One of the earliest activities the enterprise performs in developing a strategic plan is a ‘Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat’ (SWOT) Analysis. This analysis looks at internal and external factors to determine areas that the enterprise should focus on to increase its survivability and success as well as areas that the enterprise should avoid or decrease its exposure to.
• One of Google's major strengths is that its cofounders developed and have continued to foster. It follows a business model based on flexibility, foresight, and a willingness to adapt. [i]
• The company is the number one search engine and has established a brand name, in which its ...view middle of the document...
Here is an evaluation of Googles Weaknesses based on the list of items to catalog on page 45 of Luftman. Items that would have a low weakness (or areas in which Google has strengths), have been removed from this analysis. The remaining have been identified has having 'Medium" or 'High' weakness.
• Ability to Withstand risk - Medium Weakness [xi]
o Google's primary income stream is from Search revenue, which is increasingly competitive.
o Google's business model is complex ("Google inc.: swot," 2008)
o Google does not have a high 'cost to switch'. In other words, people can use alternative products simply by typing in an alternate URL
• Change management - High Weakness [xii]
o Google has stumbled a couple of times recently in its change management in regards to supporting the technology of their products
o Google failed to have an adequate support system in place for the NexusOne launch
o Google failed to take into account privacy concerns with its launch of Google Buzz
• Narrow product line - High Weakness [xiii]
o Google is only a market leader in Search. Other products they offer are not market leaders ("Google finance -," 2010)
o Google has been purchasing additional product lines (technology), this strategy introduces a high level of integration risk ("Google finance -," 2010)
o Google relies on partners for some key expanding markets like Smart Phones
• Obsolete products, facilities, processes - Medium Weakness [xiv]
o The Google strategy of using low-cost UNIX farms keeps their hardware infrastructure dynamic
o Google has continued to update and upgrade it's products.
o Google has fewer features in its search than current competitors (Bing, Yahoo!)
• Poor Brand Image - High Weakness [xv]
o While Google has traditionally had a strong brand image, recent stumbles could change that drastically. (See Change management above)
• Increasing worldwide online ad spending. Google currently holds 90% of online ad revenues.[xvi]
• New acquisitions.
• Move into non-internet ad markets. Google is currently holding less than 3% of the revenue in this area. [xvii]
• Merge current collaboration tools into a single environment. Google has a multitude of applications but many of them have not been leveraged into a fully integrated environment. Although Google Wave holds promise, it still in beta mode. [xviii]
• Increase partnerships with mobile providers to take larger market share of mobile ad market which is expected to grow to $3.1 billion in 2013.[xix]
• Antitrust/Copyright infringement suits.[xx]
• Competition from Yahoo/Microsoft/Ask/New Startup.[xxi]
• Web searching paradigm shift to information retrieval.[xxii]
• Privacy issues with personal user information.[xxiii]