Environmental scanning is a recently developed and increasingly important tool often used in business to examine and forecast the marketplace. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are quite useful when performing an environmental scan.
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Environmental scanning is the internal and external collection of data to assess current company performance and to forecast future performance. Internal scanning involves an evaluation of the company's performance through analysis of the effectiveness of operations, quality of personnel and financial success. External scanning involves customer satisfaction, review of the marketplace and product, and nationwide and global economic factors. The scanning process can be scheduled for a short-term specific project, an ongoing and continuous review or a predetermined time frame.
Environmental scanning is used as an early warning system for the entity developing and analysing the data. Business strategies can be planned and implemented based upon the findings of the scans. Innovation in ICT often leads to corresponding advancement in environmental scanning.
Quality analysis and forecasting allows the company to enrich its planning. By doing so, a business can be before the curve instead of following the trend. A community that excels at ICT increases its adaptivity in a rapidly changing environment.
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- San Diege State University: Environmental Scanning in the New Millenium; Rick English
- Stanford University: Stanford's Key to Information Literacy--What is Information Literacy?
- WordIQ.com: Environmental Scanning--Definition
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Horizon--Environmental Scanning; James L. Morrison