Intro to Managed Services & Business Technology for Cannabis Industry Operators

The continuing wave of nationwide legalizations has opened up the industry to large corporate entities getting involved and throwing their weight around. These established corporations have infrastructure and technology that have allowed them to scale, but without it, they wouldn’t exist.

If you are a new or boutique cannabis company, it can feel daunting to keep up – downright discouraging when you consider whether you’ll ever be able to compete with such behemoths.  

The cannabis industry is an extremely tough and competitive landscape for small to mid-sized operations, but the real opportunity to improve processes and find an advantage for cannabis organizations comes through managed services for their business technologies.

What are managed services?

Simply stated, managed services are technology services that a business outsources to a third-party team. Countless technology products on the market can help any company in any industry operate more efficiently, but often the research and expertise needed to identify the right solution can seem out of reach. And further, they can take an extended time to implement.

Managed services providers (MSPs) oversee many different areas of a business’s technology needs. MSPs can take the lead on IT needs, cyber security, data collection and storage, and much more. Ultimately, the thrust of managed services is in handing off the process of understanding and implementing new technologies to third party specialists so that your team can focus on the core elements of your business.

Why should cannabis operations partner with a managed services provider?

The simple reality is that there is a vast amount of software available to cannabis companies that will make business as a cannabis manufacturer, distributor, or retailer much less complicated. 

With fewer complexities, cannabis operators should be signing up for business tech in droves, right? Unfortunately, the competition is so fierce for smaller cannabis companies that many operations feel they don’t have the time or expertise necessary to research and implement such technology solutions to solve day-to-day problems. The reality is, cannabis companies today cannot afford to ignore the many solutions available to help them grow.

Part of what you hire when you hire an MSP is the fundamental understanding of the software and technology market needed to identify solutions to your problems. Some of the many problems solved by MSPs are:

  • Challenges remaining compliant with new and evolving cannabis regulations
  • Struggling to grow business due to complex or inefficient workflow
  • Struggling to focus on primary business operations as opposed to incidental challenges that arise every day
  • Outdated business practices that do not effectively utilize new technological advancements
  • Lack of in-house technical or technological expertise

What should you look for in a managed services provider?

Many MSPs are hustling their wares, and just like it can be hard to know where to start with new business technologies, it can be just as hard to know where to start in determining which provider will be best for you.

Look for industry expertise. The cannabis industry is unique in its challenges—particularly where it comes to compliance—so make sure your MSP has extensive cannabis industry expertise.

Know the areas where you need help. MSPs can provide a considerable array of services for you, and it’s best to know the areas in which you need the most help to start focusing your search early in the process.

Keep an eye turned toward growth. Make sure that any MSP you choose can help you grow your business as operations are made more efficient.

Focus on technology and innovation. Confirm that your MSP emphasizes the adoption of innovation and cannabis industry technologies. Many cannabis operators are stuck in the past with their workflows, and you don’t want your MSP to wind up reinforcing that a few years from now once their current services are outdated. 

Let’s face it, no cannabis company today can thrive without the taking advantage of the business solutions available to you and to every other cannabis company looking to make their mark in a crowded space. 

The difference between your company and theirs could lie in your readiness to take the next step toward cannabis technology and speaking to right cannabis solutions vendor.

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