Whether they are internal or external driving forces, one thing is certain for both. Change will occur! A company must be cognizant of these changes, flexible, and willing to respond to them in an appropriate way.
External driving forces can bury a business if not appropriately dealt with. The question is, how does a business know what changes are occurring so that they can deal with them in a positive way.
In order for a business to succeed and gain the competitive edge, the business must know what changes are indeed occurring, and what changes might be coming up in the future. I guess you might call this forecasting. Thus, critical to the business is what we call "informational resources." It is the collection and analyzation of data. Some examples of critical information might include the follwing: Competition (what are they doing?)
Customer behavior (needs, wants, and desires)
Industry out look (local, national, global)
Demographics (the change populations, there density, etc.) Economy (are we peaking, or moving negatively)
Political movements and/or interference
General environmental changes
The above are...