Automation Concepts & Technologies Blog

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

Choosing the Right Hard Drives: HDD vs SSD

Choosing the Right Hard Drives: HDD vs SSD

When you’re on the hunt for some new technology, you have to sort through the options available to you to find what’s best for your use case. One of these decisions is what type of hard drives are installed in new workstations, laptops, and servers. Today, we will go through the two main types of hard drives and what they are good for. 

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4 Outdated Office Conventions (and the Technology That Replaces Them)

4 Outdated Office Conventions (and the Technology That Replaces Them)

The office environment has changed a lot over the years with technology being the impetus for such change. In your years doing business, how much has changed? How much of that change was driven by technology? Many of the traditional conventions of conducting business have been changed for the better as a result of these technological developments; here are just a few of them.

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4 Basic Technology Maintenance Practices for Small Businesses

4 Basic Technology Maintenance Practices for Small Businesses

If you are one of the many small businesses out there that does not have reliable technical support for the myriad of devices on your network, it might be difficult to imagine a world where your technology gets the maintenance it needs to thrive. Thankfully, you’re not alone. Here are some basic technology maintenance tips that anyone can implement, plus one at the end that we think small businesses, in particular, will benefit from!

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Examining the Potential Impacts of Big Tech Antitrust Legislation

Examining the Potential Impacts of Big Tech Antitrust Legislation

There are now five bipartisan bills being considered in the United States House of Representatives, strictly intended to help put some checks on the power that today’s modern technology giants have. Let’s consider what these bills are, and why the current business environment has inspired them.

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Should You Invest In Hardware or Move to the Cloud?

Should You Invest In Hardware or Move to the Cloud?

Regardless of their size, businesses need access to some considerable amounts of data nowadays. This means that even small businesses have situations to consider that not only carries data considerations, but operational considerations. Considering many businesses have shifted to a remote workforce (or some variant of it), it stands to reason that an organization’s hardware investments have to be more strategic than ever before.

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Introducing the Hybrid Workforce

Introducing the Hybrid Workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the way people worked drastically, and it did it very suddenly. As more people are being vaccinated, offices are starting to reopen. Workers, who gained substantial flexibility by working from home, however, are now expecting some of that flexibility to continue. Employers, who up until mandated shutdowns were not enthusiastic that they could make the remote workforce work for their companies are now set up to manage them proficiently. This month we thought we would take a look at the inevitable compromise that is being reached: the hybrid workplace.

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Use These 3 Services to Boost IT Efficiency

Use These 3 Services to Boost IT Efficiency

Efficiency is king in the business world. In order to reach optimal productivity, organizations are always aiming to prevent operational issues, eliminate unnecessary costs, and cut down on anything that keeps them from reaching their goals. Technology is a major tool in this effort, offering solutions that can enhance productivity, automate processes, facilitate collaboration, and maintain critical systems. All of this and more can be done by working with a great IT services provider.

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Cloud Migration Challenges You May Run Into

Cloud Migration Challenges You May Run Into

The cloud is a well-established option for businesses to embrace nowadays. So much so, in fact, that the benefits of migrating their data environment to the cloud have encouraged many to take the plunge (or would that thematically be ascent?) into cloud-delivered services. These transitions don’t come without their issues, of course. Let’s go over a few of the most common challenges that a business encounters when performing a cloud migration.

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Planning Future IT Investments Can Get Tricky

Planning Future IT Investments Can Get Tricky

Over the past year (and change) millions of businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, it may not surprise you that you will have to adjust your budget to accommodate the massive amount of changes that we will see as everyday life begins to normalize. Today, we thought we’d take you through some of the financial challenges your business is sure to have to deal with when social distancing is a distant memory.

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Three Technologies for the Small Business Startup

Three Technologies for the Small Business Startup

Deciding to start a business is a big shift in a person’s life, but it can be extraordinarily rewarding. Regardless of what business you plan on opening, there are some technologies that can work to make your new business easier to manage and can help you transition into the world of entrepreneurship. Let’s go through four technology tools the small business startup needs. 

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How Will the Lessons of the Pandemic Apply to Businesses Operations?

How Will the Lessons of the Pandemic Apply to Businesses Operations?

If the pandemic has done anything for businesses, it has given them a reason to innovate that cannot be denied—although many have let the opportunity pass them by. Let’s consider how technology has assisted businesses in various industries in their operations as they have needed to adjust.

