There are cost effective CI platforms available to SMEs.

Connor Hamel of James Madison University won a Jim Mathews Award presented to him at Aurora WDC’s RECONVERGE:G2 symposium on Thursday. Hamel delivered a session on his research to conference attendees on CI and CTI integration for small and medium sized enterprises.

There are cases of CI success in large enterprises as follows:

  • P&G benchmarking
  • GM CI benchmarking
  • Merck: CI program

But there are deterrents for SME CI adoption:

  • Organizational intelligence, intelligence software and intelligence outsourcing require free capital
  • Lack of properly certified professionals
  • Most SME CEOS are unaware of cost effective CI options

Intelligence audits are helpful for SMEs because they:

  • Identify gaps and bottlenecks in information needs
  • Maximize effective enterprise-wide endeavors, not departmental. It should be performed every 1-3 years

Outcomes of such an audit:

  • Take inventory of value and quantity of information and current knowledge
  • Goal is to maximize impact of intelligence assets, streamline how external information is handled, and save time and costs

Trade show intelligence offers the greatest potential for collection of a lot of data at small time and cost; it is a quick and direct way to gauge the competition. Use this information in a structed manner to create opportunity. Before you attend a trade show, identify your KITS, consult existing sources, select your team and strategize, scout and target early, and share your insights.

Social media analysis is helpful in intelligence practice.

Be aware that social media derives sales; ROI is observed on social media efforts–for $700-$2000 per month you can get an enterprise tool. Other less costly resources are $10-$100 per month.

Social listening determines collection and coverage which then goes to data management where it is cleaned up to classify conversation based on what consumers say. Then it moves to advanced analytics. Information is then distributed to use cases and departments.

Why competitive technology intelligence? It addresses landscapes for emerging technology. Disruptive innovation can be useful in innovation for SMEs and gives early warning.

CTI scouting, patent landscape analysis

General CTI scouting helps to acquire information from the competition’s publications. Maximize these effects by identifying the target early on, staff qualified individuals to do it, and find an open source tool to analyze the information.

Patent analysis identifies gaps and finds areas with little or no competition. Use patent analysis to identify portfolios, new competition and technology, and inform strategic decision makers.

Nest innovation pathway forecasting will help understand nature of product, profile and R&D–and link to potential. There you can project and assess prospective innovation partners and report findings. Be sure to engage subject matter experts.

There are cost effective CI platforms available to SMEs. Formalize CI practice in areas pivotal to successful operations, do an intel audit, and don’t rule out outsourcing.