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Your IT Guy vs. a Managed Service Provider

There is no question that reliable IT support is a necessity for all of us, including small businesses. The reason is that most transactions and business functions are completed online. Business owners need to decide on the type of IT support they need. Whether that be an internal IT department or a Managed Service Provider. Let’s take a look at some typical IT scenarios.

Internal IT Support

This protection means keeping an in-house IT person on your regular payroll. It’s straightforward, but this is a practice that is not frequently considered unless your business uses a lot of technology. For one thing, having someone on your payroll that you don’t need regularly is not the most economical approach. Also, you will be limited to the skills and expertise of the individuals in your team.

The Break-Fix Model

Small businesses favor the break-fix IT model because it is a simpler option. What this means is that you only hire an IT professional whenever your system fails or there is some tech-related problem. In other words, when something breaks, you hire someone to fix it. 

When working with the break-fix model, you don’t have a regular IT support team to keep things running. This setup sounds like a feasible and more economical plan if you are not expecting to encounter many system problems. But this approach is also idealistic because the truth is that things will break, and more often than you would like. That usually translates to unexpected costs and a runaway budget.

Managed Service Provider

Larger companies that have more complex online systems will hire a team of experts in the form of a Managed Service Provider, or MSP, that can offer complete and diverse IT solutions. Small businesses don’t follow this path because they focus on the monthly bill and not the benefits. The typical reasoning would go like this: What if nothing breaks this month? We would still have to pay the fee for nothing, and that would be a waste of money! 

But here’s the thing. When hiring an MSP, you get to choose the kind of services you pay for. It’s not a one size fits all offering. You can decide what kind of IT services or support your business needs, and the monthly flat-rate fee will be computed based on only the services you choose. 

And what if nothing breaks? Well, that’s the goal of a good MSP. Your Managed Service Provider will be proactive and keep your technology operating and not approach things reactively, like a break/fix service.

Advantages of MSPs over the Break-Fix Method and In-House Tech Support

If you are still on the fence about hiring an MSP for your business, take a look at some of the advantages MSPs have over other types of IT support.

Expertise

A Managed Service Provider consists of a team of highly skilled experts in practically all areas of business technology. If you hire an MSP, you will have access to this vast pool of professionals to help you with any tech issue you might encounter. This approach is in sharp contrast to having your own internal IT guy who may be very capable, but his skill set pales to a team of experts from different backgrounds. 

Convenience

With the break-fix method, you can hire top professionals for your issues, but the process of locating them and getting them on board takes time. With an MSP, all you have to do is call and tell them your problem, and they will immediately send someone over to fix whatever is wrong. 

Cost-Effectiveness

Most businesses that use the break-fix model do so with the assumption that this method will save them money, but as it happens, they usually end up spending a lot more than if they went for an MSP instead. MSPs will charge a monthly fee – that is true. But this is a flat rate. No matter how many services you ask them to perform or how arduous some of the tasks may be, you won’t have to pay a single cent more than the monthly rate. On the contrary, the break-fix model requires you to pay for each service separately, and the expenses can quickly pile up faster than you would have anticipated.

Many businesses perceive the monthly flat rate for IT support to be high. But when you take a close look at your total monthly expenses that go to IT-related services, you might be shocked at how much you are spending. 

Reduce Your Expenses by Switching to a Managed Service Provider 

Your flat-rate fee will vary depending on the extent of IT support you require. Contact us so we can calculate the monthly fee that fits your requirements. Chances are it’s lower than what you are spending now, which means that hiring an MSP could save you a considerable amount. Ready to find out?

Cybersecurity is one of the foremost concerns of many companies today. Especially for small and medium businesses that utilize online sales. To face these unforeseeable attacks, you can prepare ahead of time by taking out a dependable cybersecurity insurance plan. This coverage gives you a chance to recoup what you might potentially lose in the face of a cyber-attack.

The risk of cyberattacks gets higher each year as online criminals continue to improve in their craft. They work around the clock, devising new and innovative methods to supersede whatever security software IT companies create. As a business owner, you must always be on your toes and ensure your network and data are secure. Ask yourself, is your business currently protected with the latest cybersecurity technology? If you’re like most business owners, you probably don’t have the time to worry about such things, but you should.

Boost Your Protection with Cybersecurity Insurance

It is wise to consider investing in a comprehensive cybersecurity insurance plan. Despite having seemingly ironclad protection, there is no 100% guarantee that hackers will not be able to penetrate your virtual walls. These crooks are extremely good at what they do. Just in case the unthinkable happens, and you fall victim to a nasty cyber incident, a cybersecurity insurance plan can at least help you recover some, if not all, of the losses and damages.

MSP Standards for Cybersecurity Insurance

As the need for cybersecurity insurance becomes more pressing, you must also become more discriminating in choosing a managed services provider to handle your cybersecurity insurance needs. However, as the business owner, you must fill out the form yourself instead of passing on this task to your MSP. However, your MSP can help you with much of the information you’ll need to fill out the form.

