Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. Blog

Welcome to our blog, full of IT tips and business technology best practices.

Learning about the Cloud

Learning about the Cloud

Despite stay-at-home orders and general social distancing policies currently making the workday that we are used to impossible to sustain, many businesses have found that cloud services have helped them to adjust. Let’s review what cloud services are available right now, and how exactly they can help many businesses operate.

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Three Ways the Cloud is a Cost-Effective Option for Businesses

Three Ways the Cloud is a Cost-Effective Option for Businesses

As technology has developed, the tools available for businesses to use have gained considerable benefits. One particularly paradigm-shifting advancement, the cloud, has allowed businesses access to better solutions than ever before, and with the bonus of making them easier to manage. Let’s go over a few such solutions that many businesses are now embracing.

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The Cloud Is Coming of Age

The Cloud Is Coming of Age

For the past decade, cloud computing has grown fairly rapidly, but as a new decade, and a pesky virus has people (and businesses) leaning on hosted computing solutions more now than ever, it seems like a good time to review the types of cloud options that are available, and how they provide value to businesses just like yours.

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Why Software as a Service is the Future

Why Software as a Service is the Future

The cloud has provided businesses with remarkable capabilities and opportunities, but we wanted to take a moment to focus on one in particular: software as a service, or SaaS. Let’s go over what SaaS is, exactly, and how it can assist you in your operations.

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Is a Hosted Desktop Right for Your Business?

Is a Hosted Desktop Right for Your Business?

As important as it is to keep your technology up-to-date, it can sometimes be prohibitively expensive to do so throughout your entire business. If you have found yourself in this position, one option you may consider is to resort to hosted desktop solutions. Here, we’ll go over what a hosted desktop is, and how it can serve companies well.

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Have You Considered the Cloud for Your Business?

Have You Considered the Cloud for Your Business?

If you asked the layman on the street about cloud computing, you may get some surprising answers. Some people may actually believe that the computing resources are stored in the clouds in the sky. Obviously, that isn’t the case, but one thing is certain: not all cloud strategies are understood by the people that use them. This month we will take a look at the different types of cloud computing and how they can actually work for business.

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Tip of the Week: Three Ways the Cloud Boosts Businesses

Tip of the Week: Three Ways the Cloud Boosts Businesses

Thanks to the increasing capabilities of modern computing networks, businesses have been able to experience enhanced productivity. One such capability, cloud computing, has allowed businesses to reach outside of their physical location to conduct their operations. Here, we’ll review some of cloud computing’s other benefits.

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Microsoft Azure Offers Plenty of Cloud Capabilities

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Cloud computing has firmly established itself as the option that businesses will ultimately need to adopt in order to remain competitively efficient. For these kinds of services, a small to medium-sized business should take Microsoft Azure into serious consideration.

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The Hybrid Cloud’s Usefulness to the Modern Business

The Hybrid Cloud’s Usefulness to the Modern Business

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way business is done, but most businesses don’t always feel comfortable storing data and hosting critical infrastructure in the cloud. Every business has to determine what kind of computing infrastructure is right for them. Many businesses today have decided to spread their technology investments around as they attempt to find solutions for all types of operational needs.

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See a Major Communications Boost Cloud-Hosted VoIP

See a Major Communications Boost Cloud-Hosted VoIP

Voice over Internet Protocol, also known as VoIP, has grown more popular with businesses in recent years, and it’s hard not to see why. The sheer amount of benefits that it provides to businesses--small organizations in particular--make your traditional telephone system look outdated and inefficient. We’ll discuss some of the greatest benefits today.

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SMBs are Embracing Cloud-Hosted Technology

SMBs are Embracing Cloud-Hosted Technology

The cloud has helped many businesses push beyond their limits, but is your organization taking advantage of it? Depending on the needs of your specific business, the cloud can benefit your organization in ways you could never dream of just 20 years ago. We’ll go through some of the best ways the cloud can help your organization.

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Businesses Utilizing Cloud-Hosted HR and Payroll

Businesses Utilizing Cloud-Hosted HR and Payroll

Cloud computing can be used for many things, and nowhere is this more true than in the business environment. Organizations of all shapes and sizes use the cloud to keep operations moving forward. Some have even moved their entire human resources and payroll departments into the cloud. We’ll help you decide if this is the right approach for your organization.

