International Business Machine (IBM) Corporation is a multinational technology company based in New York, that provides financial solutions, consultancy and enterprise software developments. IBM has an estimated value of $31.786 billion. SWOT analysis is a strategic tool that shows a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
These are factors that increases a company’s performance. The key strengths within IBM are:
- Economies of scale.
IBM enjoys large economies of scales due to the company’s global presence which acts as advantage over its competitors. Large economies of scale results to advantages like reduced costs of advertising and marketing, distributions and research and development.
- Skilled technical expertise
IBM has a pool of highly skilled manpower with different knowledge and skills who work together towards making innovations and other developments in the industry.
- Efficient operations and production
Smooth and efficient operations and production methods has helped IBM to save on operational and production costs. These reduced costs have helped the company to increase its profitability.
- High brand value
IBM is one the most well-established technological brands in the world. High brand value helps IBM to retain customer’s loyalty. The brand value also helps it to acquire new customers’ easily.
These are factors that limits IBM’s performance. These are:
- Poor communication with clients
Poor communication with clients makes it difficult for IBM to set some specific customers specifications or requirements. This makes it difficult for the company to fulfill the clients’ desires in a satisfactory manner.
In the recent past, IBM has suffered from various legal battles that have been filed against them by both clients and competitors which has suffered from high legal costs. Some of the lawsuits that IBM has battle are; Lusacell versus IBM Mexico and Bridgestone America versus IBM. Such lawsuits create a negative image on the brand.
These are external factors which can favor growth of IBM. These includes;
- Increased demand of cloud- based services.
Cloud computing technology is rapidly increasing. This provides a good opportunity for IBM to expand its operations in order to meets the increased market demand of its services thus resulting to an increase in future revenue.
IBM has an opportunity of penetrating into new markets by diversifying their products in the industry. This will help in establishing new market niches. The company can rely on its internal strengths like its rich financial background by establishing possible companies that it can merge or form alliances that will help it penetrate the new markets.
These are strategic factors that restricts or threatens IBM’s growth. Some of the threats that IBM faces are:
Cybercrimes such a hacking, denial of service, malware has been rampant in the recent past. This has really affected the privacy and security of the client’s documents. Increases cybercrimes will threaten the future growth of IBM.
- Stiff competition
The technology industry is a very competitive platform due to constant innovations that may render some services redundant. Some of the main competitors of IBM are; oracle services, tata consultancy services and HP systems. IBM can only survive in this competitive market if embraces creativity and innovations before its competitors.
IBM has high chances of facing technological risks. These are risks that are brought about by constant changes in technology or processes which a company uses that depends on technology. However, there are various ways through which IBM can respond to external forces that threaten its operations and existence. In order to curb stiff competition, IBM should invest and heavily on innovations. This will help it to have a competitive advantage over its rivals by developing new products into the market. IBM can also expand its operations by acquiring small upcoming companies so as to control the market share. IBM should also focus on improving their customer service so that they can be able to maintain the customers loyalty. IBM should adopt a defensive marketing strategy that will help it maintain its market share because its one of the leading firms in the industry. This strategy is cheap and more effective.
IBM (2016). About IBM. Available at: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/us/en/
Morphy, E. (2012). IBM’s Weakness Rattles Tech Sector. Ecommerce Times. Available at: http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/
Interbrand (2012). Best Global Brands 2012. Available at: http://www.interbrand.com/en/best-global-brands/2012/
Ovidijus (2013). Swot Analysis of IBM. Strategic Management Insight Available at: https://www.strategicmanagementinsight.com/swot-analyses/ibm-swot-analysis.html
Aviation Accident Reports
Some of the aviation accidents of recent times are that involving an Agusta S.p.A. A-109E helicopter, N606SP, which occurred near Santa Fe, New Mexico and that involving a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, N911AA, which occurred near Talkeetna, Alaska. The focus has since been on the similarities and differences of error chains in the two accidents and what the safety management systems (SMS) could have done to prevent them.
