All companies depend on IT to run their business but there are many different levels. In this article, we will address different types of IT Help Desk Services and the different key features to consider for your business.
What is an IT help desk?
A help desk is a centralized hub within a company or a managed IT services provider (MSP) that connects company end users with IT support services technicians. The IT support technicians will troubleshoot and resolve all tech support issues including hardware and software. These areas include full support for Microsoft and Apple operating systems as well as applications, email, web browsers, mobile devices, antivirus software, performance and backups. It is related to IT, there is a good chance they have it covered.
Help desk use multiple channels to communicate with technical support issues including email, telephone, web-based chat and even social media. Many managed IT services providers (MSP) use business management software in order to manage all tech support issues and have greater accountability and operational efficiency.
The good news here for companies that use a managed IT services provider is that no matter your size, you will have access to a help desk full of IT experts who can handle even the most complex IT issues.
What are standard industry practices for IT Help Desk?
The ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a set of standardize processes including selection, planning, delivery and support of IT services to a business. The goal is to improve efficiency and achieve predictable service levels.
According to ITIL, a help desk should include:
- Single point of contact for tech support issues
- Tech support for computer and/or software
- Tracking of all tech support issues
- Problem escalation procedures and resolution capabilities
What is the difference in Help Desk Support Levels?
Help Desk Support comes in many different levels. Technical support requests are categorized into critical or non-critical. Help desk technicians are grouped into different “levels” or tiers based on the skills required to resolve the issue.
Level 1 Tech Support
Level 1 tech support is usually an IT support technician generalist. Responsibilities include to identify the client, understand the problem and offer a basic resolution. Common issues for Level 1 Tech Support include password resets, basic printer troubleshooting, and other minor tech support issues. If a Level 1 tech support technician cannot resolve a tech support issue, it is escalated to Level 2 Tech Support.
Level 2 Tech Support
Level 2 tech support are IT support technicians who are more experienced and handle more complex tech support issues such as network support, software troubleshooting and many other items. Most of the issues can be handle based on experience or they can find a solution in a database. If a Level 2 tech support technician cannot resolve a tech support issue, it is escalated to Level 3 Tech Support.
Level 3 Tech Support
Level 3 tech support are IT support technicians who handle some of the most complex problems. This will include tech support issues such as database administration, infrastructure and data management. Some companies have their level 3 tech support handled by a Network Operations Center (NOC) consisting of IT technical specialists whose capabilities go beyond help desk.
What tech support does your business need?
Every business relies on their IT infrastructure. Employees are working across multiple devices and at different times. Long gone are the traditional 9-5 hours so companies cannot afford downtime, at any time.
So why do businesses partner with managed IT services provider (MSP) to handle their IT? Simple.
ROI – By partnering with a managed IT services provider (MSP), your business can save money especially when you consider overtime, benefits and other expenses required to maintain an in-house IT support services staff member. Also MSPs never take a sick day or vacation day.
Flexibility – When you work with a managed IT services provider (MSP), staffing and capacity challenges are no longer a problem as the MSP is responsible to ensure the help desk can handle all incoming tech support issues. has enough technicians to meet any spikes in service requests, and MSPs can rest easy knowing they can bring on new customers without having to worry about hiring additional help desk technicians.
Training – Managed IT Services providers (MSP) have to take proactive take measures to ensure that IT support technicians are always up-to-date on the technology including fixes, trends and information needed to ensure all clients are maintained in a proactive a manner.
When shopping around for a managed IT service provider (MSP), you have to ensure they are the right help desk partner. They need to provide proactive technical support and IT management. They should have measurable goals including return-on-investment, service goals, first-call resolution rate, and response time.
Do not be afraid to compare managed IT services providers against each other. Not all companies are built the same and some may offer a different approach or be more in line with your business and industry.
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