Today, consumers benefit from the ubiquity of information:
· Increase in choices. The buyer can now make more informed choices.
· Increase in the demand for value. The increasingly knowledgeable consumer has become even more selective in making purchasing decisions.
· Increase in the use of exchanges. Information aggregators and exchanges have grown in importance as the volume of accessible information increases.i
Regarding organizations, the increase in information quality can reduce transaction costs and facilitate and ultimately force organizational consolidation. How? In any given market or industry, as the cost of information discovery and usage comes down, market consolidation will occur as marginal players who relied on or exploited information inefficiencies become non-competitive.
So how does your organization take advantage of this trove of information? Take a brief assessment by identifying which one of the following best describes how your organization gathers information:
1. We get financial statements.
2. We use computer analysis of sales, customers, etc.
3. We get all of the above, plus have a business or competitive intelligence function.
4. We have a global intelligence, information-gathering team with direct access to the CEO.
5. All of the above plus we have an intelligence function that is highly valued by our entire organization.
Some have suggested incorporating the value of an intelligence function through the addition of a chief intelligence officer (CIO)—someone who, in REAL TIME, continues to gather current information that will potentially impact the organization (Schneider, 2017; Tsukayama, 2015).
Ask your CEO, “Who in our organization is responsible for gathering solid information about our industry, our market, our competitors, forces outside our company (e.g., technological, regulatory), capabilities within our organization—the list goes on and on. Should someone?”
Fombrun, C. J., & Nevins, M. D. (2004). The advice business: Essential tools and models for management consulting. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Schneider, L. (2017, November 26). Learn the role of chief information officer (CIO). Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/business-or-it-what-s-the-main-job-of-a-cio-2071252