Category

Opinion

Intelligence briefings

By | Opinion

When developing a senior management intelligence briefing, the writer must understand what interests them. Sounds obvious, but I have seen real examples of reports from the military in the field which were not read by anyone. 6 months and many millions of pounds spent before anyone noticed the information was no longer required. Also, you need to understand how much detail the reader wants to see.

Otherwise, the reader will gain no value from it. Do they want specific information? Alternatively, do they prefer a “high altitude” strategic level briefing with an ability to ask more detailed questions? The intelligence brief should not be a regurgitation of media reports with associated hyperlinks. The brief requires thought not just media monitoring software. Leaders should ensure that the first thing they do each day/week is to study their intelligence briefing. It should form what they are doing and deciding that day/week.

However, there are still companies who don’t use intelligence and rely on instinct and experience. Riding a bike blindfolded carrying a box of fresh eggs is easy to do until they hit a pothole in the road or have to turn a corner: bumps, bruises and egg on their face.

So, do you what more answers to the questions you need to ask? Get in touch here or follow us on Twitter

Are products circling to the bottom?

By | Opinion

Are products circling to the bottom? Have you noticed that a company comes out with a great new product or a musician has a smash hit album, and their customers love it?

Then their competitors start the race to copy what they have done? This copying may explain the number of Ed Sheeran clones around at the moment and why Apple is between a rock and a hard place.

The trouble is with this plagiarism becomes the industry standard very quickly, and the reduced impact on the then delighted customer. They shrug their shoulders and get on with it.

So then, the company with the original idea has a set of customers with even higher expectations and thus have to innovate to keep up.

Intelligence helps companies like this to jump three steps ahead of the competition, isolate weaknesses in current offerings and predict what is going to happen in the future.

So, do you what more answers to the questions you need to ask? Get in touch here or follow us on Twitter

Change is risky

By | Opinion

Great ideas take time to establish themselves. According to Seth Godin in this excellent new book, ‘This is Marketing’, it is because the best ideas require significant change. They fly in the face of the status quo and inertia is very powerful.

Great ideas create a lot of noise and distrust. He says “Change is risky and that’s why some companies want others to go first to test the water.”

Smart companies use intelligence to reduce uncertainty and the consequences of risk allowing you to have a clear head to make better decisions. Intelligence can also determine how successful your great idea could be before committing millions and risking brand and reputation. Intelligence tells it how it is and provides a bedrock of certainty upon which to build decision making and future proofing strategies.

So, do you what more answers to the questions you need to ask? Get in touch here or follow us on Twitter

Cyber security mega-breaches on the horizon?

By | Opinion

Security breaches typically with vast cost to a company. Even a mid-size organisation can rack up multiple millions to rectify damage from just one breach.

Data breaches are even more expensive, triggering sudden lack of trust in customers, which can take years to regain. Depending on location, fines can add to the cost. In the UK, for example, the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) is sharpening its claws, preparing to fine offending companies, punishing them while swelling the Treasury coffers.

Smaller, but significant, breaches may not even hit the headlines

In 2019 we will see more mega-breaches. It is likely that this will, ironically, mean that smaller, but significant, breaches may not even hit the headlines, to some extent “normalising” the event.

With all the cyber security available there is one weakness that cannot be managed by automation: people. People will continue to make mistakes and people will continue to be repetitive and lazy in the way they do things.

The biggest threat, however, is not the individuals that form a user or customer base – it is the apathetic approach of many business leaders, the belief that “it” won’t happen to us”, because they have the latest cyber security system. Cyber security systems are all very well, but is naïve to over-rely on them.

They only have to be lucky once

Hackers will always be one step ahead. They know what they are going to do and how they intend to break in. As with terrorists, hackers just need to be lucky once, whilst the authorities need to be lucky every time.

Yes, businesses should have software with the best bells and whistles, but their security professionals will next year need to actively go on the attack, and be more vigilant than ever in analysing the latest hacking trends.

An Intelligence led approach to Cyber Security is required for 2019.

Ask questions like:

So what?
How are they going to hack into your system?
Why they would want to steal your information?
Who will want to hack into the system?
What do we do to stop them?