By Harry Jones
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The information base (sometimes referred to, in part, as the 'position audit') on which the plans of an organisation are founded, is extensive The Planner's Need for Forecasts 19 but its contents bear a close relationship to the fundamental objectives of the organisation. Essentially they deal with the status of the activities of the firm and the expected future trends in all the aspects of the environment in which it will operate at two levels: (a) At the higher level they relate to broad external events: economic, total production of industry, fiscal and monetary items, sociological and political indicators both international and national.
5). For example, one might forecast near exhaustion or an extremely high price for oil by 2010-this could lead to an active search for non-oil based fertilisers and direct attention to detailed forecasts of alternative technologies to satisfy the need. This approach is frequently more appropriate for the multi-product company's strategic forecasting. THE NEED FOR A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH Although forecasting is one of the essential inputs to planning, the forecasting of technology has not always been accorded the interest and 28 Forecasting Technology for Planning Decisions (a) Innovation based FUTURE TODAY ?
The traditional technological forecast has focussed only on the first of these considerations. This is understandable since the forecasts have usually been prepared by technologists not businessmen. Thus they have Technological Growth Patterns and their Influence on Planning 35 produced forecasts which from the planner's viewpoint suffer from two limitations. Firstly, they assume that the future environment of technology will not be significantly different from what it has been in the past. Secondly, the forecaster's interest is centred on the future state of the technology rather than the potential value of this state to society or to a particular organisation.