BUS402 WK3 Discussion Forum 1
Company Selected: Microsoft
Prior to beginning this discussion, review section 7.4 Contingency Planning in your textbook. Strategic plans are focused on current and future company goals, therefore changes in the environment must be detected and monitored. Changes in the environment that impinge on the company’s strategic plan are known as external triggers and triggers are paired with plans to successfully deal with them. These paired actions are known as contingency plans. What qualities make a future issue a “trigger”?
As an example, consider you are on the strategic planning team for a soft drink company. A merger of two major competitors next year would constitute a future trigger. For this discussion, consider the Environmental Scan and SWOT analysis you conducted in Week 2. Formulate a trigger/contingency pair in the form of a three-part sentence similar to the example in the textbook. Examine it in terms of the three guidelines that good contingency plans should follow.
Post a summary of your selected company and risks that you perceive based on your prior Environmental Scan and SWOT analysis. State the three-sentence trigger/contingency pair and justify your choice of contingency plan using information from the week’s readings and/or other scholarly or credible resources, using the
Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)
table for guidance.
Abraham, S. (2012).
Strategic management for organizations
. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
- Chapter 6: Creating Strategic-Alternative Bundles
- Chapter 7: Choosing the Best Strategy/Support
Moore, K. (2011).
Porter or Mintzberg: Whose view of strategy is the most relevant today? (Links to an external site.)
Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/karlmoore/2011/03/28/porter-or-mintzberg-whose-view-of-strategy-is-the-most-relevant-today/
- This article compares two points of view to consider which may be the most relevant today and will assist you in your Porter’s Five Forces discussion forum this week.
Accessibility Statement does not exist.
Brea P. Sylvester
BUS402: Strategic Management & Business Policy
Professor Fred Fening
19 January 2019
Microsoft is a technology-based company that began in its operations in the 1990s. It
started by a little known entrepreneur back then known as Bill Gates. The young man had
embarked on a mission to tell people in America to be part of the computer revolution that was
happening then. He managed to convince people to buy easy to use and pocket-friendly PCs or
personal computers. He also managed to convince them that it would only run on Microsoft built
software and that it would need to be upgraded periodically. It is through Microsoft and his
technological innovation that he became one of the richest men in the world. This was primarily
facilitated by the technological improvements of the last two decades, starting with the internet
boom in the 1990s. The internet was greatly improved by pioneering companies like AOL, which
has been primarily facilitated by Microsoft’s success since almost 10million copies of their latest
software Windows 3.0. This may not mean much in layman’s terms, but it meant an equal
number in PC sales for the company.
In relation to actual economics, however, Microsoft has been able to make a significant
contribution to solving the unemployment problem. It has been able to employ 144,000 people in
Microsoft working in full-time positions across the world. Sixty percent of these employees are
in the United States. The technology company had a revenue standing at around 126 billion U.S
dollars in the year 2019. The company’s employees have been increasing since when the
company was founded. In reference to other areas of impact, Microsoft has devoted itself to
philanthropic work through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Running head: MICROSOFT SWOT ANALYSIS
Microsoft SWOT Analysis
Brea P. Sylvester
BUS402: Strategic Management & Business Policy
Professor Fred Fening
19 January 2019
MICROSOFT SWOT ANALYSIS 2
Microsoft SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a breakdown of a firm’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in
a nutshell. It is an essential tool to deciphering the state of a firm at any one point and is usually
looked at in line with the firm’s ability to satisfy consumers, the market reach it had gained since
it was established, and the level of competition in the market. A firm has to reach this vital
process in order to develop or explain the basis it is doing business. Such information is
especially helpful to staff, top management, shareholders, and government and is thus requested
from time to time in different capacities and formats. For Microsoft, which is a company that
sells computer and software-based products, the SWOT analysis has been particularly helpful in
helping the company attain early market domination and has since faced fierce competition from
companies such as Apple, Facebook, and other Asian based tech companies like Samsung and
Specific Areas That Need Change
Some of the fundamental questions that can be asked with regards to a Microsoft SWOT
analysis include What resources are readily available to the firm? How far is its market reach?
What elements give it a sustainable competitive advantage over the rest of the firms doing the
same business in the market? Can the brand last another 100 years in the market? (Arimoto,
Barbosa & Barroca, 2015). What are its weakest elements of production? The answers to these
questions with regards to Microsoft are clustered into two major groups, with the strengths and
weaknesses representing the major internal issues of the analysis and the opportunities and
threats representing the external.
The weaknesses include lack of enough software upgrades on products, lack of enough
software security features in some cases, and a general laxity aftermarket dominance. These
weaknesses have hugely cost the company, which had enjoyed market control for a long time
(Sun & Schmidt, 2018). The losses have been in the form of stiff competition from tech and
software giant companies like Apple, which have capitalized on unique and highly efficient
products. Despite their steep price, they have substantial market followings in Europe, North
America, and some parts of Asia.
As regards the strengths, the company has had global market dominance. Most levels of tech
production greatly catapulted its status, making it the fifth most valuable company in the world.
Its headquarters are also located in one of the most convenient spots for doing business in
America, Washington D.C. (Schmitz, Mahapatra & Nerur, 2018). The city is the home of the
world’s most important trading routes and hosts the White House. The company also as a
strength has also accumulated a net worth of $61 billion and its owner, Bill Gates has been the
face of the richest men in the world in the last two decades for the most part. It indicates that the
company is making highly demanded products, which is a huge plus for its brand outlook. The
table below summarizes all.
MICROSOFT SWOT ANALYSIS 4
Despite the decline in success for the company, the global smartphone and search engine
business is highly lucrative due to the immense growth in technology in recent times. I would,
therefore, recommend it as an avenue for growth for the company any day (Arimoto et al., 2015).
It was also a necessary step of the company to take since it was established as a brand that is
involved with computers and software, a necessity of sorts in modern times. Its track record also
speaks volumes about market dominance in the early stages of the computer and internet
-Early market dominance.
-Headquarters at Washington D.C
-The AI global market dominance
-The attainment of the $1 trillion value
-Diverse tech production including cloud
hosting and gaming.
-Low market dominance currently
-Failure to upgrade software
-Lobbying against the use of AI software
-Creation of viruses for software
MICROSOFT SWOT ANALYSIS 5
revolution, and this is a massive advantage since it means that they do not need to reintroduce
themselves to their consumers.
The importance of a marketing strategy in the international job market of any kind is crucial for
the success of the business. Different types of technology, on the other hand, have looked into
elements of compatibility and efficiency of service, easing the burden of doing business through
marketing and increasing profits (Sun & Schmidt, 2018). This is the concept behind the creation
Formula 1 is one such company in Canada that merges the best of new-age
software technology and medicine, capitalizing on the fact that almost every doctor must have a
smartphone device at all times and may need to give a medical opinion of an emergency. It is an
app that is commonly called ‘Instagram for Doctors.’ This fact has not only helped improve the
quality of service offered by the health care system but also increases company profit. Microsoft,
on the other hand, failed to understand what the current market needed in terms of service
delivery despite being an early market leader.
New Strategies and Interventions
The company has since refocused its energy into more diverse technology and research. In
2014 it unveiled a new CEO named Satya Nadella, who did away with the standard strategy of
the software market (Schmitz et al., 2018). The company has since decided to venture into the
artificial intelligence market, seeking ways to integrate artificial intelligence software in all its
products. It is also trying to be one of the first companies to hit the $1 trillion value as a result of
this investment. The company has also invested in the gaming sector, seeking to tap into the
gaming culture that is driven by technology. Microsoft was one of the first companies to venture
MICROSOFT SWOT ANALYSIS 6
into the smartphone and search engine business, coming up with a search engine product named
Bing. Still, unfortunately, due to minimal improvement in the engine from 2004 to 2008, it fell
out with the market. It was quickly replaced by another software engine product named Firefox
as a result. Chrome is currently the most favored in the market; however, in recent times.
Its brand placement is also more focused on the long term goals as opposed to the short term.
Brands matter to consumers because they help consumers make quick decisions on which
products to consume. This helps the consumer save time and money looking for and trying out
new brands in the market. The idea of branding breeds familiarity between the product and the
consumer (Arimoto et al., 2015).They also help with arranging financial statements and offering
legal methods for peculiar features of the product. This helps protect the creative rights of the
brand and provides a legitimate title for the producer. At the end of the day, a brand is how a
product resides in the consumer’s mind. It involves making the consumer aware of what the
product is and what benefits it can offer to them with regards to meeting their specific needs.
