Latest IT Support and Services TechnologyFebruary 10, 2021 No Comments
Featured article by Brad Smith, Independent Technology Author
IT support plays a huge part in making sure modern businesses stay functioning and continue their day to day roles. Anytime a system goes down or there is a technical problem involving a computer, network, or server it is the job of IT or tech support to fix this as soon as possible to avoid any financial loss or any damage to files and data.
What areas do IT support cover in these challenging times and what is the technology that will be shaping how these services will continue?
What is tech support?
Tech or IT support is the name given to the team or company that looks after all computer and network installations, user-oriented issues, and other problems such as cybersecurity and other technical problems that arise.
Sometimes they will be based in-house but often companies will hire external IT support and services to assist with their networks. There are a couple of reasons or so that a business may choose to do this:
- Company is too small to have their own IT department
- Has an IT department but uses outside resources to complement it
- Cannot find staff as experienced as an outside IT support company
Many large companies will have a full IT department but feel that they need to use an outside support company as an extra back up and to provide specialist advice and help when needed.
So what areas does IT support cover and what assistance do they provide?
Apart from helping individual users and network problems, they will also install networks, set up WiFi, carry out security audits and help with data recovery in the event of a disaster. Below are some of the fields they will cover.
Amazingly one-quarter of all computers are unprotected and it is this lack of security that allows cybercriminals easy access to sensitive data, financial records, passwords, and more.
IT support will secure a business’s network and install anti-malware onto individual terminals. They will also provide staff training where needed to help users become proactive in preventing any security breaches. They can also test systems for weaknesses and recommend where to tighten security and highlight vulnerabilities.
Antivirus and malware
Along with protecting networks, they will also sweep systems for existing viruses and any other problems. Although the average computer user understands viruses they are unlikely to know all the different types of malware like a professional does.
Ransomware is a particularly nasty form of malware that can jump from one computer to another all through a network. Once it has control of a terminal it can then freeze all operations and demand a ransom is paid. Typically there would be a time limit of say, 72 hours to comply and if that doesn’t happen then all the files and data on the computer will be wiped. This type of virus has crippled thousands of individual’s computers and the damage it could do to a business network is incredible.
Backup and disaster recovery
Backing up files is essential for retaining current up-to-date data but many people neglect it or put it off. What happens then is if the server goes down or if there is a fire or burglary data can be lost. This could amount to days, weeks, or even months of work. The problem with backing up is that the saved data needs to be stored somewhere away from the server or computer that has been back up.
These days the Cloud is being used more and more and for backups it is ideal. The tech guys can provide complete back-up solutions that mean your server is continually backing up to the cloud. This would entail a secure purpose-built data center storing your information well away from your actual servers.
What this is effectively doing is cloning your server which means if yours goes down you can start accessing your data on the back-up server.
Another area that outside IT companies will deliver is 24/7 support. Unlike in-house teams who almost certainly want to go home at night, an outside company will employ round-the-clock agents to make sure all their client’s problems are dealt with as swiftly as possible no matter what time it is.
Customer support is vital in any business and when choosing an IT support company you will want to look for one that has fast response times and available agents. However, in the future, you may start to see AI and virtual agents used more often.
This is one area of modern technology that businesses are looking at. You will no doubt have seen chatbots on many websites and they are useful in certain circumstances but with the advances being made in AI they may become far more common.
Programmed correctly and with sophisticated AI it could be that a virtual assistant will answer your basic tech questions and aid you with help on certain products and problem areas. Of course, they might say ‘have you tried turning it on and off again’ a lot too. The future will tell.
AR and VR might be used in tech support
Although big things have been expected of VR for years it hasn’t become mainstream yet but it could be another area of technology that starts to be used in the future. Virtual Reality headsets could be used to train tech staff through the use of virtual software to fix a variety of network or computer issues. Augmented Reality glasses could also be used by agents in the field. The technology could help less experienced agents be guided through an issue perhaps by another more qualified engineer back at HQ.
This is another form of technology that will be more common in the imminent future. IT support can install and maintain this system so the telephones will fall under IT in the future instead of general maintenance. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and means you can make or receive calls over the internet. BT is phasing out ISDN so this is an essential area for businesses to consider.
It is a cost-effective way to handle a huge volume of calls and does away with all the messy cables, line rental, and maintenance.
Companies legally have to be GDPR compliant. That is, they need to comply with a set of rules from the General Data Protection Regulations. If not then your company can face heavy fines. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was put in place by the world’s biggest credit card companies and you also need to comply with these regulations if you are taking credit cards online. IT support companies will not only advise you on how to become compliant they will also supply training to make sure your staff understands the GDPR.
IT support are the people you call when you have a problem with your computer but they are much more than this. They install the systems in the first place and ensure that everything is operating smoothly and securely. They build in protection against cybercriminals, make sure that if a disaster happens then the company will have only minimal disruption and they use the latest technology to achieve this. All in all, no modern business could function without a professional IT support team in place.APPLICATION INTEGRATION, DATA and ANALYTICS , OPEN SOURCE, SECURITY, SOCIAL BUSINESS