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Environmental Scanning & Analysis


We use environmental scanning to monitor the external business environment by continually reviewing appropriate industry related publications and attending informative conferences. We also talk with industry experts about issues and developments associated with the industry. We analyze the resulting information to uncover early signs of future opportunities and threats to help an organization better manage its business strategy. Francis Joseph Aguilar is probably the first author to gain broad recognition for his work on environmental scanning. His book, Scanning the Business Environment, published in 1967, is probably the best-known book on the subject.

Environmental scanning is useful in detecting environmental issues, and environmental scanning results are essential in looking at an organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Therefore, environmental scanning can provide important inputs into SWOT analysis, or a variant of SWOT called TOWS.

To do our environmental scanning and analysis, we break the environment up into categories. We analyze information associated with these categories to arrive at strategic implications. Here is a brief outline of some of the key components of our environmental scanning and analysis process:

We scan or monitor the business environment.

  • We analyze the results of our scanning or monitoring activities.
  • We establish business scenarios.
         To get an idea of how an environmental scanning analysis is done, please see
         "A Hospital Scanning Study."