History of IT Support for Business
IT support is a field that has evolved significantly over the years, and is a vital part of any organization’s operations. IT Support ensures that the company’s computers, networks, and other tech assets are running smoothly and efficiently. We will explore the history of IT support and how it has evolved over time.
The Early Years
Going back in time, IT support can be traced back to the early days of computing. In the 1950s and 60s, computers were massive, expensive machines, and typically only found in large organizations. These computers were often accompanied by a team of technicians responsible for maintenance and repair.
As computers became more affordable and accessible in the 1970s and 80s, they began to be adopted by businesses. This led to the emergence of a new type of IT support known as “consumer support.” These support teams were responsible for helping individuals and small businesses with their computer issues, such as troubleshooting hardware and software problems and providing advice on how to use their machines effectively. The support model was based on hourly rates.
A Big Shift
In the 1990s, the internet exploded in popularity, leading to a significant shift in the way that IT support was provided. With the advent of online forums, chat rooms, and other internet-based support channels, IT support teams were able to offer assistance to a wider range of users in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. The hourly rate (aka: Break/Fix) model was pervasive in the 1990’s. One of the major changes was the idea of Block of Labor Time (BOLT), which is a set of labor hours that a business will buy up-front (and in bulk), at a reduced hourly rate. This BOLT model became very popular in the late 1990’s, and exists today.
Today, and into the Future
Today, IT support continues to evolve as technology advances. With the proliferation of cloud computing, mobile devices, and other emerging technologies, IT support teams must be able to adapt and support a wide range of complex systems. In addition, the role of IT support has expanded beyond just technical support, as many organizations now rely on their IT teams to provide strategic guidance and support for digital transformation initiatives.
However, the major shift in IT Support in recent years has been towards a better partnership model. An increasing number of companies are relying on IT Firms to provide full IT support. This is full scale and well rounded support, and includes:
- Centralized Services (eg: cybersecurity, backup and recovery, remote monitoring, patching, etc)
- Help Desk and Support (typically unlimited hours)
- Network Administration (network audits and reviews, to catch issues before they start)
- Project Work (eg: new equipment, etc)
- CTO/CIO Support (eg: budgeting, roadmaps)
This is all included, and wrapped into one consistent monthly price. The rise in popularity of MSP style support is likely because it better aligns objectives for both the service provider and customer.
In conclusion, the history of IT support has come a long way from the early days of computing. From providing hands-on support to maintaining and repairing massive computers, to offering assistance through online channels and providing strategic guidance, IT support has evolved to meet the changing needs of organizations and users.