What Are Managed IT Services?
Cannabis companies can outsource all their IT responsibilities to a third-party provider, referred to as a managed service provider. An MSP can proactively monitor systems, address issues in real-time, and handle IT operations with a high level of efficiency and expertise.
Managed IT services are ideal for cannabis companies that don’t have a dedicated IT professional to support or manage their IT infrastructure. It saves them from the overhead of a full-time employee.
If you already have an IT team, an IT managed service provider can provide much-needed support.
What Managed IT Services Are Typically Included for a Cannabis Company?
Here is a glimpse of what you will get with a managed IT service.
Keeping an eye on your dispensary is especially important for cannabis business owners. That’s why you should consider opting for managed video surveillance.
Managed IT service providers work with plenty of other businesses. They know which surveillance system is more effective and affordable. Moreover, if you have multiple branches, they help set up simultaneous monitoring for your convenience.
Whenever you feel the need to check something, they can pull up the requested footage.
Tech System Support
Some of the more common tech support functions include: support for POS devices, PCs, servers, and all peripherals (printers, scanners, cash drawers, etc.). This can be on-call (remote) or onsite.
Hardware Setup & Management
- Mobile device management: POS tablets and workforce mobile phones need to stay updated and locked down
- PC/server management: An MSP will see to it that your operating system and applications are updated regularly. For example, at GeekTek, we adopt a proactive monitoring and remediation policy to detect issues before they arise.
- CPU and RAM usage spikes
- Low disk space
- Software Management
Why Cannabis Businesses Need Managed IT Services
In the cannabis industry, even the slightest error or mismanagement in IT infrastructures can lead to hefty fines on the dispensary(s). Here is why cannabis businesses need managed IT services.
Keep clients happy: The first impression weighs a lot on your potential customer’s mind, which is often shaped by your website. IT services can help improve customer experiences via an efficient point of sales system for faster and easier transactions.
Keep workers productive: Efficient and user-friendly IT can help workers become more productive. With the right productivity tools in place, their jobs will become easier, saving their time.
Avoid compliance violations: Regulations require marijuana dispensaries to store data of marijuana production and sale. Many states have specific requirements for recording inventory, which is where a good IT service comes into play, protecting you from compliance violations.
Protect your business from ransomware: Cybersecurity is one of the most important responsibilities of any IT department. The marijuana industry is a rather lucrative one – that much is no secret. Hackers are always looking for ways to find a backdoor into inventory management systems, bank accounts, or even customer information by running ransomware campaigns. This form of cyberthreat can seize control of your IT systems, lock your data and files via encryption, and ask for ransom in return. An MSP can enforce security controls that can help you to prevent ransomware threats from entering your network.
Fewer distractions and more focus on your core business: Not every marijuana business owner is tech-savvy. Perhaps you have a knack for business but don’t have enough time to manage your IT department? Managed IT services let you focus solely on what you excel at while we do what we do the best.
Less stress and worry: You have peace of mind knowing that a capable team of experienced and highly skilled IT professionals is always available for tech support.
How to Choose a Managed IT Service for Your Cannabis Business?
Here is what you need to consider while choosing a managed IT service provider:
- Industry Experience: Usually, more experience means you get better service. But, just because a business has been in the market for 20 years doesn’t necessarily indicate that it will be a good fit for you. In this digital age, you can search for any business online and read their reviews and accomplishments to get a better picture. For example, if a company has earned these awards, you can expect them to deliver world-class service.
- Retail Expertise: The most fundamental need of a cannabis company is a retail software system, including retail ERP system, retail management software, point of sales software, payment processing software, inventory control software, and e-commerce software. Consider whether a managed service provider has expertise in deploying these systems to dispensaries.
- Cost & Quality: At the end of the day, everything comes down to the cost and quality of managed IT services. It is important to consider both elements and request a quote before making a decision.
- Availability: While some MSPs offer support only for business hours, some are available 24/7. The best way to check an MSP’s availability is how quickly they respond.