IT | Security

How IT Support Has Changed Since the 80s

By: Absolute Team | 8/21/2013

A lot has changed about the technology used in business since the 1980s. In the 1980s, computers were still mostly business-bound, with the Internet as a new tool people were just beginning to use. We were seeing ads such as "What the heck is Electronic Mail?" as the personal computer revolution began to take hold.

Tech Republic recently put together a look at 10 ways tech support has changed since the 1980s, giving us a look at what it was like in the mid-80s to support 20 staff PCs and 10 computer lab PCs at a university law library, looking ahead to how much has changed since then.

  1. Support was task-bound with no support for work at-home
  2. Support was time-bound, since the computers were on school property during school hours
  3. Support was location-bound and hands-on
  4. Networks developed and spread, beyond sharing printers to connecting people
  5. Standardization increased to combat common incompatibilities in hardware and software, chip sets, networking standards, storage media and more
  6. Open standards and open source software followed the Internet
  7. Updates were infrequent and delivered by tech support; Internet-delivered updates at first still sometimes required tech support
  8. Users grew more knowledgeable and independent, as the user set moved from "naïve" to "native"
  9. Networks are becoming part of the infrastructure, leading to an expectation they will be "always there"
  10. Tech support is becoming part of the infrastructure, with personal relationships unnecessary

Since the 1980s, the whole business culture around computers has changed. We are no longer limited by time, place or task, with devices coming with us wherever we roam and the line between personal and business device blurring further each year. This generation of business users "expects" connection and access at all times and all places, seamlessly. With the right tools and processes, IT support can continue their stealth "ninja" role of keeping us all connected.