Atlanta Managed Service Provider (MSP) Landscape

by | Nov 16, 2023 | INSI

The Atlanta and Marietta, GA’s MSP landscape is saturated with over 1000 IT support providers. And that’s just the ones we know about! In addition to Managed Service Providers, countless independent contractors, friends, family, and neighbors dabble in the field for extra money. Yet, not all service providers are created equally.

For this reason, it is critical to compare IT support companies in the following way:

This article will guide you through the process of comparing and selecting the right service provider for your small- or medium-sized business.

Know the History of Your IT Support Provider

Since the rise of home computers in the 1980s, Managed Service Providers have filled a critical gap for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) who struggled to purchase, maintain, and support their growing infrastructure. 

By the 2010s, the demand for IT support providers led to extreme market saturation. Many engineers went out on their own and started their own IT companies. However, not all engineers make good business owners, and the reputation of the MSP industry declined. For this reason, SMBs became leery of IT support companies and their promises. Many hired support engineers internally, which created their own set of problems.

Know Their Main Product or Service Offering

In the early 2000s, many phone systems and copier companies saw the writing on the wall that thier industry was slowly being dominated by IT support companies since all their products were now network-based. Therefore, they would only succeed if they expanded their business offerings to IT support. Unfortunately, the learning curve is much more challenging, moving from supporting a network product to supporting the entire network system, and many failed.

Landscape of IT Support Models 

The quality of IT support you receive greatly depends on the provider’s IT model. Each varies significantly in risks, costs, and service levels; the best way to compare is the IT Maturity Model. The IT maturity measures three pillars of success (people, processes, and technology) into one comprehensive review of Managed Service Providers (MSPs). It measures the ability of an IT organization to deliver exceptional service and continuous IT capability growth.    

Cybersecurity Responsibilities

When a cybersecurity attack happens, your Atlanta IT support provider is the first place to seek answers.  The question at that time will be, what could they have prevented, and what was your responsibility? Most importantly, how can you recover quickly, and what steps should you take to mitigate future risks? IT support companies should indeed look after the health and security of the network and data. However, many Managed Service Providers skip the necessary steps to save themselves time or money. Read this article to discover where your MSP’s cybersecurity responsibilities end and yours begins.

IT Support Landscape Traps

Just like any service contract, the devil is in the details. However, unscrupulous IT support companies often try to hold the client hostage to their contract through additional product support or service start dates. When this happens, the client often cannot unbundle the contracts and finds themselves trapped.

Many small- and medium-sized businesses buy their phone systems, copiers, and other products through their trusted IT advisor. In these scenarios, the client will have difficulty finding another service provider with the same certifications for that product. 

Services like hosting and cybersecurity are common add-ons to the contracts. However, many of them start and stop at different times. So, when a client becomes dissatisfied with the IT support service, they discover that they cannot manage the hosted servers or cybersecurity separately. Therefore, the client is stuck with various end dates or required to pay a substantial early-out fee.

Venture Capital Groups Are Rapidly Buying Atlanta IT Support Companies

Over the past ten years, venture capital groups bought and merged IT support, phone, copier, custom programming, and website programming companies to create IT powerhouses. In most cases, the mergers created a nightmare for clients and employees because they focused on trimming the budget. As a result, the engineers worked harder, had fewer benefits, and had to adjust to a new corporate culture and systems. All of which led to a turnover and poor customer service. Then, the companies are sold, and it starts all over again. 

IT Support Landscape Summary

It is essential to understand the history and capabilities of your IT support provider. A few ways to do this is to understand the type of IT support model they model and their IT maturity level. Innovative Network Systems, Inc. (INSI) covers several topics like this in the INSI Insights Blog to help you make informed decisions.

About INSI, The Best IT Support Provider in Atlanta

Innovative Network Systems, Inc. (INSI) is the leading Managed Service Provider (MSP) in Marietta, GA, for small- and medium-sized businesses. INSI’s unique approach integrates IT Support and Cybersecurity into comprehensive packages with onsite preventive maintenance and a single source of accountability. INSI’s services range from gap support for clients with internal IT departments to fully managed services for those who have no IT representation.

About the Author

Deborah Frazier is the author of IT Outsourcing Secrets – A Small Business Guide to Compare IT Support Companies. With nearly 20 years experience consulting small and medium-sized businesses on their IT support needs, she brings a wealth of knowledge to INSI as Head of Marketing and Sales. If you like this article and would like to get notified when a new article is posted, click here