SWOT ANALYSIS SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable to achieving that objective. The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey, who led a research project at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s using data from Fortune 500 companies.

1.Strategic Use: Orienting SWOTs to An Objective
llustrative diagram of SWOT analysis If SWOT analysis does not start with defining a desired end state or objective, it runs the risk of being useless. A SWOT analysis may be incorporated into the strategic planning model. An example of a strategic planning technique that incorporates an objectivedriven SWOT analysis is SCAN analysis. Strategic Planning, including SWOT and SCAN analysis, has been the subject of much research. (A) Strengths: attributes of the organization that are helpful to achieving the objective. (B) Weaknesses: attributes of the organization that are harmful to achieving the objective. (C) Opportunities: external conditions that are helpful to achieving the objective. (D) Threats: external conditions which could do damage to the business's performance. Identification of SWOTs is essential because subsequent steps in the process of planning for achievement of the selected objective may be derived from the SWOTs. First, the decision makers have to determine whether the objective is attainable, given the SWOTs. If the objective is NOT attainable a different objective must be selected and the process repeated.

2.Creative Use of SWOTs: Generating Strategies
If, on the other hand, the objective seems attainable, the SWOTs are used as inputs to the creative generation of possible strategies, by asking and answering each of the following four questions, many times: (A).How can we Use each Strength? (B) How can we Stop each Weakness?

(C) How can we Exploit each Opportunity? (D) How can we Defend against each Threat? Ideally a cross-functional team or a task force that represents a broad range of perspectives should carry out the SWOT analysis. For example, a SWOT team may include an accountant, a salesperson, an executive manager, an engineer, and an ombudsman. 3. Evidence on the Use of SWOT SWOT analysis may limit the strategies considered in the evaluation. "In addition, people who use SWOT might conclude that they have done an adequate job of planning and ignore such sensible things as defining the firm's objectives or calculating ROI for alternate strategies." Findings from Menon et al. (1999) and Hill and Westbrook (1997) have shown that SWOT may harm performance. As an alternative to SWOT, J. Scott Armstrong describes a 5-step approach alternative that leads to better corporate performance. These criticisms are addressed to an old version of SWOT analysis that precedes the SWOT analysis described above under the heading "Strategic and Creative Use of SWOT Analysis." This old version did not require that SWOTs be derived from an agreed upon objective. Examples of SWOT analyses that do not state an objective are provided below under "Human Resources" and "Marketing." 4. Internal and external factors The aim of any SWOT analysis is to identify the key internal and external factors that are important to achieving the objective. SWOT analysis groups key pieces of information into two main categories: (A) Internal factors – The strengths and weaknesses internal to the organization. (B) External factors – The opportunities and threats presented by the external environment. The internal factors may be viewed as strengths or weaknesses depending upon their impact on the organization's objectives. What may represent strengths with respect to one objective may be weaknesses for another objective. The factors may include all of the 4P's; as well as personnel, finance, manufacturing capabilities, and so on. The external factors may include macroeconomic matters, technological change, legislation, and sociocultural changes, as well as changes in the marketplace or competitive position. The results are often presented in the form of a matrix.

SWOT analysis is just one method of categorization and has its own weaknesses. For example, it may tend to persuade companies to compile lists rather than think about what is actually important in achieving objectives. It also presents the resulting lists uncritically and without clear prioritization so that, for example, weak opportunities may appear to balance strong threats. It is prudent not to eliminate too quickly any candidate SWOT entry. The importance of individual SWOTs will be revealed by the value of the strategies it generates. A SWOT item that produces valuable strategies is important. A SWOT item that generates no strategies is not important. 5. Use of SWOT Analysis The usefulness of SWOT analysis is not limited to profit-seeking organizations. SWOT analysis may be used in any decision-making situation when a desired end-state (objective) has been defined. Examples include: non-profit organizations, governmental units, and individuals. SWOT analysis may also be used in pre-crisis planning and preventive crisis management.

Using SWOT to analyse the market position of a small management consultancy with specialism in HRM. Strengths Reputation marketplace Weaknesses Opportunities Threats

in Shortage of Well established Large consultancies consultants at position with a well operating at a minor operating level rather defined market niche. level than partner level

Expertise at partner Unable to deal with Identified market for Other small level in HRM multi-disciplinary consultancy in areas consultancies looking consultancy assignments because other than HRM to invade the of size or lack of marketplace ability Track record successful assignments –

Swot analysis of RAM (Random access memory)

