To support users of modern networked computer systems, organizations have set up variously named functions such as Help-desks, Information Centres, or Support Centres.
a. Describe the major functions of these user support areas.
b. User training and updating is of major importance. Describe what training options are currently available for desktop computer users.
a) Typical services are: –
i. Hardware and software selection;
o Identify new and current hardware & software that will meet users current and future requirements.
o Provide updates as appropriate.
ii. Network administration;
o Help on use of networks e.g. help on how to share files over the network or how to access shared files on a server.
o Administration of passwords and authorisation.
o Security aspects e.g. Backup of data, advising on secure use of passwords, etc
o Update of security software e.g. updating antivirus software.
iii. Technical Assistance;
o Advice on company standards for hardware and software purchases.
o Setting up hardware, software and networks.
o Some systems analysis and design- involves determining whether the organizational information processing and communication requirements are being met effectively and designing of systems to meet these requirements.
b) Training options; Onsite training
This option involves training the employees at the organization‘s premises specifically at the workstations where the employees carry out their work. It has problems with attendance as employees may be under pressure at their workstations. Often short one or two day training on new software is not very productive as there is a great deal of information to assimilate in a short period of time. Experimentation takes time and is necessary for the understanding of standard and short-cut computer operations.
This option involves training the users at a location away from their workstation. It removes the attendance problem but may cause problems with the workflow since the employees will be overburdened with the training and their duties. It is more conducive to immersion in the training processes wherethe employee concentration is of absolute importance e.g. training on security procedures e.g. backing up of data.
Use of on-line training packages.
This training option is carried out through the use of the Internet or intranet. Employees access web pages that contain the training material on a server. Often no time is allocated and trainees have to work through the programme in their own time. If user is motivated then a reasonable option but better if time allocated during normal working hours and an element of supervision/help is available. The Help Desk is often valuable in this type of training.