To say that technology has changed a bit since 1990 would be a huge understatement. Computers, printers, servers, and cell phones have evolved so much in the past few decades that they bare a closer resemblance to Star Trek props than the hardware IT support professionals were working on and with in those days.
It’s not just the hardware and software that’s changed. The way we use technology in the workplace, and the way we approach IT issues is also much different. The issues themselves are much different.
Then, placing a call to tech support because Office crashed resulted in a technician coming to your desk to inspect your computer, and depending on what they thought the problem was, hauling the system away to be taken apart and repaired. Hopefully you saved periodically while you were working, and the problem isn’t the hard drive. Fast forward twenty-six years, and you’ll instead find yourself calling the help desk from an airport lounge because Office 365 is acting up and you really need to download these spreadsheets before your flight.
Preventative maintenance used to mean taking your computer to a repair shop or IT support provider and paying someone to clean contacts, check wiring, and test various components to make sure everything was connected properly and in working order. Now it mostly just entails activating the tune up function that came with your company antivirus software, and remembering to set your coffee mug out of elbow range.
A service contract with an IT provider in 2016 means around the clock support for your entire IT infrastructure. Servers, devices, software, VoIP systems, and data backups all fall under the same service agreement. A set fee covers anything that might go wrong. If we go back a few decades, protecting your business from a hefty repair bill meant forking over a few hundred dollars to various vendors and repair companies each year to cover any issues that might crop up. It was more like a really expensive extended warranty than what most people would consider to be a service contract.
A lot of things are different now, but some aspects of IT support have stayed consistent. Your IT provider sending a technician to your office on a Saturday morning to fix a server issue, or working tirelessly to restore a crashed hard drive. Hosting seminars and onsite training sessions to get your staff up to speed with a new system or application. Striving to offer the support and expertise your business needs to operate effectively at a cost that fits your budget. Bringing exciting new innovations to your business with the goal of making your business better and more productive. Asking if you’ve tried turning it off, and then back on again.
Tech geeks have always been tech geeks. The passion, drive, and curiosity that makes our team strive to learn everything we can about the latest tools, toys, and programmes was just a strong then as it is today. We’ve evolved right alongside the technology we love so much, and will continue to do so for the next quarter century, and beyond.
Yes, the tech world is a much different place today, but our place in it hasn’t changed one bit.