Before You Outsource Your IT Department, There Are 5 Questions You’ll Want To Ask.

When you are calling around, requesting information about switching from an in-house IT person, to outsourcing your entire Information Technology department for your farm, fishery, or dairy; Compunet InfoTech recommends asking each British Columbia IT company; you’re interviewing, five industry-specific questions that could affect your farm or horticultural operation.

The purpose of the questions is to identify, how much each company knows explicitly about the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry industry, along with the technology and software used for Farms and Agribusinesses. In your sector alone, there is a wide range of software applications that run farms, dairies, fisheries, and ranches.

Some of the software developed for your industry covers:

  • Breeding
  • Irrigation
  • Buildings
  • Drainage
  • Marketing
  • Crop Husbandry
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Farm Waste Systems
  • Investment Appraisal
  • Business management

Time critical information such as diseases, markets, pests, and the weather is not the only thing your IT systems are designed to watch and monitor. That is why an outsourced IT company must know, what else is going on in your business.

#1 – What Should An IT Firm Know About The Business of Crop Husbandry?

British Columbia farmers and growers are known for planting and harvesting a considerable variety of crops. From fruits to grains, feed for livestock to tree ornamentals, vegetables, and wines, to botanical products for personal care. Here is a short list of their crops:

  • Berries and Grapes
  • Field Vegetables
  • Forage and Mushrooms
  • Grains and Oilseeds
  • Greenhouse Floriculture and Vegetables
  • Nursery Plants and Tree Fruits

#2 – What Should IT Companies Know About The Business of Animal Husbandry?

The British Columbia professional animal breeder raises livestock, cows, hogs, chickens, fish and so on that will be 1) sold at auctions for market consumption and beauty care products, and 2) sold to landowners to increase their herds, flocks, swarms, and restocking lakes and ponds.

What many do not know about the care and raising of animals and livestock, there is another sector of Animal Husbandry most of the public almost never sees. They do understand and know about:

  • Dairy, Beef, and Bees
  • Pork and Poultry
  • Fisheries, Seafood, and Aquaculture

But, managing goats, horses, sheep, and fowls are not well known, but each does play a viable part in the British Columbia economy and animal husbandry markets. Those who tend to these animals also rely on information technology to run and manage their animal’s care.

#3 – Why Do Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Companies Start Outsourcing Their IT Services?

When either industry starts the process of switching from an in-house IT person, to outsourcing their complete IT department, it usually means they are growing. With that growth comes new and additional technology. Technology that is ever changing along with required education to stay current and compliant.

After reviewing their operation and the additional training needed moving forward, these business owners realize they need outside help on a long-term basis. The four areas of support they are looking for fall into these areas:

  1. Day-to-day
  2. Back office
  3. Helpdesk
  4. ERP system

For any British Columbia IT Firm, like Compunet InfoTech, to adequately serve both Agriculture and Animal Husbandry industries, they have to know the industry, and the different types of tailored IT services required.

#4 – What Experience Do They Have With The Technologies Used On A Farm?

During your interview, discussions about agriculture and animal husbandry technologies, used daily, needs to be brought up. You need thorough answers on how the IT firm can support your on-premise and mobile devices out in the field.

What you are looking for is IT support, with industry-specific expertise, and exclusive service you won’t find with any other IT firm. For your business you might be using:

  • Cow Manager
  • Chick Master
  • Digi Star
  • SCR
  • AgroSoft

So, you need assurance the IT services company you chose, knows and can support the industry-specific software and technologies as Compunet InfoTech does.

#5 – What Is Their IT Plan For Severe Weather Conditions?

Every season you can expect certain types of weather patterns in British Columbia. Some conditions so severe you will lose power. It could be from blizzards, hail, heavy rain, high winds, ice storms, and severe thunderstorms.

We all know about being prepared for natural disasters and when it comes to emergency household planning, emergency food, and water kits, staying in touch with our neighbors, and that first 72 hours we might be on our own.

But what about the crops and animals and the technology that is used to minimize any losses, during bad weather? Knowing how an outsourced IT company plans and executes data loss prevention before the storm hits, should place your mind at ease, as you look after the farm.

In Conclusion

According to Compunet InfoTech, an outsourced IT company has to know more than just the technology you use. Because in the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry industries, you are outside and so is your IT. It might experience severe weather conditions, or monitor animal care and plant life, to dispensing feed at the right time of day for livestock or tracking shipments heading to market or auction.

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