Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) can be found everywhere, from the information that is publicly available on radio, TV, and newspapers, to information distributed online (for example, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) to any sort of database that can be accessed legally. OSINT is extremely beneficial in a lot of ways and in particular, useful to businesses in the 21st Century. However real these business benefits are, they are also openly used as tactics for in plain, good business. Businesses use OSINT techniques in the following ways:
To Cut Costs
Open Source Intelligence is something that can be used by businesses to save money in comparison to using tradition intelligence methods. This is probably one of the most appealing aspects of using this technique for businesses, especially with low intelligence budgets. This can actually improve the satisfaction of customers as keeping costs low for you means keeping costs low for them. A company that has this figured out is Netflix, who offers very low membership fees due to the fact that they are running strictly on Open Source Intelligence software.
Other than the cost benefits, Open Source Intelligence provides ready information anywhere and any time. This is especially vital in the 21st Century where cloud computing and other new technologies make it so easy to be productive in the comfort of you own home, hotel, or even office. The portability of this is extremely useful in this era in comparison to traditional intelligence techniques. If you have access to Twitter and Facebook you have access to the wealth of intelligence information from anywhere in the world. This is helpful to businesses as they are then able to act fast. Their decisions can be supported from anywhere and be made quickly based on real data collected from open source intelligence.
Most businesses and companies operate on the idea that the customer is always right no matter what. This is why the idea that businesses use everything in their power to make the customer happy is important. This entails collecting the data to make that happen. Businesses use Open Source Intelligence a lot of the time to leverage customer information. This is an invaluable tool to accessing the customer’s opinion of the company, ultimately helping the company stay in touch with its audience. This is also helpful for companies in that it helps them to predict trends in the market based on company feedback. With online social media sources making personal opinions extremely weighted, this type of intelligence is often the most important to creating a successful business image.
Open Source Intelligence is a symptom of the world that we live in now. It is extremely accessible to almost everyone in the free world. It can provide a lot of support to businesses, which use these techniques to their full advantage. When dealing with customers, to even legal and ethical support, Open Source Intelligence is vital to running a successful company. It is oftentimes the most effective when used alongside of traditional intelligence sources that are often classified. However, it is still a necessary and promising part of artificial intelligence and has a real use in gathering and analyzing real data from real sources by businesses and corporations everywhere.