If you are working with a Managed Service Provider, it makes sense to ask them if they have the resources to connect you with a reliable cybersecurity insurance agent. They will undoubtedly have plenty of contacts, and it would be in their best interest to recommend the best agent for you. Of course, you can also find an agent on your own if you wish, but you do have to be wary of unscrupulous entities such as fly-by-night companies who will suddenly be unreachable when you want to make a claim.

Cyber insurance is recommended for all businesses these days. However, by no means will it make your business invincible against cybercrimes. Even after taking out a trustworthy policy, the MSP should continue providing first-class security solutions to your business. The more levels of top-quality protection you employ, the safer your business will be.

Why Choosing the Right MSP Is Important

Taking out an insurance policy for cybersecurity is not as simple as some business owners think. More than just adding such a plan, there is the matter of making sure you get paid back any losses.

Cybersecurity insurance can protect your business against financial loss caused by cyber-attacks. The plan may include coverage for financial losses. Such as data breaches, data theft, ransomware extortion payments, system or network takeover, and company losses. This coverage is even more important if you store your sensitive data on a local server in your office. These systems can be easily breached by hackers looking for an easy target. If this is the case and you do not wish to look into cyber insurance, you should consider storing your data in the cloud for enhanced security.

An experienced MSP can help you handle these procedures, and we recommend that you investigate them. Experts say that in 2022 the rate of cybercrime is expected to escalate even further. If you want to protect your assets, let us know! Let’s talk about how security, protection, and cyber insurance can help with the growth and success of your business in the coming year!

Most businesses have now gone digital, taking their processes online and storing data in the cloud and whatnot. While speedier transactions and greater portability make this technique very convenient, it also poses some risks. One of these is the risk of digital disasters and possible security breaches from all directions. In other words, if you aren’t vigilant, all of your company’s data can be stolen or encrypted. Do you have a disaster data recovery plan in place that meets all of your requirements?

 

Unforeseen Disasters And Breaches In 2021

 

In recent years, there have been numerous disasters that have affected global companies in different industries. Most of the attacks in 2021 came in the form of ransomware that took advantage of human gullibility.

 

The electronics company Acer took a hard blow in cyber-attacks in 2021. Overall, they ended up dealing with a $50 million ransom demand that a notorious hacking entity called ReEvil supposedly asked for in exchange for the return of a massive amount of stolen digital data.

 

In April of this year, Facebook suffered a security breach that exposed the personal information of over 530 million users. Screen scraping is a technique used by hackers to get information from websites. It’s how they were able to access the data files of almost 92% of LinkedIn members and obtain personal details like emails or phone numbers!

 

Because of the lockdowns and work-from-home setups, previously protected information became exposed in the digital world. Luckily, most companies had reliable security policies that protected data coming in and out of their office networks. However, with most individuals working remotely and using devices, it is difficult for a corporation to keep control over their security network, necessitating an upgrade.

 

The Importance Of Proper Preparation And Safeguarding Your SMB

 

Business owners often make the mistake of believing that something like this will never happen to their company. They like to believe that because they are a tiny firm, no hacker would be interested in attempting to compromise them. As a result, many don’t even bother to take precautionary measures to protect their small or medium-sized businesses from potential threats.

 

Unfortunately, small and medium-sized businesses are easy to crack and are typical targets of these hackers. Many companies lack the appropriate infrastructure and security tools to protect themselves from cyberattacks. To keep from being a victim, you must partner with a managed services provider that can provide you with an ironclad disaster data recovery plan.

 

Creating A Good Disaster Recovery Plan

 

Disaster data recovery is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. The process of developing this plan entails a great deal of deliberation and decision-making.

 

Begin by defining a sensible recovery time objective (RTO). This process is the amount of time you expect to be fully back on track after disaster strikes. The shorter the RTO, the more expensive the disaster data recovery will be, so you need to consider this.

 

Also, make sure to clearly outline the duties and responsibilities of each individual employee in your organization. In addition, establish a clear communication plan as well as security protocols.

 

Of course, the most crucial parts of disaster data recovery are having offsite data backup and installing dependable and updated anti-spyware tools on all the devices used for business procedures. You should also test your disaster recovery plan with your staff. That is the only way to find out if it works.

 

Hire A Professional MSP For Disaster Recovery

 

As you can imagine, disaster recovery is a complex matter. If you want to know that your plan can protect you, the best option is to have a fully managed disaster data recovery solution from a reliable MSP. 2021 slammed us with a plethora of serious security threats for SMBs, and it’s scary to think of what 2022 might bring.

 

Ensure the safety of your company now before it is too late! Contact us today, and we will show you how.

If your company is upgrading computer software or hardware, now might be the right time to save lots of money for your business. Lots of small and medium-sized business owners will be familiar with some of the available tax deductions. However, as far as Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 tax deduction are concerned, many smaller business owners often believe these to be more complicated. This blog will help you understand how business technology upgrades use Tax 179 deductions.

179 Tax Deductions technology explained

Section 179 is an incentive for smaller businesses to finance, lease or purchase equipment by allowing up to $1,050,000 each year, deducted from taxable income for qualified business equipment purchases.

There are limitations on types of equipment and the amounts that they deduct. The Section 179 allowances mean that small and medium-sized businesses can make significant savings. 

