Friday, October 3, 2008

Competitive Intelligence Drives More Corporate Decisions, New Survey Shows

Competitive Intelligence Drives More Corporate Decisions, New Survey Shows
-- But Many Still Struggle to Get CI Messages to, and Heard By, Company Leadership --

NEW YORK, Oct 01, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- In a classic good news/bad news report on Competitive Intelligence (CI), more U.S. corporations now use it to drive critical strategic and tactical decisions than ever before. But the same survey, conducted by consultants Outwards Insights, found that fully one-fourth (24%) of respondents still don't have a structured way to deliver intelligence to decision-makers in their organizations.
These are two of the key findings in the most recent version of "Ostriches & Eagles," which gauges the effectiveness and use of CI among U.S. companies across industries, and compares results with a similar survey conducted in 2005.
"There's no question that more of Corporate America 'gets' the value of CI," said Ken Sawka, Managing Partner of Outward Insights and author of the survey. He cited the growth among respondents who said that CI was "an integral part of operational or tactical decisions such as:"
Business development/Sales 83% now vs. 78% in 2005
New product launches 79% now vs. 74% in 2005
R&D planning & execution 71% now vs. 55% in 2005, "a huge jump"
Alliances & joint venture 68% now vs. 59% in 2005

Sawka also noted that 72% of this year's respondents use CI to "anticipate and thwart competitor strategies," compared with 64% in 2005.
Among other key findings:
-- More respondents (28%) integrate likely competitor reactions into their plans for launching new products than in 2005 (21%)
-- The use of scenario planning nearly doubled from 30% in 2005 to 59% this year
-- The percentage of respondents who believe CI is "an integral part of the strategic planning process" was at 85%, the same as in 2005
-- Thirty-seven percent of respondents feel that CI does "not have sufficient stature" in their organizations to have a "significant impact." This number is almost unchanged from three years ago
-- Roche and IBM tie as the top "eagles," the best corporate intelligence users, according to the respondents
Sawka also expressed concern about the obstacles that still impede corporations from realizing the full value of competitive intelligence. "Our survey found that nearly half of respondents say their CI programs are not sufficiently funded," said Sawka. "The gains we are seeing in the strategic application of CI may be short-lived if these programs are not funded adequately and given proper stature within organizations." The survey also found that almost one in five executives surveyed believe that senior managers do not value the competitive intelligence they receive.
Industry Differences
There were some notable differences in the responses from the seven industry groups surveyed: consumer products, energy, financial services, insurance, high-tech, manufacturing and pharmaceutical. For example, consumer products companies were least likely to have organized intelligence (62% vs. 76% norm) but most likely to make CI an integral part of their strategic planning process (92% vs. 85% norm). Insurance companies were most likely to have organized intelligence (88% vs. 76% norm), and energy companies were least likely to make intelligence an integral part of their strategic planning process (71% vs. 85% norm).
Outward Insights' survey was conducted in June and July 2008. The survey consisted of telephone interviews with 100 senior executives at U.S. corporations. More than two-thirds of the companies participating had revenues of $1 billion or greater.
SOURCE: Outwards Insights

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