13 June 2023

3 min read

Taking off: strategic intelligence in action

Strategic intelligence
Taking off: strategic intelligence in action

In May 2022, following extensive research and a survey of some 200 creators and consumers of strategic intelligence, we published our findings on the intelligence landscape in Intelligent Business: 2022 Strategic Intelligence Report. Our purpose was to understand the value businesses attach to intelligence, how and why they apply it, and in what forms they find it to be most useful.

This is what we discovered:

  • Strategic intelligence is growing in importance: The growing complexity of the global operating environment for businesses means they need to seek out intelligence along multiple avenues, from navigating changing regulatory requirements, to identifying emerging supply chain pinch points, to assessing multiple futures in operational and security landscapes, and many more.

  • Intelligence should be tailored: Given this complexity and the wealth of information out there, decisionmakers understandably display aversity to expansive reporting that fails to demonstrate the direct implications of developments to their business. While intelligence findings should not be oversimplified for the sake of digestibility, respondents to our survey made it clear they seek clear and concise answers that have been tailored to the specific needs of their business.

  • Intelligence as a business enabler: Overall risk management, including the intelligence function, works optimally when it is aligned with the strategic vision and objectives of the business. When used to its full potential across different business functions it can serve to add value by identifying opportunities and detecting emerging issues.

  • Intelligence as a partnership, not a service: Finally, while intelligence ideally works for and across all functions of a business, it is by definition a support service that allows for the core function of the business to operate optimally. Businesses recognise the value that dedicated intelligence providers can bring to the table, whether because of their reach, experience, or their ability to provide an outsider’s objective perspective.


Fast-forward 12 months – amid challenging geopolitical circumstances coupled with strong economic headwinds in much of the world – the need for relevant, accurate, timely, and actionable intelligence has grown.

One of the key shifts we have seen is a growing emphasis on over-the-horizon insights. Clients in industries as diverse as FMCGs, industrial manufacturing, and cutting-edge technology research have sought out intelligence outputs that move beyond analysis of present events, and instead challenge us to assess unfolding developments or as of yet unmaterialised futures and the emergent risks that may stem from them.

Similarly, we have seen issues such as geopolitical and political risk, alongside people risk, increase in prominence for non-traditional stakeholders including legal, risk and compliance officers as well as senior leadership. Strategic intelligence is a critical component in identifying, mitigating, and managing these risks while supporting business resilience and growth.


Over the course of the next four weeks we’ll share some of the practical solutions we have used to help our clients take action in a changing commercial landscape, employing a robust methodology-based approach to address their intelligence needs. The four techniques we’ll cover are:

  1. Scenario mapping
  2. Horizon scanning
  3. Geopolitical analysis
  4. Threat assessments

In each article we will explain the technique and how it’s implemented through the use of industry case studies. However, if you can’t wait to access these insights, please download the full report.


Download report



Gabrielle Reid
Gabrielle Reid
Associate Director, Strategic Intelligence

Gabrielle Reid is Associate Director for S-RM’s Strategic Intelligence practice. With over 10 years in the industry, Gabrielle works closely with our clients to develop tailored strategic intelligence and risk management solutions based on their locations, exposure and objectives, analysing changing (geo)political, security and regulatory landscapes to better inform decision-making. She has led on the development of S-RM’s methodology-led approach across our threat assessments, (geo)political risk analysis, scenario mapping and horizon scanning products, working hand-in-hand with our clients to help address their unique needs. Prior to joining S-RM, Gabrielle worked for a travel risk advisory firm, and assisted in the planning and coordination of non-medical evacuations.

Gabrielle holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Politics and Psychology, a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Justice and Transformation (Conflict Resolution), and a Master’s Degree in International Relations, specialising in terrorism threats in East Africa.

Gabrielle Reid
Gabrielle Reid

Associate Director, Strategic Intelligence

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