January 22, 2021
There was a time – not too long ago – when “IT support” looked pretty...

There was a time – not too long ago – when “IT support” looked pretty much the same no matter where you searched. A guy walking you through rebooting steps, usually sitting in the server room and surrounded by desk phones… you remember. Many might not need to remember, as that’s the current status quo. Indeed, for many companies, that in-house structure is still relevant – they have unique IT requirements for which on-site, in-house technical assistance is necessary.

Most modern companies, however, have moved to the cloud – around 90 percent of global business is sky-high now!

Exit a great many servers, and the setup of IT support that typically went with them.

Today’s business IT services are remote, highly mobile, and cloud service is good. To be fair to legacy support, the cloud eliminates a whole load of issues IT support used to handle, but the cloud comes with agility and decent service levels, too.

Things have changed.

In the new deal, IT managers must collate a performance ideal from all available tech, one that best meets the company’s goals and serves its strategies for getting there.

It’s a subtle – yet also huge – difference.

Trends in IT and IT Support

The IT arena is shaped by a constant evolution of diverse technologies, and the past model of a singular focus in IT support particularly is gone.

Today, IT management has only limited possibilities for anyone focused on a single type of software, device, or even language. Nowadays, IT support needs to have a far more fluid grasp of how various technologies can facilitate the company’s performance, and not just capable in terms of the resident software or hardware. The tecchies of the world have had to become expert analysts of business processes and commercial efficiency. This – and other major trends in IT – need to be factored into strategy, as whether large or small, the inputs into company performance derived of IT’s evolution always aid the bottom line.

Prime among modern IT topics is cybersecurity. Analytics is fast becoming a minefield for online fraudsters, although attacks are increasing and will continue. Crooks are armed with a new shopping list right now, one that demands viable funds or other data, combined with legacy security protocols. While this is always happening to a greater or lesser extent, the current time is showing a noticeable gap between up to date cybersecurity, usually associated with business in the cloud and analytics in play, and those who have been a little lax over the last year or two. There seems to be a window of opportunity for fraudsters, often employing AI, to capitalise on either online theft or ransom, preying on companies that are, firstly, worth it and, secondly, also just a little behind on cybersecurity issues.

IT support today is often the choreographer of a compiled cybersecurity for companies. Designed to collate specialised products and services towards a comprehensive barrier and total monitoring, cybersecurity best practice has tightened security overall, no matter that online attacks are also increasing. As but one example, security company Kapersky noted in a recent report that India had suffered a hike of 37 percent in cyberattacks in Q1 2020.

Here Comes the IoT

One massive input compelling the emergence of the expert analysts of future IT support is the IoT. Undoubtedly the single biggest expansion of connectivity since the internet was first plugged in, the Internet of Things is a ‘tech airdrop’ of a voluminous nature. From millions of connection points, we’re going to billions, and while not all of the newly connected devices are entry points for crooks, they might be.

Who knows?

IT support must know, and more than that, IT support must cover a company’s operations with a shield that can accommodate the IoT aspect of operations.

Moreover, with M2M comes the possibility of far better fault reporting, maintenance scheduling, and enhanced workflows. The morphing of support into an arena of analysts and architects, designing a comprehensive connectivity and security from available tech, is simply going to become more complex, more demanding, and yet (hopefully) more doable, too. As much as commerce and industry is to avail itself of AI, so too will IT support automate much of the selection and testing process in its pursuit of best tailored solutions.

The IoT as a Service (IoTaaS) is already happening, with a proliferation of platforms offering the IoT as a headache-free solution to companies that simply lack the in-house resources to build theirs from scratch, or those who want to avoid costly mistakes, poor connectivity, and lousy semi-functionality for their efforts. For IT support, technology as a Service comes as Internet as a Service (IaaS), where IT support is responsible for configuring the company’s internal internet usage without compromise to local network architecture. Here we find some legacy support snippets, like firewalls, OS, and application servers, as examples.

Others opt for Platform as a Service (PaaS) functionality, where a company will hire the hosting platform that enables all necessary networking infrastructure. Software as a Service (SaaS) is commonplace today, and a huge step up from the days of yore. Here IT support needs to ensure the correct functioning for the company’s needs towards strategic goals.

Business IT services have both contributed to and morphed alongside an evolving definition of IT, with the most rapid change happening over the last 15 years. Taken as a whole, the arena is one in which the fantastical has become the dominant reality, all within a few short decades. IT support now faces the shifting options available to business in the cloud, while also witnessing the connectivity of the world at large on the back of 5G.

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