More executives from the largest companies across the globe now have a line item in their budget for competitive intelligence.
In a study that covered eight countries and the Asia-Pacific region, The Global Intelligence Alliance, a global network of more than 50 competitive intelligence (CI) and business research companies, reports that:
- 87% of the interviewed companies systematically collected and analyzed information about their external operating environments.
- 62% of the companies perceived top management as the most important user group of information gathered by CI.
- 71% of in-house intelligence activities were conducted in a centralized unit.
- 64% of the researched companies already used a CI technology tool, and an additional 9% were planning to get one.
The intelligence data, collected primarily for strategic purposes, is showing up on executive agendas and is garnering larger budget shares.
"Traditionally, large Asian companies have relied more on informal networks for information gathering and market intelligence, rather than formal research and analysis. But this is changing as companies see the benefits of deriving strategy from business intelligence, especially better identification of threats and opportunities, decisions based on higher quality information and faster decision-making," says Peter Read, director of Fusion Consulting, the GIA member company that conducted the Asia-Pacific research.
In addition to studies conducted in the Asia-Pacific region, countries included in the study were Brazil, Mexico, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland and Canada.
"In both Brazil and Mexico, market intelligence is becoming a priority among top management. This is a very positive sign, because it allows information to be transformed into intelligence which will be put into action. Despite this trend, there still are several large companies where this activity remains delegated to different areas; and the information collected is often fragmented and not utilized to potential, " says Thomas Rideg, director of InfoAmericas which conducted the research in Brazil and Mexico.