Recommendations for success in a technology monitoring and intelligence system.

This reading deeps into key recommendations to solve common problems in the deployment of a technology monitoring and competitive intelligence system in an organization.

To introduce a monitoring and intelligence system within an organization it requires to organise two levels of structures: a group of people with clear roles (a team) and a computer system that supports the process.
Enterprises often show two types of deficiencies:
1. Cultural / organizational: very hierarchical structures and management styles, with hermetic departments, hinder the information sharing. It should be kept in mind that this kind of process works better in a more collaborative culture. It is very important to incorporate process management and create working groups with people from different departments. Enterprises that have high-quality management systems and managed processes have already progressed halfway through.
2. Information management: it is of special interest that employees acquire searching, filtering and analysing information skills so to be more flexible in its treatment and interpretation.

The better way to proceed is that Direction/CEO of the organisation starts the implementation of the monitoring and intelligence system with a strategic approach. In the Strategic/Business Plan should be established the real importance of each challenge and the efforts of each department must be graduated.
In economic terms, the greatest efforts currently take place in market monitoring due to the explosion of social networks and economic crisis, which demands the search for new markets and internationalization.
Nowadays there is a clear trend towards the overall concept of Strategic Intelligence. It means combining all Intelligence types together: technology, commercial/marketing, developments / customers (to anticipate their needs), regulatory, etc. The maximum value of the process is achieved by monitoring and analyzing the compliance of the organisation strategy written in the Strategic/Business Plan.

What can crash the process?
Systems can fail for many reasons. One of them is the lack of support or commitment from the Direction. If the manager is not convinced of the benefits and does not see the need, it is clear that this system has no future.

Once launched the system, problems can come from a wrong approach or design or also from an excessive rigidity thereof, which hinder its update. It is important that the system is set out properly after a proper reflection, focusing to help the achievement of the strategic goals of the organization. But it is also very important that the system has score or prioritization mechanisms so that it can evolve over time, allow priorities reclassification, remove obsolete ones, add new ones, etc. This ensures its updating and durability in time.
It is also essential that there is a dynamising/ responsible or promoter of the System. It is the "process owner" and will ensure its stability not allowing it to stop at the slightest problem. The promoter must have direct support to solve identified issues and it is essential the existence of a budget to deal with incidents or system improvements: software, hardware, information sources, training, etc .

Another basic reason that limits the right monitoring and intelligence functioning system is the lack of collaborative culture. The systems require the flow of information, the participation of people, feedbacks, reports discussions so to identify the most important data and added value to generate new ideas. These systems are very complicated to maintain if there is not enough group working and information sharing culture.
Technology is useless if there is no will to use it.

It is very important to assume that every person in the organization is an expert in a certain area and should pass onto others relevant information, adding value and complementing what others have detected. Only this way a global and shared vision of what happens in the environment is achieved. This is when one can say that the organization learns, grows and develop.
Finally, there may be a problem arising from the lack of capacity in information management. This problem can be solved with training courses and practice.

More information: Guidelines in Technology monitoring and Intelligence.