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Business leaders are navigating their organizations through various challenges in this unpredictable era. Staying on course can be difficult when new issues arise, almost daily, demanding your attention. Fortunately, there’s a simple, tried-and-true method for decision making and strategic planning that can quickly bring things into focus: a SWOT analysis for your software company. It lets you know where your business stands competitively and helps you pinpoint viable opportunities.
A SWOT analysis involves collecting data on your organization and your market and sorting it into four categories—strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Note: if you’ve performed a SWOT analysis for your software company in the past, be prepared for the exercise in 2022 to look substantially different.
In each SWOT analysis category, you want to include insights specifically about your company and your market. So, when you consider strengths, include:
- rock stars on your org chart
- your solutions
- your value proposition
- sales performance
- company culture
- brand image
However, in 2022, you can’t consider strengths without factoring in the current climate. Did your software company pick up users during the pandemic as businesses looked for ways to enable remote work or automate processes? Is your sales team able to sell deeper into accounts advancing their digital transformation? List everything that makes you a strong competitor.
Weaknesses in a 2022 SWOT analysis for your software company also must factor in characteristics of your organization and external factors impacting your business.
This year, take a hard look at:
- your employee retention strategy as The Great Resignation continues
- How well has your team met your clients’ new needs, such as software that helps users manage online engagements, curbside service, and contactless options?
If your business is attracting, not losing employees, and your software emerged as a leader to address new challenges, bump these up to the strengths category.
It’s always most beneficial to view any challenge as an opportunity—and 2022 is filled with challenges. Depending on your market, you may be able to adapt an existing solution to emerging use cases driven by the continuing pandemic and labor shortages. Additionally, your software company may hold the key to solving problems in:
- Cybersecurity: The threat landscape continues to expand and grow in complexity, increasing demand for security solutions and effective ways to manage them.
- Data analysis: Your users are collecting massive amounts of data, which they may not be analyzing to gain insights that can help improve business outcomes. You may be able to add analytics to the solutions you provide or offer analysis as a service to help your users understand their customers better, pinpoint bottlenecks in their internal processes, and gain a competitive edge.
- Innovation: Businesses in several verticals are exploring how next-gen technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics can benefit their operations with greater efficiency, security, and profitability.
- Payments flexibility: You may also find new opportunities by integrating your solution with payments solutions with omni-channel capabilities.
- Tech stacks that work together: New partnerships and integrations can help businesses create seamless IT environments virtually out of the box.
Also, keep a close watch on consumer trends, such as the continued growth of e-commerce and the shift to mobile commerce, which eMarketer projects will double by 2025 to total $700 billion. Keep in mind that consumer experiences are becoming a differentiator in all vertical markets, carrying more impact than even price. Consumers will drive changes to your clients’ operations—and they’ll need IT solutions to support new processes to stay competitive.
Unfortunately, your software company’s SWOT analysis threats column will likely be filled in 2022. Like your users, you’re also the target of malware and ransomware attacks, specifically supply chain attacks that target you to get to your users.
Additionally, if you sell your software bundled with hardware, the chip shortage and supply chain interruptions may put 2022 sales at risk. Finally, the continued uncertainty over the pandemic and the economy may also represent threats to your business operations and your ability to engage prospects.
Look internally, as well, towards obstacles you haven’t yet overcome with staff, operational efficiency, or your products that make you vulnerable in your market.
Pull your management team into the discussion to identify the specific threats to your organization and list your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to develop a clear picture of your business in 2022.
Insights from a SWOT Analysis for Your Software Company
Once you’ve drawn the grid and filled in the four categories with your top five or so strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you need to brainstorm with your team on how to use that data to guide the best business outcomes.
Keep the SWOT analysis for your software company front of mind as you plan or adapt your budget, use resources, hire or reassign your staff, and work toward a more competitive position. With the most important internal and external factors impacting your business identified, you can develop smart goals and outline paths to achieve them, manage your team more effectively, and navigate current challenges most successfully.