IT Departments feature in every business, but unless you are a technology whizz yourself, the detail of what they do is likely a mystery to you.
What IT support means is likely to be different for each company, but some factors will remain the same no matter which specialists you choose to bring into the mix. Since the global pandemic, IT support teams’ role has also changed. It is reported that many companies believe their ability to weather the Covid storm was greatly helped by IT support teams.
At Creative Networks, we know a thing or two about what IT support means and how it can elevate the performance of all departments. Keep on reading to learn more so that you can start planning how to upgrade your own IT functions.
What Does the Term IT Support Mean?
IT support is the name given to the team of experts responsible for providing technical support concerning hardware and software within an organisation. By assisting people in a company that are facing IT difficulties, smooth operations can be maintained and any issues resolved before they have the chance to escalate.
The department is responsible for offering solutions and innovation for all aspects of IT performance. They are also responsible for wider elements such as cyber security and compliance.
We believe that IT support teams should have expert knowledge in all software and hardware performance areas. If this is not available, they should also have access to outsourced or third-party professionals who can be an extension to their teams. It should also be noted that IT support will have different responsibilities depending on the business in question, with each team being designed to suit the bespoke IT infrastructure that is in place.
IT support can mean something different for every business, but the fact remains that the function is essential for keeping things running as they should be.
What Does IT Support Include?
IT support covers a range of tasks that all culminate to achieve secure running networks that are always fully functional. IT professionals that work in support roles are also required to have excellent communication skills as they will be responsible for liaising with all business functions. This balance of required competencies and personal attributes means that the IT professionals within a business are some of the most diverse talented people.
As far as the service is concerned, IT support covers the following tasks:
Security compliance concerns ensuring that all IT processes comply with industry regulations, government policies, security frameworks, and contractual obligations. IT support teams are responsible for implementing the procedures that help achieve compliance status in the first place and maintain the standards. This requires ongoing support and is often managed daily, as even the slightest business changes can throw things out of sync.
Our security compliance services cover ISO-27001, ISO-9001, and ISO-22301, the main standards companies must adopt when wanting to operate safely in the digital age.
Cyber security is another responsibility that IT support teams cover. This is a core function which protects both software and hardware from malicious cyber-attacks that have the power to leave companies in a vulnerable situation. IT support is accountable for monitoring the daily risks and more top-level issues so that everything is treated cautiously, and teams are kept safe from the perils of the dark web. This includes working to define issues, process in line with risk management procedures, implement resolutions and report to top management on the status. You can find out more about network security in our blog by clicking here.
Help desk and maintenance queries are also key obligations. The IT support team is vital to keep teams running daily. Therefore, they are responsible for providing help in employee support, customer maintenance, and issues such as fixing hardware and software glitches. This ensures that productivity is never hampered because of problems arising.
Hardware is also something that IT support management in the form of ordering, maintaining, and fixing across the entire business. Covering anything from headphones to printers, this also considers security measures to ensure no risk to company safety when new equipment is used via the network servers.
Cloud support is a function that has developed dramatically over the past few years as more companies have undergone digital transformations. There are many advantages of cloud migration which is another reason that businesses choose to adopt cloud computing. Cloud technologies and services can protect companies against online risks and add a layer of support when it comes to contingency planning.
Disaster recovery is also something that IT support teams to manage. With responsibilities for both creating the processes and actioning if any risks are experienced, disaster recovery represents a company’s ability to respond and recover if a threat is faced. This is commonly regarded as an online issue but can also be seen as a physical responsibility with the example of teams having to quickly adopt hybrid working after the pandemic being fresh in many people’s minds.
Server maintenance quite simply keeps companies running. IT support aid when it comes to checking these are running smoothly and working directly with higher levels of management to maintain strong systems.
IT support also looks after Telecommunications management with responsibilities including ordering devices, managing plans, and setting up secure accounts in line with business compliance regulations.
Why Do Companies Need IT Support?
- To support employees in working efficiently. It is reported that employees can lose two weeks of working time due to IT-related issues. Having the right communication channels in place not only ensures that issues are dealt with in a timely manner, but also prevents employees from becoming frustrated in their roles.
- IT support professionals maintain cyber security, which protects businesses from losing money, having their sensitive data hacked, and being subject to more expensive insurance premiums due to higher risks.
- To help better manage costs as IT support professionals understand how to achieve the best ROI from the investment made in technology software and hardware. By matching teams with the right tools, productivity and efficiency are also enhanced.
- It can prevent larger, more costly issues from arising further down the line.
- Disaster recovery is essential, and IT support is the glue that holds any business plan together. Whether it is a team member unable to access a system, or a high-scale breach, this form of planning and skills allows businesses to be protected and operate more confidently.
- Professionally managed companies with strong levels of IT support also appeal to consumers as the business is seen as more secure. Our status as an official G-Cloud 13 supplier showcases how easy it can be for a business to win new business or take part in tenders if they have the correct IT infrastructures.
What Is the Difference Between In-House and Outsourced IT Support?
IT support is one of the critical business functions that companies have the option as to whether or not they have their in-house team to facilitate. With 37% of organisations outsourcing at least one of their functions, IT is a popular choice.
The tasks that are undertaken remain the same. However, there are some additional benefits to outsourcing your IT assistance. First, you can access a whole team of IT experts for just one cost. Teams in-house may lack specific expertise, whereas a professional IT services agency will have someone that covers all requirements.
IT support is also required to keep going even when business hours have finished. Many businesses outsource at least a few management aspects to ensure that company networks are never put at risk, even if teams have finished for the day.
Outsourced support still acts as an extension of a company in the same way that an in-house team would, which is another reason why many people select this as their preferred option.
The underpinning element that can be seen across both options is that teams must be set up to operate reactively. If risks or issues are not dealt with quickly and efficiently, an entire business can stop working until things are put right, which we are sure nobody wants to deal with.
What Are Some of the Roles Covered Under IT Support?
Whilst the term IT support is the name given to an entire department, there are several sub-roles that are included. Professionals have skills in multiple areas. Alternatively, some companies may choose to just cover certain duties if a business structure commands it.
The roles covered by IT support consist of the following:
- Web Development
- IT Technician
- IT Support Specialist
- Systems Analyst
- IT Engineer (Hardware, Software, and Servers)
- UI and UX Designers
- IT Administrators
- Application Engineers
- Help Desk Manager
Do You Feel More Confident in Knowing What IT Support Means?
From keeping your teams connected to managing your entire network, IT support professionals have lots of areas of responsibility. Knowing what the function includes allows business leaders to plan their own strategy with the correct budgets in mind.
IT support is also essential for companies of all sizes, as the same risks remain despite operating volume or industry. When you have the right IT support in place, no issue has the chance to cause catastrophic effects.