In the technological era, many industries are finding new ways to carve out space for themselves. From healthcare to hospitality, rapid developments in tech have radically changed the way we do business, and adaptation is a must. The information technology industry holds a unique position in the world. With the changing market, IT support companies must also adapt to new technology more quickly than anyone else to ensure competitiveness.
Decreased Individual Support, Increased Organizational Support
Individual, discrete tech users are requiring less and less IT support than ever before. Every day, the human race produces 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – a staggering amount of information that no individual could possibly consume within a lifetime. That rate is increasing every day. With such widespread access to information, individuals are now able to find solutions with unrivaled ease and speed and the need for live, person-to-person support has decreased.
Adding to the figure is the growing presence of younger generations who have grown up in a world saturated with technology. Children born in the 2000’s and later have never seen a world without smartphones, Bluetooth, and the World Wide Web. Development alongside technology not only implants a level of comfort with using technology but also with adapting to its constant changes. For the newest cohort of young adults, troubleshooting is no longer a professional task, but a household one.
Alternatively, businesses require just as much support as ever. The accelerating pace of software development has opened up a new world of opportunity for organizations to optimize data management, customer support, marketing, finance, and more. But it’s also created a new, highly-competitive market where late-adopters run the risk of falling hard. Adapting to and using new information technology systems takes a highly-organized and knowledgeable support team, and that role is increasingly being outsourced outside organization walls. Companies like CITC are stepping up to provide more intensive expertise to businesses that may have, in the past, utilized in-house teams to manage IT systems.Source:Unsplash
Improving Customer Service
While individual tech users may need increasingly less company-provided support, they continue to expect increasingly better service. Likewise, organizations expect more from their IT support companies – faster incident response, simplified solutions, and the opportunity to troubleshoot on-the-spot. In response to these demands, IT support organizations are experimenting with modern models of support.
Automation and Prediction-Based Support with Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence has become a part of everyday life for much of the world. From Google Assistant and Siri to self-driving cars, AI has offered a myriad of tools for streamlining daily tasks and simplifying our lives. It’s no surprise that developers are looking for ways to integrate Artificial Intelligence into IT support as well. Automated responses and prediction-based support offer a quick, cost-effective option that allows IT professionals to spend their time on tasks that require a more nuanced approach.
However, automation of IT support comes with its own set of problems. First, AI lacks a human touch. Trying to discuss a potentially imminent problem with a bot can be a recipe for frustration, and the unreliability of problem self-reporting poses the additional risk of ineffective or inappropriate solutions. Automation also poses security risks which can be especially hazardous to industries with valuable trade secrets.
A second shift that has begun to take place in the IT support industry is a move towards community-based support. Crowdsourced solutions, like AI, can help carry some of the burden of smaller problems by allowing staff to focus energy on more pressing tasks. Unlike automated solutions, however, community-based support allows for human-to-human interaction and more seamless, collaborative, feedback-based troubleshooting.
However, community-based support has limited applications. Crowdsourced solutions, contrary to the name, are often only the work of a few highly-qualified individuals. The turnaround for answers from a qualified source can be extensive, which is unacceptable under many circumstances. Companies offering a community-based support platform must moderate contributions and fact-check solutions, which can end up being nearly as resource intensive as traditional support services.
While automation and community-based support offer new alternatives to traditional IT support for individual tech users, organizational support requires a much different approach. Organizations that hire IT support companies expect expert solutions, and dedicated staffing are a must.
The Shift: Management to Adoption
Software is advancing at a rapid pace. In the first quarter of 2018, there were 3,800,000 apps available for Android users and 2,000,000 for Apple. The breadth of enterprise software is just as large, with daily development in all industry sectors. Businesses are no longer able to adopt a system and stick with it – they must constantly adapt to new, better technology and seek out the most innovative solutions to compete in their industries.
IT support companies must also increasingly dedicate themselves to this role. IT support is no longer a matter of technology management, but of adaptation and adoption. New IT companies bring a lot to the table here. Much like the newer generations of individual users, new companies can offer a fresh perspective on software developments and a more fluid ability to adapt to changes in the market. Older IT companies also have plenty to offer, however. Years of traditional support experience can be a priceless asset that inspires confidence from clients.
All IT support organizations should focus on being able to adapt to the future of technology. This can be done by increasingly making rapid changes in software, an increasing reliance on digital technology, and transitioning to digital resource management. Additionally, support companies must be able to provide innovative solutions that strike an effective balance between automation and interaction. Ultimately, companies must realize that the future is already here and that traditional methods of service are no longer adequate for the changing landscape of tech.
The world of technology is changing and, with it, the world of IT support. Support needs are rapidly shifting from customer service to enterprise support, and IT support companies must adapt to serve the needs of all industry sectors. Companies will need to find innovative solutions to not only provide management of technology but allow companies to adapt seamlessly into new technological advancements.
This article is written by a student of New York City College of Technology. New York City College of Technology is a baccalaureate and associate degree-granting institution committed to providing broad access to high quality technological and professional education for a diverse urban population.