Essential Tools for IT Technicians | Microbyte

Essential Tools for IT Technicians

For new IT departments, IT technicians and start-up IT support companies, getting the right resources and tools is crucial for success. Often, IT departments and companies grow in response to changing requirements. This means that resources are allocated on an ad-hoc basis with little planning. 

With over 30 years of experience across the IT helpdesk sectors, we know what it takes to offer the proper support on a daily basis. This checklist is a list of tools and resources we use daily to help improve services for our clients. Whether you are starting a new company, expanding your IT department or are new to working as an IT technician, there are things you should consider.

Professional Services Automation

Many IT technicians and companies focus on acquiring tools and resources to support their clients and “front-facing” services. The result is that back-office functions are forgotten about until it’s too late. 

Professional Services Automation (PSA) tools can help with client and time management, track projects, provide information on billing and invoices, client details, and standard protocols and offer information on every aspect of the business. 

Examples of PSAs include;

  • Autotask
  • ConnectWise

These tools can help support technicians, increasing productivity, reducing stress and automating processes to remove unnecessary manual labour. As a support tool, PSAs are scalable as an IT support business expands.

Remote Access Tools

Nowadays, with so many cloud-based programmes and outsourced IT support, remote access is a top priority. IT technicians and companies must respond fast, often out of hours or from remote offices, to fix issues.

Remote access tools will look different for different companies and clients. However, popular options include:

  • TeamViewer
  • AnyDesk
  • RemotePC
  • Zoho Assist
  • ConnectWise

There are plenty of options available, ranging in price and features. You should ensure that any technician working with clients has full access to the remote access software and that it, in turn, covers all devices being used. 

Some technicians may need initial training and setup support to maximise efficiency. The software or online portal should be standardised across departments, clients and any associated businesses for ease of use. 

Within the remote-access tool should be a remote monitoring service. This will enable technicians to proactively predict and prevent problems instead of offering a 100% reactive service. All devices, including phones, computers, printers and servers, should communicate continually or at scheduled intervals with the remote access system.

Documentation and Knowledgebase Storage

For any IT support worker, having access to databases with client information, product details, company policy, and requirements is an indispensable resource. 

In particular, good reporting of tickets, including expired tickets, steps taken, monitoring and troubleshooting notes, can be vital in reacting fast to future issues and preventing problems from manifesting. 

Platforms such as ITGlue and HuDu are commonly used within the industry. Standardising the use of these platforms enables quick navigation to the appropriate data without delay for every technician and team. 

Data storage tools and knowledge base platforms are only as useful as they are used. They should be personalised for IT support companies, departments and clients to maximise the chances of all features being utilised. Every IT support team member should be trained to maximise the platform’s usage, with protocols in place to ensure they are updated regularly.

Communication Platforms

An often overlooked but crucial tool for IT technicians is multiple effective communication platforms. The ability to connect with clients, technicians and other departments in a timely manner can help prevent misunderstandings and confusion. 

All IT technicians should be able to access and have training on platforms for email, instant chat, video conference calls, mobile calls and the ability to send and receive MMS and SMS. 

This may require additional server and network connectivity to ensure seamless communication from remote locations. IT technicians should be aware of security procedures when accessing and sending protecting files so communication is instant from anywhere. 

Furthermore, messages and files should be saved and easily accessed as needed, meaning communication platforms and user access need to be unified to boost collaboration.

Physical Tools

Although the majority of IT Support is now performed remotely, there are occasions when IT technicians may need to examine, update and repair equipment physically. This means that although every technician doesn’t need to be equipped to be on-site, they should be available if and when required. 

IT departments, support companies, or teams should have some physical tools, including but not limited to the following:

  • Torch
  • Screwdrivers
  • Ethernet cables
  • Power inverters
  • Cable testing kit
  • Portable USB drives
  • Various adaptors
  • Basic cleaning supplies
  • Port tracer

While it’s unlikely these tools will be needed, in emergency situations, they should be on hand without delay to enable a more rapid on-site response for clients in trouble. 

Not sure where to start? Get in touch

The list of necessary tools and resources within the IT industry is ever-growing as technology develops. While some resources are luxuries or are not crucial, some tools, such as those discussed above, are vital for offering effective world-class IT support. 

If you want to discuss your requirements, want to outsource your IT requirements or need help developing your IT department, get in touch with our team today.

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