How To Find The Right IT Support Specialist
IT support refers to technical services which entities offer to end users of computers or technology-based services for resolving hardware or software problems. In the broadest sense, IT support simply offers support to clients regarding specific difficulties with a specific product, instead of offering training, provision of customized hardware or software, or other extended support services. To be clear, IT support doesn’t necessarily encompass support for all software and hardware; it’s usually more specific, such as on Microsoft Windows servers. If one is seeking a full IT support package, a client would need to evaluate their specific needs, and what IT support is specifically needed for.
There are several certifications offered by specialized training institutes or professional organizations for IT support specialists. The most common certifications offered are Microsoft qualified (MCP), which are generally recognized by Microsoft and other leading software and hardware manufacturers and Certified Information Technology Specialist (CITS) certification, which is available only to those who have at least a bachelor’s degree in information technology. Other certifications offered by organizations include: CompTIA A+, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), CCSA, MCSE, MCSA, and Verified Solutions Partner (VRP). Of these, the CCNA is the most common, and is also the most recommended certification by industry experts.
What expertise do you need to be a competent IT specialist? As with most careers, IT specialists require both specialized training and experience. For starters, an IT specialist is likely to require a deeper knowledge of specific computer software and hardware than a typical office support technician. The depth of knowledge required often depends on specific roles, such as troubleshooting hardware issues, or managing complicated network environments. Most IT specialists will additionally need to understand and execute pertinent computer software applications.
IT support specialists also commonly work with network devices, including computers, servers, networking equipment, routers, switches, IP phones, fax machines, and other peripheral devices. They will be required to assist with the installation of new hardware as well as updating information technology equipment. Many IT specialists also work with application software, including operating systems, database servers, client computers, and other system components. In addition to operating systems and other hardware devices, an IT specialist also typically provides support for other computer equipment such as printers, disk drives, modems, memory cards, memory sticks, hard drives, and other peripherals. While it may seem that operating systems and other computer equipment are fairly self-explanatory, the complexity of many computer systems make it necessary for an IT specialist to understand and work with every piece of hardware they are charged with maintaining.
How should an organization best determine if an IT specialist is the right person to hire? One way to determine whether an individual is a good fit for your organization is to ask him or her to speak with customers who are similar to your current client base. This means speaking with people who have similar needs to your own technical staff, which may involve talking with managers, supervisors, and other upper-level employees.
Not all IT support specialists are created equal. It is important to find a person who has the skills, knowledge, and talent necessary to help you resolve customer issues and improve your overall information technology infrastructure. If your business depends on your information technology system, it is essential that the system itself operates at optimal performance. If the system cannot perform at peak capacity, your business could suffer. In order for your system to remain efficient and productive, it is necessary for an IT specialist to possess the skills and expertise needed to provide exceptional customer service.
When seeking an IT specialist, it is advisable to ask potential employees to provide a few references. Consider asking employees whom the IT specialist has worked with in the past. Employees with experience will likely provide you with the most honest opinions, which can help you determine whether or not to employ a particular IT specialist. In addition to asking former coworkers for names of IT specialists they used to work with, it is also a good idea to ask friends and family members who they used to work with. Word of mouth can often lead you to an employee with a stellar track record.
Once you have a short list of potential IT specialists, the next step is to contact each one to obtain a quote. IT support specialists should be willing to provide a written quote, as well as several pages of advice and assistance. A written quotation is often easier to provide, as the IT specialist already knows exactly what services you need and the price you are willing to pay. By obtaining a quotation from each of your shortlisted IT support specialists, you will have narrowed down your list to one or two IT support specialists who are most qualified to provide you with computer troubleshooting and other related assistance.