Aurora (ACB:C) hires new CIO: Remember kids, IT isn’t just a scary clown, tech makes companies float.

10/30/2017

Aurora Cannabis (ACB:C) announced Darryl Vleeming would be their new Chief Information Officer (CIO) today. He’s got solid bona fides with a few years under his belt at Capital Power Group, and the press release (which we have here) has the usual puffery about his charitable works, etc.

Suffice to say the guy’s a heavy hitter, apparently. I’m afraid my knowledge of independent power producers ranks somewhere with my knowledge of Tibetan yak milking.

The stock rose 5 per cent today, and is sitting at $3, which is just below the year’s high water mark.

 

Clearly the market approves of the move. I’d like to adjust my professor glasses, and ask you to read this in a snooty British accent. Perhaps it is because dear reader, they value the importance of IT in a modern production and manufacturing operation.

Now, the reason I wanted to dive into this a little is because in many ways we are watching a transition from what I like to call an Artisanal model of cannabis production to a full on mass-agri-business and manufacturing model.

Today’s earthshaking Canopy announcement is the first sign of the End Times for the pioneers of the cannabis market. The starting bell rang and the horses are chasing the acquisition prize. The savvy investor must decide soon where to lay their bets if they want to win big.

The best horses are building turnkey operations, meeting the exacting standards of a major multinational. These conglomerates can buy small-fry like I buy my morning coffee. At worst even an expensive one is a small ding in the daily budget.

This brings me back to IT. Modern production methods require network controls, automation, security, lab equipment plus everything a modern office needs to run. Indoor growing also needs robust and massive power systems.

A CIO will help source the best software solutions, help build the physical plant with good network, cooling  and power integration and ensure users are trained and supported across the company.

In a world where we all spend an average of 13 hours a year on hold waiting for support, we can all appreciate the benefits of a well managed system with great tech staff. A great CIO has to be a great manager, technology is only half the question, the people must be motivated and customer-focused as well.

A company with bad IT implementations will see productivity loss, equipment failure and sloppy security. Often we can blame the C-Suite who don’t prioritize IT or information technology.

To a lot of quarter-driven managers, IT doesn’t bring in revenue, it’s a big suck on the balance sheet. The truth as I see it, is IT is as fundamental to a good foundation as financing, management or any other metric.

All this to say – companies moving strongly to prioritize elements of their business such as IT such as Aurora (who is just a visible example in the news today) are worth taking a closer look. I can promise the Great Old Ones are sniffing around, and you still have time to grab on before they begin swallowing their prey.

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