training costs, while enabling staff to perform their job duties competently.
Another major role of an IT technical support specialist is to assist with business continuity plans, recovery plans, and disaster recovery procedures. In the event of a critical system failure, a technical support specialist has to coordinate with the company’s senior management, as well as provide updates on progress at regular intervals. They also play an important role in helping organizations establish recovery plans, which include implementation of corrective actions and plans in coordination with the requirements of various regulatory agencies. These plans are essential to protecting the data stored on computers and servers as well as assisting in the organization’s recovery from disasters and other events of nature.
IT technical support technicians can help resolve problems that occur during regular business hours. This role can often involve handling the day to day interactions between customers and the company’s technical teams. IT support technicians can also help them with technical issues that are more complex and involve network security, bandwidth, and email. IT support technicians also handle issues that involve company intranet and file server security. They also help users address concerns about their websites and the security of their data stored on them.
IT support technicians typically respond to customers through telephone or email inquiries. The methods of communication used by support technicians can vary according to the type of issue and the company’s internal processes. However, all IT support technicians use a common approach that involves listening to customer questions and concerns, reading the computer user manual, checking the FAQ (frequently Asked Questions) section, checking the Internet, and then giving an opinion or solution to the problem. IT support technicians are always happy to provide support for products and services they are selling. However, customers should be careful about purchasing IT services from companies that offer only a low price or that require up front payments to obtain credit or a guarantee. Techs that work on IT support have to have good customer service skills and they must be able to provide satisfactory answers to any questions they are answering.
IT technicians may also specialize in one or two specific areas such as database support, desktop support, email support, web hosting support, network security, and troubleshooting. In order to find a technician who meets your specific needs, it is necessary to ask potential IT contractors about the services they offer. To determine if a contractor has the experience, knowledge, and skill to handle your needs, you should also ask for references and run them through a standard phone screening process with no charge. Once you’ve selected the right technicians, schedule a site visit to assess their level of expertise and service history. IT support specialists who have successfully handled multiple customer requests will likely have a long list of satisfied clients to recommend to you.