179 Tax Deductions and limitations

The max we can deduct is $1,050,000, and we can purchase for the full deduction at $2,620,000. Therefore, if purchased equipment costs more than $2,620,000, then the Section 179 deduction decreases at a rate of dollar for dollar and will reach zero when the cost of equipment reaches $3,670,000. 

Types of property that qualify for 179 Tax Deductions

Tangible property by the IRS use The Section 179 tax deductions . The equipment must last over one year for the business. Possible purchases include:

Bonus depreciation – an explanation

This tax law is an incentive for small and medium-sized businesses to have a deduction on qualified purchases for their first year. For the year that the business buys and uses the equipment, they can deduct 100% of the expense and depreciation too.

Businesses are allowed to take both Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 allowances. However, you must apply Section 179 first. After the Section 179 limit of $1,050,000 has been reached, the rest is taken as bonus depreciation. 

Time to upgrade?

If you’re considering upgrading your business technology through the 179 tax deduction, now is a perfect time. You can use these purchases under Section 179.

Benefits of upgrading your business technology 

By upgrading business technology, small and medium-sized businesses can save a lot of money while staying ahead of the competition. Upgrading technology will help your computers run faster. Work time is lost when computers take time to boot up. Smaller businesses feel this time lost much more than bigger companies. With upgrades in technology, productivity increases resulting in less downtime.

If it’s been a while since you invested in new technology, your devices might be wearing out. With older computers, any new software you purchase might not run correctly or may run much slower than it should. So investing in new technology and making the most of the Section 179 deductions is a huge opportunity. 

How we can help

As an MSP, we believe it’s important to let you know how your business can make the most of IT infrastructure and services to achieve outstanding business performance. The Section 179 tax deduction is an example of how your business can help its bottom line while improving its IT infrastructure. Contact us for a Business Technology Audit today to see how we can help you and your business.

When you’re a small business, it’s critical to get your taxes right. Many small business owners look for ways to maximize deductions to minimize how much tax they pay. One tax-saving loophole not everyone knows about that could help is the tax code Section 179 deductions. If you’re unaware of what Section 179 deductions is, this blog will help define it for you. We’ll explain tax 179 deductions and how you can take advantage of them with the help of your MSP.

As usual, we need to let you know that these offers may not apply to your business. To get the most out of this government program, we recommend consulting with your tax advisor. Now let’s learn how to save some money!

What are Section 179 Deductions?

When we talk about 179 deductions, these are the classic ” tax deductions,” but they offer extra benefits. With many write-offs, you can only take partial deductions over a few years. Suppose you buy a car for your business, but you can only write off a portion of the value over the next five years. By definition, Section 179 deductions in the tax code allows a business to deduct the value of a property purchased for the business against any profits (or losses) that happened during the year it was purchased and implemented, thus lowering the total tax burden. This “property” falls into the following categories:

Business Personal Property: This would include anything purchased for business use that isn’t bolted to a floor or wall. This includes furniture, computers, software — even paper and pens!

Machinery and Equipment: This includes items purchased for businesses that are too large to move or are bolted in place. An example of this would be a printing press or conveyer belt.

Business Vehicles: These are cars or trucks with a gross weight of more than 6,000 lbs and are used exclusively for business purposes.

Listed Property: This is property used for business purposes. In this case, you don’t have to use it entirely for business purposes, but you can only deduct the portion used for business proportionate to the time used. For instance: if you have a home office and work for eight hours a day for five out of seven days a week, it means you use your home for business purposes about 23.7% percent of the time, and therefore you could write off 23.7% of your mortgage. 

Capital Improvements: When you improve a building used for your business, you can write off that expense. This section also includes items like air conditioning or alarm systems.

Section 179 – the basics for SMB Tax deduction

This section applies to deductions for property depreciation. It doesn’t increase how much you can deduct overall, but it does give smaller businesses the option to act more quickly. In some cases, an asset may be usable for up to 39 years. Section 179 means that a company can declare the deduction of this asset in one year alone instead of spreading over a longer time. Let’s say, for example, that a bar buys a new $4000 television. Based on ten years of the TV’s life, straight depreciation would only allow the business to deduct a percentage of the cost every year for ten years. With Section 179, the business owner deducts the whole amount the first year.

Why is this useful to small and newer businesses?

When you set up a new business, you have a lot more going out than you do coming in, and there are a lot of assets that need to be purchased. Section 179 deductions means that new business owners can take advantage of deducting their purchases now. Smaller but established businesses can also take advantage of buying new assets to help grow their company. Buying things upfront is costly, so with Section 179 deductions, this outgoing is less burdensome. In addition, you don’t have to wait years to benefit from tax deductions when you purchase assets. 

What assets qualify for Section 179 deductions?

It is possible to deduct taxes for business assets that will last over one year (as determined by the IRS). These include:

Of course, more groups apply, so talk to your tax advisor for more info.

MSP – How can they help?

A Managed Service Provider can help you maximize your tax savings from Section 179 deductions. In addition, they will be able to guide you through the options for your hardware and software needs. Finally, they can help forecast your business’s future needs in terms of technology, including purchase, finance, or lease services for equipment. Contact us before time runs out!