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Corporate security teams have faced uncertain futures in recent years. Covid-19 paralysed global travel and you may have seen your resources slashed. And just as we began to emerge from the pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the (expected and unexpected) second and third-order impacts placed further strain on your team.
The economic downturn that has ensued from these major global events has left you with limited resources but at the same time, there is increased demand for your expertise. Corporate security teams are guiding companies through an increasingly volatile world – one in which corporations are increasingly viewed as being culpable for the ills of the world alongside governments. For better or worse, times of geopolitical turmoil and social upheaval are when your security team can and must prove your value to your business – particularly when your budget might be under threat.
So, how do you deliver that value at a time when you are pressed for resources?
Getting the basics done day-to-day is already more than a full-time job: you may have 24/7 global security operations centres or work on a ‘follow-the-sun’ model. Diplomatic spats, bouts of civil unrest or a brief military escalation can all occur with little or no warning. But dealing with these issues is the bread and butter of corporate security teams.
Meanwhile, the demand for strategic geopolitical intelligence analysis in global businesses is rising. For decades now it has become increasingly clear that geopolitics is intrinsically linked to business continuity and investment strategy.
Your lens has to be almost impossibly wide. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is one of the best examples of this. Beyond the immediate concern of securing people and assets, the world has seen food and fuel being used as a means of coercion. The disruption to supply chains has impacted several sectors globally as well as feeding into the already-elevated risk of hardship protests. There is also concern that China might view the shattering of international norms as an encouragement to pursue its own territorial ambitions. It has highlighted how important forward-looking anticipatory intelligence can be in strategic business decision-making.
Delivering this in-depth strategic analysis can often feel pressured. You need to make fast decisions in security and consumers are impatient. But the accumulation of knowledge and understanding of events – whether that is the potential for violence at a protest in a city centre or the likelihood and impact of a military escalation – takes time. Fact-checking, intelligence gathering, research, data processing, drafting and reviewing actionable products is an arduous process that is not always recognised or understood by consumers.
And the increased demand for strategic forecasting requires more attention to detail, more research, more checking assumptions and biases… and more time. But there are only so many hours in the day, and so many members of your team, with varying levels of knowledge and expertise on cities, countries and regions.
Subscribers to Dragonfly’s Security Intelligence and Analysis Service (SIAS) receive around 80 intelligence reports each month, all designed to be forward-looking and actionable so you can make informed decisions. But when you subscribe, you are also encouraged to get in touch with our team of analysts to engage further with these reports. We’ll work alongside you, bolstering your capabilities and providing the intelligence you need, so that you can spend your time focusing on what really matters for your team – protecting your people, assets and reputation as well as delivering value for your business.
So if you have specific questions about how breaking and anticipated developments might impact your operations, you’ll be able to contact our expert team of analysts directly. This enables those who subscribe to SIAS to make assessments and plans quickly and efficiently. We’ve responded to hundreds of requests for information in 2022 covering everything from extremism in the US and Europe, the global second and third-order effects of the war in Ukraine and supply disruptions in China.
Similarly, SIAS subscribers can reach out to our analysts when they have a gap in their coverage. We often receive requests from clients who have been asked to provide assessments for locations in which they have no experience including remote areas in challenging risk environments such as Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Sudan and Indonesia. Our analysts can support your understanding of local security dynamics, supported by our ratings of more than 20 different typologies of threat and risk. For example, we have provided assessments for a defence industry client seeking information on a location they had never visited in Zimbabwe, and for a travel industry client looking to conduct business operations in Sharm El Sheikh.
When you subscribe to SIAS, you can also use direct access to Dragonfly analysts to benchmark your own information as well as to check your own assumptions and biases. Good analysis must be robust and stand up to scrutiny – a process Dragonfly implements on all of its analytical products. Our team is on hand to talk through the issues you know well and those you don’t know so well to ensure you’ve looked at every angle and every issue that could impact your business.
Where necessary our analysts speak with local sources to deliver the most accurate picture of the situation. For example, we have reached out to sources in Afghanistan, Chad, Mauritania, Peru, Venezuela and Yemen to assist clients with arranging business travel and to help inform investment decisions over the past year. And we assisted a client who had travellers going to Caracas. We spoke with locals and security professionals with experience in the city so we were able to flag the crime hotspots and other potentially unsafe areas to the client. They were able to advise their colleagues and ensure a successful trip.
Engaging with our clients through analyst access and requests for information means that our clients play an active role in our intelligence cycle. You help shape and order our collection, resourcing and reporting plans; we frequently issue reports directly in response to client questions and requests for information.
We recognise that nobody will know the security requirements and risk appetite of your business better than you. Dragonfly cannot replace your analysts but when you subscribe to SIAS, we can empower you to be in-house advisors on geopolitical issues through speaking to our analysts and using our product suite – and in times of economic stress, to prove value at a time when it is most needed.
Would you like to take a close look at the SIAS platform and learn more about how you can access our team of analysts directly? Contact our specialists today to arrange a SIAS demo:Book my SIAS demo now
Image: Arial view of a cross-sea bridge at night. Photo by Shunli Zhao via Getty Images.
Would you like to take a close look at the SIAS platform and learn more about how you can access our team of analysts directly? Contact our specialists today to arrange a SIAS demo: