A SWOT analysis allows the team to develop their integrated understanding of the analysis of the external and internal aspects of the organisation. It uses a simple chart to summarise the External opportunities and threats that the organisation faces and its Internal strengths and weaknesses. The team should review the analysis that has been undertaken and enter their agreed major items in each quadrant of the chart. Here is an example from Starbucks:
The following example is based on the Blackberry example that has been previously introduced:
Once the SWOT chart has been completed it can be considered to identify the key elements in your digital transformation strategy. These elements will form the foundation of your strategic plan. The analysis of your SWOT chart should use the following framework which allows you to consider various strategy types:
Matching strategy is based on using your internal strengths to exploit external opportunities.
Change strategy eliminates your weaknesses to make you better able to exploit your opportunities. This is also described as converting weaknesses into opportunities.
Neutralisation strategy uses your strengths to defeat external threats.
Defensive strategy prevents your weaknesses being attacked by the threats your organisation faces.
The following chart graphically presents these strategic approaches. The strategy that you develop may be based on one or more of the strategic approaches. It may also include new strategic approaches that you develop yourself:
For example, Blackberry may apply this approach as follows:
Matching strategy: Take advantage of their financial strength and low interest rates to further develop their position in the cell phone market with a cheaper phone targeted to public rather than corporate customers.
Change strategy: Develop marketing expertise to understand how to better exploit the growth of cell phone networks with new products.
Neutralisation strategy: Use their technical strength to ward off the threat of competitor products.
Defensive strategy: Develop market awareness to better anticipate the threats that rivals pose.
What Will Your Future Business Look Like?
The strategy that you develop through the use of this process will require the integration of a range of knowledge and skills, including knowledge of your existing customers, processes, technology and people. These will be combined with your understanding of future changes in the desires of your customers, the actions of your customers the possibilities of the use of technology inside your organisation and your capability in managing substantial organisational disruption. Because of this, you will create a better strategy by undertaking research to better understand these aspects and by enabling the participation of a wide range of people in your organisation.
The process that is recommended here has been used by many organisations in the past. It is intentionally simple and straightforward. Successful strategy development is not based on the complexity of the strategy process but rather on a applying a simple process, that enables the participation of the appropriate stakeholders, well.
It is important to note that your strategy is likely to change. You should be regularly reviewing it and modifying it where needed. Your strategy implementation is discussed in another course. It focuses on an agile approach that enables changes to be made easily.