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Productivity Apps Aren’t Just a Fad

Productivity Apps Aren’t Just a Fad

Businesses need to maximize productivity any way they can. Some look to software to make this happen. When searching for productivity software, it may seem like you are looking at the same thing over and over again. While we admit that many productivity programs are similar, it’s important that you acquire the software that will give your team the tools it needs to succeed. Let’s take a look at how you can find the right productivity apps for your business’ needs.

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Getting Accessible Internet to the Disabled Isn’t So Easy

Getting Accessible Internet to the Disabled Isn’t So Easy

Accessibility to the Internet is a hot topic because, at this point, almost everyone should be afforded Internet access. The fact that some people don’t have access to the Internet puts them at a severe disadvantage. One group that has major problems with accessibility are disabled people. Let’s discuss what can be done about that.

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The Pros and Cons Remote Work Has to the Environment

The Pros and Cons Remote Work Has to the Environment

Remote work is often lauded for its various benefits—and don’t get us wrong, there are certainly plenty of them to account for. However, it must also be said that remote work is far from perfect. Take the environmental impacts it can have, for instance. Let’s discuss how working from home can prove better for the environment, while also addressing the serious problems it has contributed to—and, just maybe, how we can help minimize some of them.

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Should Your Business See a Bigger Role for IT?

Should Your Business See a Bigger Role for IT?

With every business having at least some revenue generation in their list of priorities, it is important that an organization understands how technology can help eliminate inefficiency through improved collaboration and productivity. Let’s consider a few modern tools and solutions that can help a business as it strives towards its goals.

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Can a Technology Meant to Sell Donuts Help Detect Cancer?

Can a Technology Meant to Sell Donuts Help Detect Cancer?

We’d be the first to admit it—some of the topics we discuss may seem to be inaccessible to small and medium-sized businesses nowadays, bordering on science fiction. For instance, let’s consider the topic of artificial intelligence in business.

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Is This the End of the Desktop Computer?

Is This the End of the Desktop Computer?

If you know me at all, you know I love technology. I usually like to check out the newest, latest gadgets. At the same time, I’m also very skeptical about overcomplicating my life, and adding unneeded security risks to the equation. It’s like two polar opposites are at war in my head at all times—I want to play with shiny new technology but not risk my overall cybersecurity. Plus, I don’t want to move forward at the expense of losing something I once had.

Here’s a perfect example: Back in the Windows 7 days, I had this really great set of apps that let you customize my Start Menu. It made it really easy to get the apps and documents I needed, and it made sense to me based on how my mind works. These applications were no longer supported for Windows 10, so when we upgraded, I lost those features and had to get used to living without them. 

Being used to the traditional desktop with multiple monitors and plenty of screen real estate, the idea of switching to a laptop or tablet sounds like a downgrade to many, but we’ve been at the point where laptops and even tablets are about as capable as their desktop equivalents.

Modern laptops are powerhouses that can compete with most modern desktops until you really need the most powerful hardware for high-end gaming and video editing. Even then, a high-end laptop will suffice, but the cost goes up, as does the overall weight of the device. That said, mid-range portable devices like ultrabooks tend to be able to handle everything most people would throw at them.

A Real-World Example of a Laptop that Replaced a Desktop

An acquaintance of mine is a digital artist/graphic designer. I remember seeing her setup a handful of years ago—she had a big desktop computer, two big monitors, and an enormous Wacom Cintiq. The Wacom Cintiq is an artist’s drawing tablet. Hers was a big 24-inch screen that she could draw on using a special pen. The work she was doing required a pretty beefy desktop. It was definitely more powerful than the typical office workstation. She could have used a laptop instead of the desktop, but she’d still be chained to the desk in order to use the drawing tablet, and back then, the price tag for a laptop with that kind of power was substantially higher than the desktop.

A few years ago, she showed me her new setup. She had switched over to a high-end laptop that had the Wacom technology built into the screen. She could set it up at her desk and give herself an extra monitor, but while traveling she could manage with just the laptop. 

I remember asking her “does it still run all of your programs?” She had told me it honestly ran them better than her aging desktop. 

This wasn’t a big bulky laptop either - it was a 12-inch Thinkpad, and she had mentioned she was torn between that and a Surface Pro at the time. She went with the Thinkpad because she liked the keyboard better.

