Expert in Business Intelligence and crisis management
Professor at the University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté (France), auditor of the Institute of Higher Studies for National Defense (France), Gendarmerie Commander (RC) project manager for the deployment of Business Intelligence in business and crisis management.
Competitive intelligence and Cyber Security, the two faces of the enterprise sustainability medal.
(with Marc German)
Today, firms realize the importance of knowing what their competitors are doing and how their industry or sector is changing, collected information allows organizations to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Competitive intelligence’s goal is to learn and understand what is happening in the world outside the business to increase one’s competitivity. It means learning as much as possible, as soon as possible, about one’s industry in general, one’s competitors, or country’s particular rules.
Through an early weak signal analysis, competitive intelligence allows the early identification of risks and market opportunities before they become obvious. Then competitive intelligence allows to convert information into intelligence to be used in informed decision making. With the right information, organizations can avoid unpleasant surprises by anticipating competitors’ moves and decreasing response time. Competitive intelligence activities are not only as a safeguard to protect against market threats and changes, but also as a method for finding new trends and opportunities.
Competitive intelligence is to deﬁne, collect, analyze, and deliver accurate informations about products, customers, competitors to support entrepreneur and executive directors in strategic decision making. And because it’s all about strategic matter which engage your enterprise sustainability, your own data, and communication systems must be highly securized and protected by an efficient cybersecurity system.
Having Internet as unique source is a risk that information gathered will be misinformation and mislead users, so competitive intelligence researchers are always looking for more efficient sources. Public information mining from social media (Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and others) blogs and other websites, and “big data”‘ analyse, permit real-time key elements identification to establishing trends and evaluating competitive position…
This is good enough for market studies and product positioning, but that is not sufficient to get strategic information about competitors ! In complex situations, human intelligence, and experience allows a more accurate qualitative analysis. To answer existing questions, raise new ones and guide action, competitive intelligence must draws on a wider variety of sources from a wider range of stakeholders (suppliers, competitors, distributors, substitutes and media).
At this stage, we start navigating the Gray Zone, then one has to evoke the ethic’s question. Where starts the industrial espionage ? What are the limits of the networking with competitor staff or customers, the retro-ingeniering (disassembly of competitor products)… You could have an strong internal ethic process, then what about your competitive study supplier when you are outsourcing some complex researches ?
We live in a global world encouraging hard competition, at the end in this material world all turns around leadership and big money ! This world is deﬁnitely not those “Care Bears” one’s, global organizations are fighting to both increase their competitivity and optimize their profitability… So do you think your competitors are always playing by the rules ?
In fact, to increase your leadership, to gain ranks, to grow as if to survive, you have to be a conqueror, go on the offensive by gathering and valuing information that will allows you to be one step ahead. Concomitantly you must also protect your data, your processes and your know-how, that is to say your treasure coveted by your competitors.
The loop is full, you must have an effective cybersecurity : Competitive intelligence and Cybersecurity are the two faces of the enterprise sustainability medal. Your presence at this conference proves that you are fully aware of it.
Thank you for your attention.