Investment decisions are strategic. They are based on a business case and cost/benefit analysis. Expense decisions are more tactical, and are often associated with things an organization must do to keep running – like meet a regulatory requirement so they can check the box.
I recently read an article in the Winter 2017 MIT Sloan Management Review, Mastering the Market Intelligence Challenge (Chari, Luce & Thukral). In this work, the authors address how “many multinationals simply import their domestic models into emerging markets.” And whilst this work is directed towards those who deal with market intelligence in emerging markets, the conclusions drawn are equally applicable to those who face compliance challenges in such frontier regions.