Changes in Tech Support in More than 3 Decades

For more than 3 decades, IT has witnessed immense and incredible changes such changes impacted the arena of tech support. Can you still recall how it used to be? Several changes have taken place. Computers have changed and so as users and most significantly, the technical support environment.

  • Task. Before, not so many people had computers at home. Computers were found mostly at work or at school. As a matter of fact, computers at home were problems and compatibility of software and hardware is one of them. However, the problem had its upside as well. Tech support did not succeed in keeping work, home and school separate.
  • Working Tech Jobs from HomeLocation. In the 80s, computers were installed. They are set up on location by technical support or by the user. If there are problems later on, it is necessary to make a visit, going to the computer. Today, computers are portable as they are made smaller, more affordable and powerful. In the 80s, support was set up where the PCs were. But today, other approaches are necessary. With tablets and smartphones so popular, complete mobility lies in the cards.
  • Time. With computers mostly at school or work, computing and support can be accomplished for the most part during school or work schedule. Dividing lines between school time, work time and time off became less clear and computers are far more a part of daily life.
  • There are developments and rise of networks. Matching the changes to time, task and location was the increased use of computer networks. This resulted on the changes of how computers were used. In the 1980s, the main reason to network computers was local—to be able to share costly peripherals such as laser prints or provide access to some databases. In the subsequent decades, the spread of networks made computers more like terminals centered on the ability to connect to others no matter the distance, access databases regardless of where they are located and use the capabilities of distant data centers.
  • There was an increase in standardization. A vital aspect of the increase of networks was the extensive adoption of the right standards. Networks will require standard in order to function and as the networks connected more software and hardware, there had been emergence of new incompatibilities. As a result, this generated pressure in developing and adopting new standards.
  • There was an increase in open standards and open source. With web browsers and internet developed, collaborative efforts were made to open standards that are much easier to make and maintain. In addition, it has allowed software developers to harness effectively the efforts of distant colleagues to make efficient, reliable and cheap open source software. Programs and standards have both the effects of simplifying and encouraging more integration of computers and networks.
  • There was a possibility of updates over the internet. In the past, tech support delivered and installed upgrades or updates to software. The updates were relatively rare as well. But viruses and other malware threats have increased in severity and number in the next decades, antivirus applications and operating systems started requiring more frequent updates. Broadband network connections become common for computers as well, providing a convenient option for delivery of upgrades and updates. Today, updates are delivered always over the intranet or Internet, mostly without the assistance of tech support.
  • Users are more independent and knowledgeable. In the 1980s, PCs were new with computing just starting to reach beyond the walls of data centers. Users requiring computer support were clueless. A great deal of time is needed to explain the mouse and how to use it. Now, less training is needed. Most users of today grew up with computers and they have relatively great amount of skill and knowledge.
  • Networks have become component of the infrastructure. Ultimately, networking is the most critical factor in changes to tech support but now, such requirement is rather optional.

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  • Tech support has become a component of the infrastructure. The integration of more standardization, smarter users and network access has made it possible to assign initial user support to help desks, delivered by network or telephone. Visits are rather rarely needed, changing the nature of tech support.