Do you have an IT team in-house to help you build your IT strategy?
For most cannabis businesses, an IT team isn’t possible. They’re working on growing the business, relying on people with skillsets to expand the business model. While they might have an office manager with various skills, or even an operations manager who can handle some IT questions, a true IT team just isn’t possible.
Do you need one?
What is an IT strategy?
The short answer is an IT strategy defines your IT approach. It’s your vision and strategic planning for all information technology.
Breaking it down gets more complicated.
It defines your IT infrastructure, dealing with hardware, software, and the architecture to meet a growing business’s IT needs.
It details how the organization will operate with technology. It provides system details and employee recommendations. It will define skills, training, and structures.
It creates guidelines for how the organization innovates, functions, and manages its IT processes.
It designs a vision statement that can be shared company-wide.
The benefits of a solid IT strategy
Any business document helps create a solid business structure. An IT strategy is no different. It:
- Provides a clear direction for sharing and processing information. It ensures the entire company is collaborating and utilizing technology efficiently.
- Ensures data is collected, processed, and managed effectively.
- Creates a clearer vision for everyone in the company, which aids in job satisfaction and retention.
- Assess potential risks and vulnerabilities to devise countermeasures.
- Allows the cannabis business to be proactive rather than reactive in handling security and growth.
4 steps to an effective plan
While you can get IT strategy templates from a variety of resources, it’s good to keep in mind that your IT strategy will differ from just about every other cannabis business. It’s unique to you and your goals for the future.
An IT strategy is an actionable item that will grow as you do. With that in mind, it should include:
Short-term and long-term business goals
The goal of technology is to help your business, not hold it back. Having technology for the technology’s sake isn’t helpful or necessary. Instead, you should define your approach. It should empower your business. It should develop a roadmap that defines your goals and how you’ll get there. This will leave clues for priorities and the technologies you’ll invest in.
Knowing where you are to move forward
If you don’t have a clear picture of where you are, it will be more challenging to move forward effectively. Take stock of your current IT infrastructure. That includes devices, programs, software, hardware, systems, and policies you currently utilize. Even if you can’t act on it immediately, this will give you valuable insight into the best way to move forward.
Start with your biggest improvements
Sometimes your biggest problems can make a huge difference in your productivity. Make changes to areas you can improve significantly with little effort. Save the massive system overhaul until later; instead, make smaller changes that can have a significant impact.
Find new approaches
With new knowledge comes the advantage of better assessing new IT solutions. Don’t settle on the first system that comes your way. Instead, keep an open mind and your vision of the bigger picture. Have deeper questions? This is the perfect time to reach out and ask for help.
Before you invest in more infrastructure that might not give you the biggest bang for the buck, be sure you see how every resource you consider fits into your overall IT strategy. Big-picture thinking will ensure every detail fits perfectly into place.
For IT Strategy, Security and Compliance, or Help Desk Services, reach out to us at Cannabis Technology Partners 360-450-4759.