Types Of Technology Companies

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    One thing I’ve somewhat struggled with since starting a marketing agency for technology companies is getting a handle on all the various types of technology companies. When you’re working in the field people tend to think more of themselves as software developers, or DBAs, or network admins, rather than being employees of an MSP, or a CSP. In this post I’d like to save people a bit of time by breaking down the various types of technology companies out there in the marketplace and what each of them are.

    Managed Service Provider (MSP)

    A managed service provider is probably the most common type of technology company. These orgs provided managed IT services on a B2B basis to other organizations. Think of working with an MSP as outsourcing your IT department. Piecemeal technology management is tough to do and doesn’t scale well with the needs of a mid-market business, and these guys like to have the keys to castle so to speak so they can proactively manage technology infrastructures.

    Break Fix IT Services Provider

    The line between an MSP and a break-fix provider is relatively opaque from an outsiders perspective, but break fix companies are more like trauma surgeons for small business IT needs. Rather than pay what is effectively a retainer to an managed service provider, these companies come in and fix IT issues as they arise for an hourly fee. I.E. when something breaks, they come in an fix it. For small companies with limited IT needs and budgets they have a strong value proposition.

    Monitoring & Hourly IT Services Provider

    This type of company is a hybrid between an MSP and a break-fix provider. In this model an IT company will come in and install remote monitoring software and other limited monitoring systems to help detect and repair IT issues on a more proactive basis. Since systems are monitored, they are fixed more quickly than in a pure break fix approach, but cost is minimized by foregoing proactive maintenance activities such as patching and maintenance.

    Managed Security Solutions Provider (MSSP)

    MSSPs are a type of specialized MSP that focus only on cybersecurity. Many mid-market organizations may have reached a point where they have an in-house IT team taking care of day to day IT operations but it doesn’t quite make sense to have an in-house cybersecurity team yet. MSSPs fill that need by providing outsourced cybersecurity services, along with managed cyber incident and response activities.

    Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP)

    Cloud solutions providers are a type of specialized MSPs that focus specifically on helping companies move to the cloud, and manage their cloud infrastructures.

    Software As A Service (SaaS)

    Software that you purchase a subscription to and log into remotely via your web browser or mobile app and use with no knowledge of the underlying infrastructure is known as Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS products have exploded in recent history and there’s a SaaS product for just about everything it seems. SaaS products can range from all in ones to manage entire business operations, such as an ERP system, to point solutions that provide a service to manage one thing, like email marketing.

    Independent Software Vendors (ISV)

    ISVs used to dominate the software landscape, but have largely been replaced by SaaS companies. Today Independent Software Vendors typically provide software that a company would purchase and deploy on-premise to a private network on their own servers or in a private cloud. You’ll find ISVs serving industry’s where security and compliance needs are extreme, and business functions are highly customized, such as in legal, and healthcare.

    Value Added Resellers (VARs)

    Value added resellers are companies that sell independent software, but get involved in the deployment, configuration, and maintenance of such systems. Enterprise content management vendors like Laserfiche, and On-Base are a good example of a rich network of value added resellers. These companies help purchasers navigate the licensing and deployment of the ECM systems. You’ll often find value added resellers that sell hardware on behalf of a distributor as well.

    Wrapping Up Types Of Technology Companies

    These are the most commonly seen types of technology companies out there in the marketplace today. New types of technology companies are being born out of the needs of the market all the time. MSSPs for example didn’t hardly exist 5 years ago and are one of the fastest growing segments. Here at Tortoise and Hare Software we specialize in digital marketing for technology companies. If you need help expanding the reach of your tech org, and building your marketing engine don’t hesitate to reach out. Did we leave a type of tech company out? Let us know in the comments below.

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    Hunter Nelson

    Hunter is the founder and president of Tortoise and Hare Software, a digital marketing agency for B2B technology companies. Hunter has more than 10 years’ experience building web applications and crafting digital strategies for companies ranging from scrappy startups to Fortune 50 household names. When not on the clock, you'll find him spending time with his family and pups, relaxing on the beach, or playing competitive online video games. See LinkedIn for more.


    1. Madeline Bechtold on April 26, 2022 at 1:50 pm

      Terrific article! I’m a student in an IT program, and nobody there has ever talked about the different kinds of IT providers, which is a problem for those of us new to the industry. I’m going to share this link with other students in my program.

      • Hunter Nelson on April 26, 2022 at 2:06 pm

        Glad it helped!

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