Why This Story Matters

Technology has been changing fast over the years, and it’s important to realize that every few years, the way we do things could potentially change for the better. By switching to a laptop form-factor, she didn’t lose much, but she gained portability. If she had continued to assume that she needed a big desktop and a big expensive Wacom Cintiq, she wouldn’t be able to take her work on the road or illustrate while traveling.

You can look at your business technology the same way. It’s worth looking at the capabilities modern technology has, because if you stick with what’s traditional you might miss out on huge life-changing opportunities.

The Next Generation of Change

Our story isn’t finished though—my friend just replaced her laptop. It served her well for five years, and now her kid uses it for school work. She was pretty excited to tell me about the device she replaced it with…

A tablet. 

An Android tablet. 

This might not sound like a big deal to some of you, but let’s put it all in perspective.

Several years ago, she needed a massive, high-end PC to do her work. Attached to that PC was an expensive specialized piece of hardware in the form of a drawing tablet.

She replaced it with a nice, although costly, laptop that had the drawing tablet capabilities built-in.

Now she’s using a razor-thin Android tablet and claiming that she’s getting the same use out of it.

I have nothing against Android—it’s an amazing operating system for mobile devices. I usually don’t picture Android as a replacement for a Windows PC, though.

I had to grill her on it. I had so many questions! I think she was ready for me this time.

She told me that it ran all of her apps. She had to make some concessions, since the Android versions of Photoshop and Illustrator were a little different, but it didn’t change what she could do once she established a new workflow. She said that she even found that some of the Android-based apps that weren’t available on PC were even better than some of the programs she used on her desktop and laptop.

She handles her email on it, her documents are in OneDrive (Microsoft’s cloud-based storage), and she stores her artwork and graphic design projects in the cloud as well. She can literally access them from anywhere, on any device.

Here’s the kicker. I’m not a graphics person so I probably don’t even understand the full scope of this, but she said it was huge:

Her tablet allows her to easily work at documents that are four times larger than what she could work on with her laptop, and the screen has a higher resolution and better color accuracy than her laptop did. This means she can work effectively with larger projects faster and more accurately than ever before. 

On a tablet!

To be fair, she did mention that modern-day desktops and the newer Wacom tablets were still great to use, but she didn’t want to invest in a device that she couldn’t easily travel with.

In Conclusion

Be willing to look outside of the familiar with your technology—there are so many new and exciting ways to get the same work done. Think about the businesses that already had a mobile-ready or remote workforce before the pandemic. 

I don’t think it’s the end of an era for the desktop necessarily, but I do think it’s time we all look at the decisions we make and the things we invest in, and ask ourselves if there is a better, more innovative way.

These days, there usually is!

P.S. I was asked what kind of tablet my graphic designer friend switched to. She said she is using a Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, and for those of you who prefer Apple products, the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil is a good device. Normally we’re pretty agnostic about the devices and brands, so I encourage you to do your research, as there are plenty of great choices out there.

If you need help choosing your next device to get the most out of your talent, don’t hesitate to reach out to Automation Concepts & Technologies at (508) 622-5100!

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How Your Business’ IT Future Has Changed in the Past Year

How Your Business’ IT Future Has Changed in the Past Year

With so much confusion, crisis, and conflict happening over the past year, businesses of all sizes have turned to technology as a necessary means of remaining open. As a result, the perspective many these businesses have of their IT has shifted considerably. Let’s explore some of the revelations that organizations have had, and how they’ll impact operations from this point on.

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Three Smart Business IT Moves for Any Sized Organization

Three Smart Business IT Moves for Any Sized Organization

Seeing as technology is a critical component of most business processes nowadays, it is effectively guaranteed that it will benefit your operations to abide by a few particular best practices. Let’s review these practices now so you can move forward and use your technology to its highest capabilities.

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HR Tech Can Keep HR Simple

HR Tech Can Keep HR Simple

Human resources (HR) may not get the attention that many other parts of your business do, but it remains important. HR plans and coordinates most of the administrative issues of a business. They deal with onboarding and offboarding personnel, are a big part of a business’ strategic planning, and function as a bridge between a business’ workers and its decision makers. With all that responsibility, HR can sometimes get bogged down with work, putting a business behind. 

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About Automation Concepts & Technologies

Automation Concepts & Technologies 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

830 West Chestnut Street
Brockton, Massachusetts 02301