November 25, 2014

Troubleshooting Onsite vs. Offsite: Which is Better?

help-keyboard-image-e1387820700162.jpgRemember the days when you had to wait on hold for a support representative to assist you with troubleshooting issues over the phone? Thankfully, with remote troubleshooting technology, those times are far behind us. Most IT providers generally utilize remote access software to provide better technical support to their customers. Many also use traditional on-site computer support to supplement their service offering and ensure issues that require in-person attention are dealt with in a timely manner. Both methods of IT support services bring something different to the table. We recommend evaluating the pros and cons of each.

Remote Troubleshooting

Remote screen sharing technology has been around for several years. However, some are still reluctant due to the idea of someone taking control of their workstation, while others view remote access as a security threat. While it is a secure technology, remotely accessing your computer brings about a new issue: trust. When it comes to “remoting in” to a client’s device, transparency is key. Remote access software vendors usually require that the client accepts a screen sharing session so that they are aware of the provider’s presence within the device. Keep in mind, however, that this is a thin security measure. Some remote access products allow these notifications and permissions to be disabled. Another point to consider is provider access. Chances are that you have handed over login credentials to your managed IT service provider to troubleshoot an issue. Few people realize the security risk in this. We, along with the rest of the IT community, cannot hide the fact that providers in the past have acted without integrity, so we ask that you handle your passwords with care and find a provider you can trust. Remember, your provider works for you, their (our) job is to protect and secure your data. Remote access capabilities have dramatically improved IT support services over the last decade. Virtually every IT pro uses the software in some shape or form to identify and resolve the vast majority of technical issues. Hosting professionals consider the technology to be invaluable, as it allows them to deliver faster, more efficient customer service and support. It is indeed real-time IT; however, it comes with an inherent risk that clients must assume.

Onsite Computer Support

Although managing your IT on-site is a seemingly more traditional approach to solving technical issues, it is still a viable and common support services offering. Many customers appreciate this form of assistance because they prefer to maintain oversight of all work being done on their system. For some, in-person service seems like a more secure way to troubleshoot than a purely virtual option. Onsite support, however, cannot offer the same convenience and efficiency as screen sharing. It requires future planning and appointment scheduling. For business down situations or for problems which require immediate action, onsite computer support is simply too lengthy and cannot deliver the results fast enough.

For network troubleshooting and any form of hardware set up, having an IT professional on-site is ideal. For example, firewall, server, printer, and network configuration all require someone to be physically present. It is particularly important that these tasks be completed at the customer’s location because if something is not working correctly, (i.e., a firewall is bricked) the engineer would need network connectivity to troubleshoot the issue.

So which is better? The answer is both. At the end of the day, remote support services and onsite computer support each have their limitations. Where one falls short, the other delivers. Neither is outright better than the other, but they are both very useful in their own right and when used in tandem. For more information about these options, or about cloud computing in general, contact a Cetrom cloud professional today.

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