The Future of IT is Not Behind a Desk

Data CenterThis is a sponsored post written on behalf of GoToAssist. All opinions are 100% my own.

Being the on-call IT support professional for your company once meant being tied to a PC back at home. Going anywhere you couldn’t readily plug in a laptop meant risking the company’s uptime. As any IT professional knows, trouble can strike at any time, regardless of your personal plans.

Being tied to a desk is the recurring theme that every IT professional knows all too well. Sleepless nights and energy drinks are frequent topics in the data center, often during late-night server resets and system upgrades.

That doesn’t mean the IT field will continue to rely on active support at the office. Thanks to recent advances in mobile computing, the ability to provide a wide range of support services remotely without cracking open a laptop or relying on a desktop PC is available to practically anyone.

Services like GoToAssist by Citrix are set up to enable support professionals to remotely access IT inventory using an iOS or Android device. From one of these smartphones or tablet computers, you can remotely access virtually any desktop computer in your inventory, remotely monitor servers and workstations throughout the organization, and provide unattended support when trouble hits while everyone is out of the office. You can even perform system upgrades while the workstation is idle so you don’t interrupt productivity (or spend the entire evening at the office).

This may not mean the future of IT will be spent poolside with a drink and a little umbrella doing everything you need to do from a tablet between rounds of Angry Birds, but it will certainly be a little less abundant with long days spent tied to a desk at home or at the office.

Another important contributor to this change is the ability to easily record training material for the staff. Recording screencasts outlining typical troubleshooting techniques and common processes can be a huge time saver when it comes to your support requirements.

Modern servers and storage systems are becoming increasingly easy to service remotely. It’s almost foolproof how some of these systems are designed. Color-coded indication lights that let you know exactly which drive is experiencing duress upon approach, tool-less repair, and remote monitoring software make it easier than ever to stay on top of things from wherever you might be.

I’ll now extend this question to you: Do you feel that the future of IT support will be less dependent on on-site employees and around-the-clock coverage at the office?

Photo: Simon Carr

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