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Imagine stepping into a time machine and visiting your business ten years in the future. You could quickly figure out how successful your business turns out to be and, more importantly, what events held you back. With that knowledge, you could make changes long before you faced each difficulty.

Unfortunately, time machines don’t exist. But that doesn’t mean we can’t use the power of foresight and reasoning to predict ways to reduce risk and protect our interests before potential problems arise.

That’s the purpose of a business impact analysis. It’s used to anticipate certain events’ destructive qualities and devise a plan to overcome them if you should face them in the future.

Why business impact analysis is more important than ever

If a hacker wants in, he can get in. A recent study showed that cybercriminals could penetrate 93 percent of company networks. Don’t think the size of your business will drive potential criminal activity away.

Over the last several years, we’ve also proven that challenges can emerge from every direction. Recovery strategies are necessary to consider all of this, and develop recovery strategies for the just-in-case.

And it’s not just a one-time, create-a-business-impact-analysis-and-consider-it-done kind of thing. This is ongoing, something you should schedule regularly. It can help you:

Create stronger systems

Every business falls into the trap of piecemealing systems and strategies together. You need to produce a report, so you download an app. You want better accountability, so you buy into a new system. On and on it goes, until you have a chaotic system that doesn’t work very well and leaves you vulnerable. Performing a business impact analysis can help you get to the bottom of that. Regular analysis can provide you with an overview of what you have and how it works, to find ways to do it better.

Consider outside risks

What would happen if one of your third-party vendors suddenly called it quits? How easily could you recover? While evaluating your systems and applications, consider how those you choose to do business with are handling their own risks. This is something you can monitor by paying attention. What do they talk about in their newsletters? What kind of updates are they making? What type of relationship do you have with the company? What alternatives would you have if everything were to go away? This isn’t the time to change to new companies; rather, it’s a chance to determine how solid you are working with those partners you choose to do business with.

Consider your downtime

Pick a system. What if it went down for a day? A week? A month? How would that impact your business? In the best-case scenario, you’ll never have a significant disruption in your company’s operations. But if you ask this question occasionally, you might find yourself building a stronger business. You’ll have alternatives when you need them. You’ll find workarounds for the “just in case.”

Build a healthier business

Performing a business impact analysis can show you your weaknesses. It can help you see where you would benefit from outsourcing and creating a stronger support system. For many cannabis businesses, that centers around building more IT resilience and discovering a better approach to technology. IT changes massively day by day. What are you doing to keep up with it?

How do you define business impact?

Even the act of defining business impact can be difficult, especially for new entrepreneurs. You get good at it by taking it one step at a time.

Start by building a plan you can work with today. It’s all about moving forward and digging deeper with every step you make, every challenge you face, and all of the knowledge you learn.

You can shorten the curve by working with trusted partners. They can cut your learning time and give you the added bonus of helping you prepare just a little bit more.

For IT Strategy, Security and Compliance, or Help Desk Services, reach out to us at Cannabis Technology Partners 360-450-4759.