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The Importance of Competitive Intelligence
One of the obvious trends in business today is increased competition. One reason for so much competition is because the World is now one single marketplace. Additionally, distribution channels like the internet now make it possible for anyone to enter the global marketplace. As a result of increased competition, the rate of change taking place in business is increasing exponentially. For example, internet usage now doubles every 100 days. If you expect to keep-up and survive in this fast paced competitive environment, you must know what the competition is doing. So how do you monitor the competition in this age of information overload? The answer is with Competitive Intelligence .
Competitive Intelligence (CI) is a process whereby you collect, analyze, and transform information into intelligence so you can manage the future. Examples of CI include everything from collecting the Annual Reports of your competition to setting up automated search routines. The overall objective of CI is to identify events, trends, and other issues that will impact your organization.
The best way to implement CI is to focus on critical questions confronting your organization. For example, how will this regulation change our business or how will the introduction of a competing product impact our business? You must continually monitor critical issues if you expect to compete. If you fail to implement CI, than you run the risk of operating in a reactive mode. And nothing changes a company more than having to survive.