This is referred to as giving a label and meaning to the brand, which is the opportunity that
Microsoft has in the new fields of tech production it is venturing in.
The commodity is a product that is hard to differentiate from others in the market place.
Throughout history, a number of brands have been grown and have resonated well with
consumers worldwide (Sun & Schmidt, 2018). The key to their success, in most cases, was able
to convince the consumer that these brands offered more benefits to the consumer. These brands,
some of which included pineapples under the brand name Dole, salt under the brand name
Morton, chickens under the brand name Perdue. These products are seemingly ordinary, but
under their respective brand names, they have managed to convince the consumer that they
somehow offer more benefits to the consumer through branding. This is one of the greatest
strengths that Microsoft as a company has. It managed to convince PC buyers that their
computers could only run on Microsoft
The company has grown more than 200 percent since the introduction of the new CEO. It
indicates that diversity in tech production is healthy and brings more profit. The concept of
SWOT analysis, therefore, helps a firm in many ways, including understanding how to overcome
everyday challenges (Schmitz et al., 2018). As regards the opportunities available for the
company, the gaming and artificial intelligence industry are only just beginning and has a very
bright future ahead. The internet, for example, was a small invention by a British scientist that
has taken over the world by storm due to the many opportunities it bears.
The threats, which should be closely monitored, include a limit by activist groups to the use of
artificial intelligence on products. This is due to the fear that one day a self-sustaining and
replicating robot may be created that is so ‘smart’ that it will eventually take over the world
(Arimoto et al., 2015). This impending fear with artificial intelligence makes lobbyists and
activists groups stand against the development of agile software and artificial intelligence.
Another threat that had been seen as a result of Microsoft products is the act of hacking or the
creation of viruses to the software. Hacking refers to infiltrating another person’s account with
uncouth motives by bypassing the security features that have been installed on computer
MICROSOFT SWOT ANALYSIS 8
The answer lies in effective leadership and management and the creation of virtual data and
software security features. I also realized that effective communication is a vital managerial tool
in teamwork since it hugely improves the efficiency of service delivery with regards to the
SWOT analysis. It also helps increase productivity in the firm. I would recommend some of the
methods that would be used to ensure effective communication and coordination should include
open-door policies in the management level of the firm (Sun & Schmidt, 2018). This might
consist of using suggestion boxes for members, team building events, and reward motivators for
high performing staff.
In conclusion, the best solution for this company is to continue to have useful team leadership
that oversees all elements of group cohesion and interaction. This would ensure positive aspects
of cohesiveness are maintained, and conflicts disappear. Some of the methods that the leadership
can do this are by introducing reward systems for jobs well done and punishing those who
engage in any misconduct that may portray the team in a negative light. Good leadership, such as
what Microsoft has since the new CEO joined the company, is also vital for the success of the
long term goals. As a leader at work, for example, I would go out of my way to ensure that I lead
in being an exemplary employee. Junior employees would follow suit in a bid to imitate or
impress me, so that would be a big boost for the company in terms of how people see it.
MICROSOFT SWOT ANALYSIS 9
Arimoto, M. M., Barbosa, E. F., & Barroca, L. (2015, October). An agile learning design method
for open educational resources. In 2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) (pp. 1-9).
Schmitz, K., Mahapatra, R., & Nerur, S. (2018). User engagement in the era of hybrid agile
methodology. IEEE Software.
Sun, W., & Schmidt, C. (2018). Control mechanisms and agile methodology use: Data from the
industry. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 58(3), 234-243.
thanks for your submission. Prior to introducing the SWOT analysis, your audience needs some background information about the company. Your work lacks a description of the company’s history. Your assessment of the financial performance and condition of the organization is brief and does not include any of the concepts covered in class or include any scholarly sources. You provided a good analysis evaluation of the external environment and the organization’s opportunities and threats. However, you are missing details about the internal aspect of the company and its strengths and weaknesses. A thorough evaluation of the results of the SWOT analysis requires an investigation of all four component. Good work, you demonstrate your ability and skills to measure performance and recognize trends. However, you may want to analyze some performance indicators even more closely as there are some performance trends you may want to consider and look at more closely. You used the required number of scholarly sources to support ideas. All sources on the reference page are used and cited correctly within the body of the assignment.