Skip to Main Content
University of Phoenix logo
University Library

Conduct an Environmental Scan

What is an environmental scan?

An environmental scan analyzes a company's external, industrial, and internal environments to assist in decision-making about the organization, such as determining if a market exists for a product or service. An environmental scan can help a company with decision-making by:

  • Assessing the level of threat or opportunity different factors might present.
  • Evaluating the success or lack of success that impacts a business.
  • Observing factors to aid in dealing with changes in a business.

See the Environmental Analysis article from MindTools for more details.

Ask Us

Have a question or need help? Send us a question!

What are the components of an environmental scan?

There is no such thing as an environmental scan report. Instead, you will gather information from multiple sources to create a report that applies to your company to make an evaluation. The three tools primarily used to help survey the external, industrial, and internal environments an organization operates in are:

PESTEL Analysis
A PESTEL analysis covers the external environment and consists of a series of factors you'll need to research:
  • Political
  • Economic
  • Sociocultural
  • Technological
  • Environmental
  • Legal
Check out our How Do I Conduct a PESTEL Analysis guide for more.
Industry Research
Industry research, also called Porter's Five Forces when referring to an environmental scan, includes researching:
  • Threat of new entrants to the market
  • Threat of substitute products or services
  • Bargaining power of suppliers
  • Bargaining power of customers
  • Industry competition
Check out our How Do I Get Started with Industry Research guide for more.
SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis looks at the internal factors that are or could impact a company. This includes looking at:
  • Company culture
  • Organizational structure
  • Values
  • Mission and objectives
  • Physical resources
  • Technological capabilities
Check out our How Do I Find or Conduct a SWOT Analysis guide for more.