If 2020 and 2021 were the years when companies learned how to function with remote workers and hybrid work situations, 2022 should be the year where they seek to better their corporate intelligence. While intelligence can often be confused with espionage, in today’s corporate world it is so much more. Corporate intelligence involves analytics, risk assessment, predictions, and market awareness, and more—all of which can help companies mitigate risks and shape future policy.
How Does Corporate Intelligence Help Companies?
The goal of corporate intelligence is to give company leaders insight into potential events and risks in the future so that they can best shape company policy. In other words, by predicting what’s likely to come, intelligence can help companies get ahead of the curve.
A case in point is when the global fintech company Fiserv began closely monitoring the outbreak of a yet-unknown virus in Wuhan, China in early 2020. Based on analytics and comparisons to previous viral outbreaks (like SARS), Fiserv leaders made recommendations against company travel even before the world knew what Covid-19 was. The company’s intelligence assessments also led to leaders to purchase PPE (personal protective equipment) before there was a global demand and transition to remote work earlier than others.
Proactive vs. Reactive Intelligence
Many companies learn about the importance of corporate intelligence the hard way—after a cyber-attack, problematic hire, political shift, terror attack, pandemic, or other crisis. Company leaders often find themselves playing catch-up and reacting to these crises, as opposed to having proactive plans of action. Reacting to crises after the fact is always much harder than having a proactive, relevant company policy in place.
In fact, companies that have intelligence programs in place have a greater chance of avoiding the fallout from these crises altogether, as well as huge monetary losses. They also have a greater chance at gaining an edge over their competitors. In 2022, leaders need to assume that their competitors have intelligence programs, so they must also invest in them if they want to stay relevant.
Maximizing Intelligence Staff and Resources
Before COVID-19, companies that had intelligence programs often focused on security. Two years into the pandemic, that focus has shifted somewhat to include broader categories like security risks, cyber threats, upcoming economic and political trends, and more. This expansion, however, can only be effective if a company’s leadership knows how to best utilize its intelligence staff and resources.
One of the main issues facing companies is that their intelligence staff is scattered throughout different departments, including security, legal, HR, IT, and others. The lack of cohesiveness makes it difficult for these staff members to reach the higher echelons of the company when necessary.
Therefore, for companies to maximize their intelligence staff, they should give them access to company leadership—and not just access, but a clear line of communication with a C-suite executive who they can go to when they receive new information. In some cases, uniting intelligence staff under a common department or project is also advisable, so individual staff members can work together and glean insights from one another’s knowledge. When Interfor is engaged to perform an intelligence service, our findings generally go directly to the decision makers.
Strategic Intelligence from Interfor International
Interfor International, a global investigative and security consulting firm, has been providing strategic intelligence services to international clients for four decades, including geopolitical and economic analysis, market entry support, and competitive intelligence. The goal of Interfor intelligence services is not simply to serve up information but to ultimately provide decision-making tools to corporate and government leadership.
To learn more about how Interfor International can help your company in 2022, contact us here.