IT Support refers to professional services which entities offer to users of computers or technology products. In the broadest sense, IT support provides assistance regarding specific issues with either a particular product or service, instead of offering training, provision, or modification of that product, or any other support services. For instance, a computer manufacturer offers IT support to users who have purchased their computers and are not comfortable operating it on their own.
IT support specialists can be categorized into two groups: management personnel and technicians. Management personnel are people who are responsible for running the day-to-day operations of an organization’s IT systems. These people are involved in planning, implementing and deploying IT policies and procedures, and also liaising between different departments within an organization. On the other hand, IT technicians are people who perform work on the computers of company users. They do such tasks as maintaining, upgrading and troubleshooting the computer systems of company clients.
Both IT support specialists and IT technicians perform different functions. Management personnel monitor the computer systems of clients, analyse data to ensure that operations are carried out smoothly, and update client information when necessary. Meanwhile, IT support specialists troubleshoot client computers or carry out repairs when necessary. While repairing a computer system, the support specialist checks its components, programs, files and applications to determine whether they need to be repaired, updated or removed. The aim of these activities is to provide maximum benefit to the user.
IT support specialists can pursue careers in many sectors. There are major companies, which employ IT professionals on permanent basis, while there are also IT support specialists who work as contract workers for smaller organizations. The latter type of professionals usually start their IT support career as consultants. IT support contract workers are usually employed by small companies who want to reduce costs involved with hiring permanent employees. IT support contract specialists may stay with these organizations until they find permanent positions of their own.
IT support technicians also may work for large companies as level support technicians. In order to become level support technicians, the individuals interested must have at least a high school diploma. IT support technicians also may work as level 1 support technicians. This position requires at least a bachelor’s degree and an experience in troubleshooting special software.
IT support technicians usually use hardware and software to resolve problems. They test equipment, perform diagnosis, and troubleshoot problematic hardware or software. They also install upgrades if necessary. To become a full-fledged IT support technician, the individual must possess the ability to solve technical issues using a combination of knowledge and expertise, manual skills, and technological skills. To ensure satisfaction of clients, support technicians must also be able to solve problems that customers cannot.
IT support specialists may want to start their own businesses or work for agencies providing computer repair and troubleshooting services to corporations, government agencies, and other large organizations. Many IT support specialists begin their careers in smaller companies where they may serve as a troubleshoot and support technician for one of their clients. They may also want to open their own business in order to provide a more personalised service to their customers. Smaller firms and agencies may want IT support specialists to provide training and demonstrations to their clients on a monthly basis.
IT support technicians are in high demand throughout the world because they can help resolve technical issues that keep customers from getting the most out of their products. These professionals work with network equipment, desktop computers, laptops, servers, fax machines, modems, networking devices, printers, and other electronics. They may work on problem-solving tasks like fixing software that malfunctions, diagnosing hardware problems, and performing upgrades on network equipment. IT support technicians may be able to offer advice on specific products or operating systems.