IT Support & Services | Santa Barbara

Finding the Right Fit


When evaluating your options for an IT support & service company in Santa Barbara, it’s important to start with the right questions.

It seems obvious to jump right in with the specifics. What’s the company’s IT service delivery process? What do the pricing and agreement terms look like? Before even getting to this point, first, it’s important to see if the company offers the right type of IT services and is a fundamental fit for your organization. After all, if all goes well, your business will be relying on this IT provider for all your information technology needs for years to come. You want to make sure it’s a good match!

Is the company’s model break/fix or IT Management?

Many IT service companies operate under a break/fix service model. With this type of relationship, when something breaks in your environment, you would reach out to the service provider to fix the issue. In this model, services are provided on an as-needed basis and the IT company’s revenue is typically at an hourly rate. This can make costs unpredictable and is a reactive model of managing IT.

Another IT provider approach is the Managed Service Provider model. In this type of relationship, the service provider takes on IT management tasks to proactively handle your technology, typically for a fixed monthly fee. The Managed Service Provider proactively handles a range of IT services including security, network management, backup and recovery, data center management, tech support, and IT strategy. This model focuses on addressing both the proactive and reactive requirements of managing business IT.

It’s important to first understand which model makes the most sense for supporting your business technology. Then, you will want to make sure the prospective firm offers that model of IT support and services.

Many small businesses start off engaging IT providers with a break/fix model to handle their technology needs. While this can be a good option, especially for organizations with fewer than 10 employees, it’s often not sustainable as the business grows.

When a business’s technology needs become more complex and they have more users to support, Managed Service Providers are a good option for supporting the business IT.

Does the IT Service Provider have a local presence in Santa Barbara? If so, how many employees and what are their roles?

To determine how essential the answer to this question is for your business, first consider how often you have the need for in-person support. If you have modern Cloud solutions that don’t require frequent in-person support, for example, this may not be a critical factor in your evaluation.

However, if your employee and technology are locally based and you require hands-on, in-person technical assistance on occasion, this is a key question to ask. If this is the case, you may want to prioritize firms that have “critical mass” locally in Santa Barbara. The provider you choose should have technical resources available to serve clients in the area. When evaluating your options, consider how large the local SLO office is and what types of employees make it up.

What are the service provider’s IT consulting capabilities?

The information technology industry is always evolving. Because of this dynamic nature of the industry, it’s important to partner with an IT company that can support your technology needs today and help you strategize for the future.

When considering your options, it’s a good idea to understand what ongoing and future IT consulting services the company will provide. You may be currently focused on finding an IT provider that can solve your immediate issues and handle all your current needs.

This is important of course. But it’s also a good idea to consider what services that IT company offers that will help you evolve and mature your operations over time.

Do they offer modern solutions like cloud computing solutions?

Regardless of whether you are considering moving to the Cloud or not, be sure that the IT service providers you’re considering offer modern solutions like Cloud computing. As your organization looks for ways to improve productivity and reduce maintenance costs, it’s critical that the provider you choose can offer and support modern solutions that can enable that evolution.

A good IT support company will not only provide flexible, modern solutions like this, but they will also be able to educate you on your options and what’s right for your business.

What is the IT service provider’s company culture?

This question may seem a little unnecessary. Why should it matter if the IT provider you work with has a good company culture? They’re handling your computers. However, this is more significant than you may think for ensuring a good long-term fit with an IT service provider.

Since they hopefully have a local presence in Santa Barbara you may want to take a peek at their office. In our experience, nothing tells the story of an organization’s culture like seeing it in action.

Company culture can make a huge difference in the relationship your organization will have with your IT provider. Take time to see how their IT support team works, what their core values are, and how their departments work together. Working with a team made up of people who are not only committed to their work but love what they do can make all the difference in the quality of IT support and services you receive.


About CIO Solutions

As a premier Managed Service Provider, CIO Solutions takes the burden of managing IT off of our clients they can get back to focusing on their businesses. For over 30 years, CIO Solutions has been simplifying relationships with technology, while at the same time transforming it into a strategic asset to propel businesses forward.

Through full-service IT management (including daily technical support, ongoing maintenance, and strategic IT consulting) and modern solutions (including private cloud services), CIO Solutions supports businesses across industries and sizes throughout California and beyond.

Get control of your IT solutions and get back to business