Has anyone noticed a change in the I.T. landscape? I’m not really thinking about the effects of global novel Coronavirus pandemic, but rather how I.T. work has been shifting over the last decade from 2010 until now. Gone are the days of scheduled onsite customer/client support where I.T. providers and MSPs had face to face in person interaction with staff members. Do you think that the global pandemic was able to shift the I.T. industry in just a few weeks during mandated stay at home orders? I don’t believe so. Instead, the I.T. industry has been shifting more to a remote support model and this shift didn’t happen quickly but took more than a decade to occur. The global pandemic simply pushed the I.T. support industry to a place it was naturally progressing to.
Long ago ticketing systems were developed to organize I.T. related issues and solutions allowing non-technical staff and I.T. staff/providers the flexibility to submit and resolve technical issues without visiting the issue physically. Remote access applications were developed to assist staff in remote office locations and applications were developed for remote staff to work and collaborate on projects without physically sitting in the same room. Fast forward 11 years from 2010 and many organizations no longer have racks of servers in a central office but instead host their servers in far flung remote data centers. In a similar way, other organizations are making use of popular SaaS suite of applications like Microsoft 365, Google’s gSuite, etc. to replace the need for onsite servers. As a result, I.T. staff/MSPs can work away from their supported user base and/or customer. As a data center engineer myself, I have never physically stepped foot in the facility that my company leases rack space from. As servers evolved, all that’s needed is someone on the physical end to connect power and network cables to the server. I’m able to remotely load an OS to a physical server. The same can be said for other network gear as well (switches, firewalls, wifi controllers, access points, HVAC controls, access control systems, etc.) Just plug it in and the remote engineer can configure the device or devices without leaving home.
In 2020, as we progress further into the realm of remote I.T. support, I.T. staff/MSPs are providing helpdesk support directly to staff members remotely via video conferencing apps and other tools further negating the need for in person support. Several of the clients I work directly for have commented to me recently wondering why I’ve ever showed up onsite in person. These clients now see a greater value in remote I.T. support because they are realizing savings in the form of travel and lodging costs that the physical onsite presence required.
How do you see the landscape of I.T. support changing as we begin this next decade?