Assessing the Impact of Using Internet for Competitive Intelligence

Assessing the impact of using Internet for competitive intelligence Here is the summary of an interesting scientific paper dealing with the impact of using the Internet for competitive intelligence. The Internet, as an information-rich resource and interorganizational communication tool, has transformed the way that firms gather, produce and transmit competitive intelligence (CI). The aim of this article is to assess the impact of the Internet on CI and the subsequent effects on the organization. What is CI?

It is a process of knowing what the competition is up to and staying one step ahead of it, by gathering information about competitors and ideally, applying this information in short- and long-term strategic planning. It refers to actionable information about the external business environment that could affect a company’s competitive position. CI is not industrial espionage given that 90% of all information that a company needs to make critical decisions and to understand its market and competitors is already public or can be systematically developed from public data.

The growth of the Internet has led to CI professionals exploiting its information richness and hypermedia capabilities for CI activities. By using the Internet, a company can monitor the presence, posture, products, and prices of other players in its industry. It can track the views of customers and seek out new ideas and expertise internationally. Model : they examine the downstream effects of using the Internet (for research, internal and external use) on quality of CI information and its subsequent effects on organizational performance.

Concretely, the model could be summarized as followed: Research + Internal Use + External Use Quality of CI information Impact on organization The first three components symbolized the Internet Usage. Results and implications The results of this study indicate that using the Internet has a positive impact on the quality of CI information. There is a positive relationship between usage of CI information and organizational performance. It shows that the improved quality of CI information through Internet usage has a positive impact on organization.

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The results suggest that there is a direct positive link between usage of the Internet (for research, internal or external purpose) and the quality of CI information, and a positive downstream impact on the organizations’ strategic benefits. Although there may be some concerns about the reliability and timeless of information published on the Internet, there is little doubt that it is one of the most cost-effective means of obtaining information. However, data must be transformed into knowledge and order has to be created from the chaos of the Internet.

The information overload from the Internet also makes focused research difficult but ‘intelligent agents’ have to be developed to automate and alleviate the CI professional’s information gathering workload. My opinion: This paper has been written in 2001, which means a very long time ago when we are talking about the Internet and its information storage capabilities. Do you think this paper is no longer suitable for the current situation we are experiencing (empowerment of the customers through social medias, increased access to the Internet, hackers and so on) ?

Moreover, they say that the ‘intelligent agents’ have to learn how to scan the information to find the relevant one and that it’s the most cost-effective means of obtaining information, do you think this notion is still true or must be nuanced ? Bron: “Assessing the impact of using Internet for competitive intelligence” Thompson S. H. Teo & Wing Yee Choo Information & Management 39 (2001) 67-83 http://www. cuaed. unam. mx/puel_cursos/cursos/d_gcfe_m_tres/modulo/modulo_3/m3-4. pdf

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