Computers and the internet have changed the way just about every kind of service works. Hospitals share test results with doctors instantly. Banks move money electronically with less and less need for paper checks or cash. And it’s no different when it comes to taking care of the computers themselves. Nearly universal high-speed internet means that remote technical support is now very often a faster, cheaper and more effective option than onsite services.
An experienced IT provider these days can often diagnose problems in your network almost immediately without every setting foot in your office. That’s especially true for companies that have some or all of their IT in the cloud, but even if all your data is sitting on a server in the closet or a C drive under your desk, you can invite an off-site tech worker into your network over the internet. An expert working in an office miles away can operate a virus-infected computer remotely, just as if they were sitting in front of it. They can even get on the phone with you at the same time and talk you through the problem so you can watch out for it in the future. And they can do all of this in a fraction of the time it would take them just to drive to your office.
Remote technical support can sometimes even work for physical problems with your hardware. With smartphone cameras and webcams, it’s easy to share images of your machines. A technician can diagnose a problem based on data from the network, tell you just where to point a camera and then explain the problem they see. They may be able to tell you to switch where a cable is plugged in, or order you a new piece of equipment to replace something that’s on the fritz.
What’s the benefit of this switch? It’s the same as in any industry. Doing things over the internet—moving data from one place to another—is quicker and cheaper than moving a person the same distance.