The availability and opportunity to access information on specific topics such as technology is equal for everyone across the specific market and competence areas, differences only arising when information is recovered and analysed in an organised and structured fashion.
Competitive Intelligence structures work processes to obtain strategic information useful in company management for business-related decision-making.
Company managers are supported by Competitive Intelligence as to act strategically they require, as defined by Rumelt et.al (1991)(1), suitable “definition and selection of goals; the choice of products to offer; the design and configuration of policies to compete in markets; scope and diversity; and the structure of the organisation, administrative systems, and policies used to define and coordinate work."
In short it defines the competitive environment of the market of interest, in this particular case concerning technology, which involves companies and institutions for the purpose of industrial development.
The recovery of information involved in Competitive Intelligence is partly based on the internal knowledge of a company's objectives, goals, organisational and functional structure and resources in general and, on the other hand, on the external knowledge of the competitive environment and its social, political, cultural, economic, historical and of course, technological aspects.
Using this information, the environment containing the entire context of strengths and opportunities can be analysed, as well as the weaknesses and threats of its own positioning with regard to the components of the competitive benchmark market.
The application of strategic decisions is carried out after obtaining an overview of the full position, given that it is at this point when the best options are chosen to drive forward the competitive, market and business opportunities and strengths.
At the same time, this decision-making must consider the reduction of weaknesses and threats in the environment to a minimum.
The general objective is for the company to position itself as best as it can within its environment, to ensure that under the conditions analysed, it will manage to stabilise the company or institution within the competitive environment, with optimal conditions of productivity and with the most efficient management of resources and use of opportunities and strengths.
Another objective to be pursued is to achieve the competitive advantage of the company within its environment.
This Competitive Intelligence work must be updated regularly, given that it requires knowing the movement of dynamic factors in the environment.
This frequency is determined by the knowledge being acquired by the expert analysts and those who recover information, on the dynamics of the change of factors and the amount of influence it can have on the system conditions.
Taking this analysis to the technological area means that relevant information sources will be those that publish inventions or scientific developments.
The analytical study in each different knowledge area can involve the use of different indicators which measure interesting aspects for positioning.
Competitive Intelligence is applied in different branches of knowledge. For the technological area, one of the elements that will offer a competitive advantage is innovation.
The analysis of the environment will help to recognise the areas of opportunity, for the technical and technological development of the inventions of the company, industry or institution.
(1) Rumelt et.al. "Strategic Management and Economics", Strategic Management Journal, 12:5-29 (1991)