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How Should You Invest in the Cloud?

How Should You Invest in the Cloud?

Hosted solutions are used in modern business practices for a variety of reasons, but by far the most common reason is because the business doesn’t necessarily have the staff or resources to take care of the solution in-house. The process of implementation will vary by business, but we can walk you through the process nonetheless, including building the solution, renting the solution, and buying the hosting space.

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The Cloud Gives You Comprehensive Access to Office 365

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Microsoft Office 365 is effectively the Swiss Army knife of business solutions, in that whatever you may need at any given point, you have it. This is true in both the variety of Microsoft’s solutions that are available through Office 365, and the fact that it can be delivered via the cloud.

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Some of the Value that Cloud Computing Offers

Some of the Value that Cloud Computing Offers

Cloud computing is a major player in the way that businesses are approaching their daily operations. This might bring into question whether or not your organization is actually using the cloud in the first place, but one thing is certain--if you haven’t implemented the cloud yet, it’s difficult to not do so, especially considering how great it can be for your company.

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The Benefits of Centralizing Your Data and Infrastructure

The Benefits of Centralizing Your Data and Infrastructure

Technology helps businesses of all kinds keep their operations running soundly, but depending on the way that it’s managed, it could have detrimental effects on your company. For example, if you have all kinds of solutions hosted on specific servers or workstations, you’re keeping them from being accessed by devices that aren’t connected to that specific network. Wouldn’t it be better if everything was centralized so that all of it could be accessed at a glance?


You should work toward centralization of your company’s IT assets as swiftly as possible, as it can provide your organization with enhanced accessibility and flexibility. If your business’ assets are all located in the same place, you might be surprised at how many possibilities are opened up, including the ability to access data anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Most businesses think of centralization as hosting company assets in one location where they can be accessed at any given point. For a lot of companies, this means implementing cloud computing of some sort. This includes taking your assets and moving them into a virtual environment, where they can be accessed by anyone who needs them. Examples of cloud computing include the following:

  • Constant accessibility: If you host applications in the cloud, you’re allowing for simplified access by approved individuals. This also means that you’ll be able to access these solutions on any connected device, providing on-the-go access for your busier employees.
  • User-based access: Your employees have different roles and responsibilities, and with these come varying degrees of data security clearance. You need to limit access to specific data depending on the user’s role. This keeps your employees from accessing data that they’re not supposed to.
  • Security: If all of your data is located in the same place, it becomes easier to protect. This security also needs to extend to any devices that have access to this data. If you can control security, your business can utilize centralized IT assets with minimal risk.

If your business wants to take full advantage of centralized IT, we recommend reaching out to Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. at (508) 622-5100. We can consult you on any number of technology topics and help you maintain your infrastructure.

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Why Your Business Should Be Using Virtualization

Why Your Business Should Be Using Virtualization

Virtualization can change a lot for your business. Since you can use multiple types of solutions to expand the way your operations work, virtualization is the perfect strategy to improve your business. But what is virtualization, exactly?

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Critiquing In-House and Cloud Based On Cost and Control

Critiquing In-House and Cloud Based On Cost and Control

We won't deny that we push the benefits of cloud pretty hard, but we aren't afraid to consider the possibility that the cloud may not be the best fit for your needs. If this is truly the case, it may just be that an onsite approach will work best for your needs.


To help you determine this, we’ll go into detail on two key considerations that a cloud solution and an on-site infrastructure share: cost and control.

Cost
Money can start wars, change hearts, and (more pertinent to our concerns) make or break a business. Due to the power that money has over your business, you will want to make sure that it is spent wisely.

In this concern, an outsourced cloud provider has the advantage over trying to maintain an in-house infrastructure. This is simply because trying to maintain and update your setup independently will be extraordinarily expensive. Consider the amount of computing power your business requires, and imagine how much it would take, financially, to maintain these in-house. Not only can an in-house device be expensive itself, but powering it and keeping it in full working order make that financial obligation even more pressing.

On the other hand, an outsourced provider will only charge a flat monthly rate (barring a few exceptions) that is easy to predict and budget out. Compared to operating a server in-house, these prices are considerably lower, and allow you to invest your savings into improvements elsewhere in your business.

