What are the company’s key resources and competitive capabilities? What competitive liabilities and resource weaknesses does it have? What opportunities exist? What threats to its continued success are present? The best way for a company to evaluate its key resources, competitive capabilities/liabilities, resource weaknesses, opportunities and threats is to perform a SWOT analysis. This focuses on the internal Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the company and is used as a decision making tool by top level managers and can be used for pre-crisis planning.
Google’s Strength’s: * Google has had global dominance of the search industry since its introduction to the market in 1998 and still remains the leader of the industry to this day. * The company is the leader in the search advertising market with its innovative and un-paralleled approach to pricing (cost-per-click basis or cost-per-impression basis) and methods for relevant targeted advertisements to specific customers. * The successful Android operating system for mobile phones which rivals Apple’s iPhone abilities. Good revenue being created from advertising and from banner and video ads displayed on mobile phones as well as licensing fees from companies using Google’s search appliances. * The launch of Google TV will attract many more customers and further diversify the Google brand. * The strong and ambitious leadership shown by the top management to fulfil their strategy goals of “organising the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful”. * Google has a well know brand image and work culture that people recognise as being very user friendly as their ethos is “You can make money without doing evil”.
Part of their success is down to their ability to maintain strong relationships with internet users, advertisers and websites. * Google’s vision and ability to acquire other companies that will add to their wide range of services. * The company offers its users such a wide range of diverse services and tools, over 40 in total, ranging from alerts to news to maps with most services available in 41 languages. * The technology that the company uses is state of the art and is usually purpose build by the highly qualified experts in the Google staff. Their online business can be conducted with minimal physical locations which allow them to have low operating costs. * Employees are given the tools, freedom, and encouragement to be innovative and fulfilled by their job which makes Google renowned for being a great place to work. Google’s weaknesses: * The Google acquisition of Youtube has not worked out to be as successful as was planned as although roughly 12 billion videos are watched on the site each month, the advertising revenues in 2009 were estimated at less than $300 million. Google’s own social networking site, Orkut, failed to match the success of competing social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. * The interruption of Google’s services to China due to censorship problems and cyber-attacks which was not handled properly by the company. * Google received a lot of criticism for their Google Map’s street view mode as privacy advocates complained that they violated privacy rights. The company also allowed the cameras to capture the Wi-fi data being emitted from homes and businesses as they photographed the route.
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Google co-founder Sergey Brin said the company “screwed up”. Possible Google Opportunities: * Cloud computing is a huge open opportunity for Google to capitalise on and information technology analysts believe that the market could grow to $95 billion by 2013. * The development of a tablet with Verizon to rival Apple’s iPad allows the company into a huge emerging market. * Google Apps was planned to substantially undercut its rival Microsoft Office and Outlook packages by up to $300 per year. Google TV with allies such as Intel, Sony, Logitech, Best Buy, DISH Network and Adobe could prove to be a very successful venture. * Google’s expansion of its mobile search and smartphone platforms. Threats to Google: * Mircosoft are Google’s closest rivals and their Internet Explorer 8 allowed users to hide their internet address and viewing history, which prevented Google from collecting user specific information needed for ad targeting.
Microsoft also launched their Live Search to compete with Google and to slow down whatever intensions the company had for expansion into Microsoft’s fields. * Microsoft is also moving forward with its own approach to cloud computing with Windows Live. * Yahoo are still a threat to Google as they accounted for nearly 35% of all searches throughout the world in 2010. * Facebook also may come as a threat to the company as it is the second-most visited site on the internet and may have plans for expansion.
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