Few business practices have had as rapid an uptake as competitive intelligence (CI). Not only the pharma industry but also other industries have witnessed this rapid uptake. Over the years, the applications of CI have grown and matured, and competitive intelligence has gone from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’ function in a multitude of organizations. Some organizations have been early adopters of the practice, most are ‘early/late majority’ adopters and some have yet to leverage the practice to their benefit.

From a reductionist perspective, observing the environment, competitors and associated metrics collectively fall under the domain of external analysis which has application in multitude of areas such as due diligence, bench-marking, shaping of strategy and tactics, new product planning, licensing and partnering, forecasting and valuation etc. Leveraging CI for external analyses in order to support decision-making has been an eclectic practice in organizations. Proponents of the context-adaptive and agile decision-making practice seem to be positioning CI as an enterprise-wide initiative applicable in multiple functions. Recently, we addressed the prevalence of CI in different functions in the pharma/biotech sector vis-a-vis other sectors.

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