Control
It only makes sense that you want to have some sort of control over your infrastructure--after all, your business functions are dependent on it, so the prospect of relinquishing direct control is understandably nerve-wracking for many. If this is your biggest concern, maintaining an in-house architecture would be your best bet. Doing so allows you a hands-on perspective of your IT and its management.

This feature essentially boils down to trust, and whether you are willing to entrust your business essentials to a third party or would prefer to keep a close eye on them.

The Best of Both Worlds
If both of these options sound like the best path, reach out to Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc.. We can examine your needs and design an IT plan to suit them. Give us a call at (508) 622-5100 to get started.

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A Cloud Provider Hosting Your Company’s Data Should Care as Much as You Do

A Cloud Provider Hosting Your Company’s Data Should Care as Much as You Do

By now you’ve heard about the cloud and all that it can do for businesses, but not all cloud providers can claim equal levels of availability and overall quality as others. Therefore, one of the most critical considerations you have to make when rolling out a cloud service regards who will be managing your company’s cloud computing platform.

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We Bust 3 Common Myths About Cloud Computing

We Bust 3 Common Myths About Cloud Computing

Are you still hesitant to adopt cloud computing for your company’s IT needs? For the cautious business owner, adopting new technologies isn’t a move that’s to be made lightly. However, cloud computing is much more than a passing fad. In recent years, the cloud has become such a reliable and efficient tool for businesses that it deserves your attention. Take for example these three misconceptions about the cloud.


Misconception 1: The Cloud Isn’t Secure
It’s understandable why business owners are hesitant to store their sensitive data in the cloud. After all, stories of hacks against major corporations appear in the headlines all too often. Although, it’s important to keep in mind that these sensational stories don’t accurately reflect the state of cloud security today. In fact, studies show that in some instances, the cloud is actually more secure than storing one’s data on-premise. This proved to be the case in a study by Schneider Electric where 40 percent of participants were found to be hosting their security applications in the cloud, and 45 percent of participants said they are likely to move their security application to a cloud platform.

That said, you should still exercise caution when selecting a cloud platform to host your company’s data. It’s prudent to perform your own analysis of costs, opportunity, and risk, as well as to be wary of exaggerated security claims by cloud providers. One way to go about this is to check with vendors for references. They will be able to tell you what cloud providers are reliable, and which ones tend to overpromise.

Misconception 2: The Cloud Costs Too Much
In the past, a move to the cloud may have been perceived by budget-minded business owners as too major of an expense to commit to. Today, the cloud computing market has become so varied that you’ll end up with several different estimates when you shop around with different cloud providers. Therefore, it’s worth it to be diligent when shopping for a cloud provider.

Then there are the cost benefits you should consider that extend beyond the initial price tag of cloud migration and the subsequent monthly fees. This includes opportunity costs such as time to market, disaster recovery savings, and customer satisfaction. Also, a business owner shouldn’t overlook finally being able to avoid paying for on-premise maintenance, remediation, hardware costs, application upgrades, and the list goes on.

Misconception 3: The Cloud Doesn’t Offer Enough Flexibility
If you’re hosting your data and applications in-house, then you know firsthand what it takes to make a modification like an enhancement to your hardware or software. Often times, such an IT initiative will be expensive and take considerable time to implement. Now imagine needing to make the same performance enhancement to an infrastructure that’s hosted in the cloud. With the cloud, when you need more computing resources from your provider, it’s as easy as making a phone call or submitting a ticket. The time and money saved by simply requesting your cloud provider make the adjustments on their end will free up resources for you and your IT staff that can be better invested elsewhere.

Do you still have reservations about the cloud? If so, then you owe it to yourself, and your bottom line, to discuss these roadblocks with the IT professionals at Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc.. You may be surprised to learn that the cloud can do exactly what you need it to do and more. To have a conversation about the cloud, call us today at (508) 622-5100.

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About Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc.

Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. strives to provide the best comprehensive IT, Computer, and Networking services to small businesses. We can handle all of your organization's technology challenges, starting with planning, implementing, and supporting the IT solutions that are critical to your growth and success. Learn More

(508) 285-5080

130 South Washington Street
North Attleboro, Massachusetts 02760