What is 1st line, 2nd line, and 3rd line IT support?

When outsourcing your IT to a managed services provider, it’s important that they have a team of technicians who are experts in different areas of IT. They should have IT professionals who have different knowledge and skill levels, meaning they can assist with a range of different queries and issues that you and your team may have.

Commonly, IT support will be broken down in to three categories 1st line, 2nd line, and 3rd line. Different technicians will then operate in these different tiers based on their expertise and knowledge.

Take a look at these different levels of IT support and what they mean:

  • 1st Line

1st line IT support often includes onsite tickets and initial phone calls. The team dealing with these enquiries will give basic level support to see if an issue can be resolved quickly. If not, they will escalate an issue and offer support to 2nd line teams where possible.

  • 2nd Line

This line of support will come in the form of more experienced technicians, who have a deeper knowledge of the servers and networks which enables them to solve more complex issues. They will aim to resolve as many as issues as possible whilst working remotely, rather than attending the site which is having issues. 

  • 3rd Line

3rd line support technicians are often busy working behind the scenes to keep IT systems and networks working fully. They are more experience technicians, who will usually specialise in one area of IT rather than offering a broader level of support that the level 2 technicians offer.  When an issue is too complex to be fixed in one of the lower tiers, they will step in to offer more advanced and specific advice to try and find a solution to a problem.

Whether you think it or not, you will find that your business will need each of these different levels of support at one stage. It’s crucial to find an expert IT support provider who has technicians of different skill levels and knowledge bases and who will be able to offer support regardless of the issue.

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