Competitive Intelligence

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CI technology changes not only practice but post-secondary teaching as well

I've been finishing the development of two courses I'm about to be teaching and have been working overtime to try and integrate some of the better technological facets available into my teaching approach. I have long been pleased to see the CI practitioners I frequently research being early adopters of technology in support of their day-to-day activities. Some CI practitioners (and a few of you are on or reading about it on the Ning site -- you know who you are ;) have become leading proponents within their organizations, or so-called "ICT or technology evangelists." When you combine that with the new generation of students (I have mainly upper twenty-something aged students) who grew up in this environment and are socialized to use these items, it makes for a better course learning experience in my opinion.

This year I have added the use of blogs, RSS, on-demand video, wikis, and webcasts as a regular part of my instructional routine. Fortunately, my business school has full wireless availability and our students are used to integrating their laptops (and iPods or phones) into their learning. I kind of wish I had these things available to me when I was an MBA student... but of course, we had just been at the front end of this digital evolution at that point in the mid eighties.

It has always seemed to me that CI software developments have run in parallel to other applications in most of our large companies. In other words, we are often independent of the enterprise system developments that occur in "other parts" of the organizations we are members of. When the CI applications are closer to the core applications, it is usually because a) someone built these specialized applications using the facilities of the adopted enterprise resource applications or b) something in the ERPs themselves allowed for module modification to support facets of the CI task. I've witnessed or heard about very few occasions in which CI considerations were "at the table" from day one in discussions of enterprise-wide adoption of information systems. I've always wished that were different or would change in the future.

I wonder what 2010+ will bring in terms of technologies being applied to CI? I wonder if someone with a novel technology infused CI application will end up taking the corporate world by storm so that these become ubiquitous in leading companies? I wouldn't be at all surprised if one of our leading CI vendors makes that leap into the so-called mainstream of applications. Whichever fortunate party that is, you will generate wealth to spare and share!

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