Strengths- The Major advatage of using RAM is that your programs will load much faster. Like if your decided to upgrade your RAM from 128MB to 1GB of RAM you will notice that your games will load faster as well as your applications that you are running. On top of that, you would be able to run multiple applications at the same time without having that annoying skip and pausing, etc. Like you could listen to I-tunes flawlessly while doing a 3-D drawing in AUTO CAD. However, even though your programs, applications and games load faster, it does not mean that your computer will run smoother because you did not upgrade your graphics card. Whatever we do on our computer it firstly stores in the ram than it is transferred to the respective drives of our computer. 1.Fast transfer rate 2.Fast access time 3. No moving parts 4.Silent 5.Lower cost than traditional solid-state drives 6.Unlimited write cycles compared to flash memory

Weaknesses1.High cost compared to traditional hard drives 2.Low capacity (4 GB maximum) 3.High power consumption compared to hard disk 4.Transfer rate restricted by SATA 150 bus (1.5Gb/s) 5.Takes up one PCI slot 6.Not physically compatible with all double-sided DDR RAM modules due to tight spacing

7.All data is lost if there is a loss of power for more than 16 hours 8.Adding memory wipes the data from all sticks 9.Increases standby power Opportunities- Ram will always be used as a storage device because it stores temporary data on the sysytem and ram plays a important role in determining the speed of the system. Earlier there were 256 mb and 512 mb ram but now ram upto 4 gb are also available in the market to make our pc high speed. Threats- The threat which ram faces is that it gets damage very often and its is not repairable. If ram stops working than there is no other alternative to repair it we will have to remove it.

Swot analysis of Hard Disk Strengths1.Large storage capacity 2.Stores and retrieves data much faster than a floppy disk or CD-ROM 3. Data is not lost when you switch off the computer 4.Hard disks can be replaced and upgraded as necessary 5. Can have two hard disks in a machine, one can act as a mirror of the other and create a back up copy. 6. Cheap on a cost per megabyte compared to other storage media. Weaknesses1. Hard disks eventually fail which stops the computer from working. 2.Regular 'head' crashes can damage the surface of the disk, leading to loss of data in that sector. 3.The disk is fixed inside the computer and cannot easily be transferred to another computer. OpportunitiesThe hard disk drive is the main storage device within a computer. It is where all the applications software and data is kept. Data stored on a hard disk can be accessed much more quickly than data stored on a floppy disk. Modern Hard drives are measured in gigabytes (GB). The most expensive computers will have the largest hard drives. Standard systems come with hard drives between 40Gb and 250Gb It is also possible to add more than one hard disk inside a computer. In fact this is an excellent idea if you wish to back up your data whilst you work - the main disk holds your data whilst the second disk 'mirrors' it in the background. In that way when one of the disks fail (and they will !), the other is keeping your data safe.

Threats1.Threat from viruses. 2.It may get crash. 3.Cannot be repaired easily 4.Costly media of storage.

Swot analyis of Floopy Disk Strengths1.Portable - small and lightweight 2. Allows random access of data - (unlike tape which is serial) 3. Can provide a valuable means of backing up data 4. Private data can be stored securely on a floppy disk so that other users on a network cannot gain access to it. 5. Security tab to stop data being written over 6. Most computers have floopy drive. 7. It can be written too many times. Weaknesses1. Not very strong - easy to damage. 2. Data can be erased if the disk comes into contact with a magnetic field. 3. Quite slow to access and retrieve data compared to a hard disk drive, but it is faster than tape. 4. Can transport viruses from one machine to another. 5. Small storage capacity, especially if graphics need to be saved. 6. New computers are starting to be made without floppy drives. OpportunitiesThe floppy disk drive enables you to transfer small files between computers and also to make backup copies to protect against lost work. It used to be one of the most common storage devices for moving data from one PC to another. However, as file sizes are becoming larger and other, more reliable storage media become increasingly common, people are using floppy disks less frequently. A standard floppy disk can store up to 1.44 Mb of data which is approximately equivalent to 300 pages of A4 text. However, graphic images are often very large, so you may well find that if you have used Word Art or a large picture, your work will not fit onto a floppy disk.

Threats1. Low storage capacity 2. Cds and Pen drive had taken place of floppies. 3. Can be easily damaged. 4. Cost is equal to compact disk but space is very less so people prefer cds. 5.Cannot store songs and videos.

Swot analyis of Compact Disk Strengths1.Data cannot be erased from CD-ROMs. 2.CD-ROMs are small and portable 3.Very cheap to produce 4.CD-ROMs have a much larger storage capacity than floppy disks. 5.Will usually work in a DVD drive.

