In the context of increased globalization and dynamism of markets, competition is an important condition for effective self-regulation of the economy. Competitive forces of the market are the structural elements of the market environment that affect its condition and nature, intensity and level of competition in the market. Market players must constantly analyze the competitive environment in which they operate. One of the tools for gathering competitors’ information is competitive intelligence. Competitive intelligence (as opposed to industrial espionage) is carried out within the legal framework, and all sources of information analyzed are always open and publicly available, but not always published to the public.
The purpose of the article is to analyze the concept of “competitive intelligence”, to provide a detailed description of the defining features, principles, essential goals and objectives of this method. The concept of “competitive intelligence” is defined as a set of measures that determine the permanent process of collecting, accumulating, analyzing data that characterize the internal and external environment of the enterprise, using legal methods for senior management to optimize management decisions.
To implement competitive intelligence methods at enterprises, special services are formed and the basic principles of its organization are adhered to: the competitiveness of competitive intelligence; environment variability; reasonable sufficiency; unity; accessibility; recognizability; timeliness etc. The essence of the main methods of CI, peculiarities of its development in the world and Ukraine are revealed.
Significant prospects of using different forms of competitive intelligence by domestic enterprises are established. Probable advantages of competitive intelligence for Ukrainian enterprises can be:
- improving business efficiency;
- gaining knowledge and skills in organizing an early warning system;
- ability to quickly identify favorable conditions for the development;
- ability to prevent the disclosure of company’s corporate secrets by competitors;
- ability to respond quickly to changes in the competitive environment;
- anticipation of marketing campaigns and tenders of competitors, etc.
Active development of the domestic market of intelligence services will be observed in the near future due to intensive development of new methods and techniques of strategic analysis using international experience. Competitive intelligence is expected to be one of the main factors for ensuring competitiveness, strategic stability and economic security of businesses. But a promising direction for further research in these circumstances may be protection of personal data and cyber security.
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