Understanding the Different Tiers of IT Support
Scaling the various IT support tiers offered by a managed service provider (MSP) provides organizations with an easy, cost-effective way to offload their IT support demands.
In addition to offsetting rigorous IT demands, businesses benefit from:
- Improved efficiency
- Better IT cost control
- The ability to solve IT problems faster
- Around-the-clock IT support (remote and local)
With four core IT technical support tiers to familiarize yourself with, this blog will guide you through why IT support tiers exist, what their differences are, additional benefits to know, and how to discover which IT tier best supports your needs. With this in mind, let’s begin.
Why Are There Tiers of IT Support?
IT support tiers exist because no two organizations’ IT support needs are the same.
To better service businesses and bundle an MSPs best services, tiers of IT support are offered. In short, IT technical support tiers provide organizations with the best technical support model for their needs, budget, industry, and size.
Depending on the tier, the accessible knowledge base, depth of tech support, and the supported products and services will vary. As a result, it comes down to an organization’s infrastructure needs and operational processes to dictate which IT support tiers best fit their needs.
So, what are the tiers of IT support, and which do you need? Let’s take a look.
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What is the Difference Between Different IT Support Tiers?
IT technical support tiers are grouped as bundled classes, such as Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3.
Generally, the higher the tier an organization chooses, the more service and solution benefits they’ll receive. While every MSP structures their IT support tiers differently, their capabilities are bound by the support personnel, expertise, and technology available.
Before diving into tiers of IT support, it’s important to understand that IT support tiers are not uniform – and are also often referred to as “service packages or support plans.” However, for sake of clarity and generalization, here’s how IT support tiers are generally structured:
What is Tier 1 IT Support?
Tier 1 IT support provides organizations with a bundle of IT support services for solving basic issues such as:
- A user problem
- Password resets
- Fulfilling service desks requests
In short, Tier 1 IT support provides businesses with basic help desk support resolution to improve customer service and their internal IT support. Should no solutions present themselves, Tier 1 support personnel will escalate issues to a higher tier.
What is Tier 2 IT Support?
Tier 2 IT support provides extensive technical support and access to IT technicians with more experience and knowledge.
Generally, Tier 2 support team personnel have comprehensive knowledge relating to the product or service and will use remote tools and solutions to identify and remediate issues, such as:
- Software repairs
- Hardware troubleshooting
- Infrastructure remediations
For businesses seeking to help improve their existing customer support and technical problem-solving capabilities without replacing their internal technical support team, Tier 2 can often be outfitted to fulfill their needs.
What is Tier 3 IT Support?
When a Tier 2 incident can’t be remediated, it becomes escalated to Tier 3 which is generally composed of developers and product engineers that provide the highest level of technical skill available within an organization. Common use cases when Tier 3 support would be when customer issues cannot be resolved without a:
- Bug fix
- Design change
In addition to remediating most major IT issues, Tier 3 support can design and develop long-term IT strategies to better align an organization’s technology and business objectives while reducing recurring IT disruptions.
What is Tier 4 IT Support?
Tier 4 IT support, also known as external support, is not included in an organization’s support team and involves external support for products or components that are provided by the company but supported by someone else (third-party service provider or a supplier).
The Benefits of IT Supports Tiers Explained
Information technology support provides organizations with a wide range of benefits that can be designed to fit their needs. With a reliable managed service provider in your corner, your business can benefit from:
- Faster Resolution Times – Combatting recurring IT issues, overcoming network outages, or troubleshooting service requests are some benefits of Tier 1 to 3 support.
- Enhanced Disaster Recovery – Improve your disaster recovery process, data backup solutions, and the continuity of your business with Tier 2 to 3 IT support.
- Cost-Effective Expertise and Support – Tap into years of industry experience and gain expert-level IT support across your infrastructure with Tier 2 to Tier 4 support.
- Future-Proof IT Software and Hardware – Improve your performance and ensure ongoing optimizations with improved routine maintenance and IT support (Tier 3+).
- Improve Productivity, Efficiency & Agility – Improve IT management and elevate your IT support with Tier 1 to Tier 3 support spanning basic troubleshooting, infrastructure support, advanced system patches, real-time monitoring, and more.
Without separate IT support tiers, many organizations would not be able to afford the IT support their organization needs to advance. With IT support tiers, businesses can scale IT support tiers around the demands of their business, thereby providing a cost-effective solution to their needs.
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When looking for the IT support tier that best suits your organization, it’s important to address the following questions:
- What are your support needs? At times, you may need more than one tier of IT support, which can be challenging to find.
- What’s the skill level of your IT staff? Not every IT problem can be solved in-house, knowing your limitations and capabilities will go a long way.
- Should Tier 1 support be outsourced? At times, third-party service desk providers can be a cost-effective solution to the costs and challenges associated with maintaining an in-house staff. This is especially true if 24/7 coverage is the goal.
- Are multiple in-house tiers supported? The more tiers a service provider offers the more complexity it brings to your system. A reliable MSP can help you narrow down which IT support tier best fits your business needs.
In today’s business world, organizations can’t take a chance with their IT support – and neither can you. To ensure all your IT support needs are met, our IT support specialists at Steady Networks can help you find the IT support tier that best suits your business.
To find out more about our IT support tiers, we invite you to contact us today.