The difference between competitive intelligence and corporate espionage lies in how the information is gathered. With the resulting information being similar it is often confusing for people in business to tell the difference, but to your competitors it makes all the difference. By sticking to the information that is found in public records and thinking outside the box on the different channels of public records to peruse you can stay on the more ethical competitive intelligence side of the argument. With competitive intelligence not being taught in schools as often as it is practiced in the business community it stands to reason that many young entrepreneurs are tempted by an “by any means necessary” attitude that results in corporate espionage. By learning about the strategies to successful preform the competitive intelligence gathering and adhering to business ethics entrepreneurs and company professionals can have the information that they need without resorting to espionage.
Around the world intelligence swot analysis gathering is rarely taught in schools and this is a global trend. As more companies are trying to trade and conduct business internationally, the difference and enforcement of legal information gathering and espionage will take time and education. There is more incentive to learn about the legal competitive intelligence gathering tactics now so that you can protect your company from prosecution or legal harm in the future. The increasing business transactions with countries in Asia, like Russia, will start to facilitate this discussion and bring to light the corporate espionage that is taking place.
The cultural differences in how intelligence is gathered and processed will continue to fuel the transition towards more ethical and legal information gathering methods such as competitive intelligence. The global economy is forcing all of these countries and organizations that have roots with corporate espionage to start to be prosecuted which results in a reduced amount of this illegal information gathering. Being well versed in competitive intelligence and deferring to business ethics and public records will prevent any gray areas that may straddle the line of legality.
The established global business community of the United States and Europe are going to continue the legal pressure to prevent corruption and improve global business trading. Learning how to increase your company’s competitive intelligence while ensuring that you are not conducting corporate espionage will help to keep your organization profitable and informed. It’s not necessarily the information that you gather, but the methods and tactics that are used to gather the information that make all the difference