Corporate planning, computer services and market research
The shift from primary and manufacturing industries to the service sector continues in the industrialized nations of the West. Within the service industries, the emphasis is now on the production and distribution of organised information. The age of knowledge and know-how is here; the "fuel" of modern economies is information, on a commodity or specialty basis. It is imperative for market researchers to consider this trend. The changes taking place in the business environment can be perceived by looking at non-traditional indicators. Two types are identified here, complete with examples, "entities" and "transactions." Both are useful in pinpointing fast-growing segments and genuine opportunities. The changes in the technical environment include the fast rise of microcomputers on the one hand and on-line, electronic data bases on the other. More and more, they will be used in a complementary fashion. The information content of industries, functions, and occupations must be analyzed as well as the speed with which information is delivered to users. Spatial maps are drawn up to identify the characteristics of both information content and information delivery.
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