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I.T. Strategic Planning – ANALYSIS: S.W.O.T.

S.W.O.T.

S.W.O.T.

This section may answer some question but will also bring out more, consider it an opportunity to think tank with your team. The S.W.O.T (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) gives a quick reference to things that may or may not be real, but are possibilities. The accumulation of all these steps builds a road map, an understanding, and makes it possible to explain or describe where you are going in a short concise way, and makes it obvious what you are planning to do in the coming month’s and or years.

Keep in mind there is no wrong or right answer here, you are merely compiling and observing your organizations current status. This is just one step on the journey, one step in building a business case, and one more step in assessing what services and changes are needed to support your organizations business requirements. The basics rarely change, only the technology does, and of course there is always a list of nice to haves, documenting everything helps you filter what’s important and what is not.

Again, this list will be different…it should be as technology and business needs change. Here is an example:

Strengths

1. Minimal Core Infrastructure (name your application here)

2. New, enthusiastic team

3. Knowledge

4. Relationships

5. History

Weaknesses

1. 85% of staff are new to the organization

2. Unable to meet the expectations (Can’t move fast enough to please everyone)

3. Network instability

4. Lack of integration of core applications

Opportunities

1. Social Media Networks

2. Open Source

3. Standardization

4. Partnering

5. Virtualization

Threats

1. Inability to compete for qualified skilled people

2. Security – hacking, spam etc.

3. Inadequate budget

4. Little control over vendor products or direction

5. Little control over technologies

This is just an example of what your S.W.O.T. might look like, pull your team together and ask all the tough questions, make an exhaustive list and then pick the top 5 from each of the 4 areas in your SWOT.

This is the prime definition taken from the Wikipedia site on 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 favorable and unfavorable to achieving that objective. The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey, who led a convention at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s using data from Fortune 500 companies.

Until next time