Weaknesses1.Fairly fragile - easy to break or scratch. 2.Because they are portable they can be lost. 3.Smaller storage capacity than a hard disk. 4.Slower to access than the hard disk

OpportunitiesCD-ROM disks do not store data magnetically like floppy disks and hard disks. Instead, tiny pits are burnt onto the surface by a laser beam in the CD-ROM drive. This is why they are known as optical storage devices. A laser beam also reads the information from the disk. The same technique is used for CD music disks which is why many computers with CD-ROM drives can play audio CDs. A typical CD-ROM can store approximately 650 megabytes of data which is equivalent to about 450 1.4 MB floppy disks. The entire contents of a text based encyclopaedia takes up only 25% of one standard CD-ROM.

Threats1. CD can be damaged easily. 2. DVDs are giving tough competition because they are more durable. 3. Pen Drive is also a simple and better media of storage than CD. 4. Cd requires a special hardware i.e CD Drive and Cd writer which is costly 5. The required hardware cannot be found on every computer

Swot analyis of DVDs Strengths1. Very large storage capacity. 2. Sound and picture quality is excellent which makes them suitable for video and sound. 3. Increasing availability. 4. Price is dropping for both DVDs and DVD drives. 5. Does not transmit viruses. 6. DVD players can read CD-ROMs. Weaknesses1. Still a relatively new technology so still expensive compared to CD-ROMS. 2. DVDs do not work in CD ROM drives. 3. There are many 'standards' in use, so you have to make sure you buy the correct disk for your drive. 4. Relatively expensive media compared to a CD-R, so you have to decide whether your data can be stored on one or two 650 Meg disks. OpportunitiesDVDs stands for Digital Versatile Disk and is a relatively new technology. Like CDROMs, they are an optical storage device. These are becoming increasingly popular, and are expected to replace ordinary compact discs and video tapes in the future. This is because a DVD disc can store between 5-17 gigabytes of data. This amount of storage makes it possible to store complete movies along with special features and multiple language tracks.

Threats1. DVDs cannot run in CD Drive. 2. Pen Drive is becoming more popular because of low cost and higher storage capacity. 3. DVDs require special drive for performing its task. 4. DVDs drive are costlier. 5. It can be easily damaged. 6. There are duplicates DVDs easily available in market.

Swot analyis of Magnetic Tape Strengths1.Relatively cheap 2. Can hold in excess of 20GB of data (it is possible to get devices that will back up over 200 GB of data) 3. Backup capacity is easily expanded by simply using more tape. Weaknesses1.Serial access - this means that in order to get to something on the tape, you have to go through everything that comes before it. Think of it like a video tape. The program that you want to watch might have been recorded half way through the tape, but you have to wind forward right from the start to get to it. 2. Slow - Because of serial access, it is relatively slow to find the data that you need (however in an exam question, don't just say 'slow', compare it to a storage device with faster access. 3.Specialist hardware is needed to read the tapes. Most standard PCs do not come with the hardware required to use them. 4. Not suitable for heavy use - As you may realize from video tapes at home - they are a bit fragile with a tendency to stretch and tangle! Tape is best suited for back-up purposes. OpportunitiesMagnetic tapes can be easily taken from one place to another and it has great storage capacity. This media can be used in the future as it can easily hold upto 20 GB of data. It has got great business opportunity in the future as well as its is relatively cheap.

Threats1.Its very slow. 2. It require special device so that tape can be read. 3.Options like pen drive and DVDs are available in the market. 4. The device cannot be found on every computer. 5. Its costly in comparison to Pen Drive and DVDs.

Swot analyis of USB flash drive Under certain circumstances and environments, USB flash drives bring numerous benefits to worker efficiency. Using the table below, think critically and objectively about where USB flash drives introduce Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, or Threats to the enterprise. StrenghtsHigh-capacity network for work-at-home transport, or traveling to a remote office without a laptop. Users of a shared computer can store their own files on a USB flash drive. Multiple users of the company laptop, for example, can each use a USB flash drive to store their individual files. A support technician can use a USB drive to carry several GB of diagnostic tools, recovery tools, drivers, and critical system updates. They can also copy files to PCs and servers that do not have floppy disk or CD drives Weaknesses- The enterprise does not have a firm grasp on the business processes required to manage a USB drive initiative.The enterprise is not fully aware of the potential risks involved with a USB drive initiative. The enterprise is uncertain of how much productivity can be gained as a result of purchasing USB drives Opportunities- Cut hardware costs for transporting files. A professional who is asking for a $2,000 laptop to take project work home could possibly be served by a $1,000 desktop computer and a $50 USB drive. Flash drives as a medium for portable support software toolkits. In some configurations, a PC can be set to boot from an USB flash drive after a hard disk crash. Threats- A user loses his or her USB device. A user's USB device is stolen, the data on it is stolen, or it is sold by an employee. The network becomes infected due to viruses, spyware, and other malware hiding in a USB flash drive. Copyright infringement. Noncompliance with regulatory requirements.

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