Several factors contributed to the error chains of the accident involving an Agusta S.p.A. A-109E helicopter, N606SP, which occurred near Santa Fe, New Mexico, on June 9, 2009. One of the factors is that the pilot went ahead and accepted a search and rescue mission that involved a lost hiker in the local mountains that had experienced snowfall (National Transportation Safety Board, 2011). The pilot’s acceptance of the mission was despite the adverse weather conditions at the time as had been communicated to him by the Meteorological Aerodrome Report (METAR). In METAR’s report, there were indications of low visibility and ending daylight time believed to have been significant risks to the flight. Another factor was the pilot’s belief or thought that given the constant communication between the Search and Rescue ground personnel and the hiker that would see the hiker disclose the location, the mission as a simple locate-and-rescue task. The pilot believed that he would complete the mission before further deterioration of weather conditions and that everything would be done with before sundown. Based on these assumptions, the pilot failed to carry along extra gears that were necessary for the imminent harsh conditions (National Transportation Safety Board, 2011). Also, there was the failure on the part of the pilot to conduct an adequate risk assessment once the hiker had been located, retrieved, and brought back to the helicopter. A risk assessment would have given him the knowledge of the low visibility and other harsh weather conditions that posed the risk of crashing. It is evident that with no risk assessment performed, the pilot made the wrong decision to proceed with the take-off rather than wait for better and manageable conditions.
The above error chains are similar to those of the March 30, 2013 aviation accident that involved the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) Eurocopter AS350 helicopter. In the case of the Eurocopter, the pilot proceeded to accept the mission notwithstanding reports from the Terminal Aerodrome Forecasting (TAF) and METAR about harsh weather conditions. The reports argued that rain showers and snow were imminent and these could compromise visibility thereby threatening the safety of the flight. As seen in the first aviation accident, the second pilot believed that it would be a simple rescue mission given his experience with previous rescue missions that were successful and where adverse weather conditions had not hampered his objectives (National Transportation Safety Board, 2014). Another factor for the incident was the DPS’s failure to come up with and define safety policies and the lack of risk assessment that would have allowed the examination of potential risks facing the flight. Third, there was the lack of the right flight equipment coupled with inadequate training on the use of equipment such as the Night Visual Goggles (NVGs), instrument meteorological conditions, as well as how to operate on instrument meteorological conditions (National Transportation Safety Board, 2014). It was a requirement for the pilot to use NVGs because of the no light conditions at hand, but this was hampered by the pilot’s lack of training on the use of NVGs.
There are notable differences between the error chains in the two accidents. It can be seen that there was a lapse in judgment for the New Mexico State Police pilot, which was attributed to factors such as fatigue owing to the minimal or no sleep (National Transportation Safety Board, 2011). On the other hand, the lapse in judgment for the Alaska DPS was not attributed to fatigue but primarily revolved around factors such as the lack of risk assessment and inadequate pilot training (National Transportation Safety Board, 2014). Some of the factors that led to both accidents were beyond the control of the pilots. The beyond control factor for the Alaska DPS pilot was the punitive culture of Alaska DPS that focused more on their pilot’s palpability rather than the identification of risk factors and countermeasures. For the New Mexico State Police pilot, the beyond control factor was the lack of management programs aimed at managing the pilots’ fatigue as well as the lack of adequate equipment to facilitate communication between the ground SAR and the pilots to enable speedy location of victims.
Focusing on the Alaska DPS accident, it would have been prevented in the event the DPS carried out the installation of mandatory policies whereby the pilots would be required to conduct risk assessments aimed at establishing the best weather conditions for flying before acceptance of their rescue missions (Friend & Friend, 2015). With such policies in place, the pilots would have been determined that the weather conditions at the time were contrary to requirements, and thus, they would have been prohibited from accepting or proceeding with their rescue missions until the moment when the weather condition became better and met the required conditions.
Friend, M. A., & Friend, K. S. (2015, January). Aviation Safety Management System (SMS): Applications for General Industry. In ASSE Professional Development Conference and Exposition. American Society of Safety Engineers. Retrieved from https://www.onepetro.org/conference-paper/ASSE-15-599
National Transportation Safety Board (2011). Crash After Encounter with Instrument Meteorological Conditions During Takeoff from Remote Landing Site, New Mexico State Police Agusta S.p.A. A-109E, N606SP, Near Santa Fe, New Mexico, June 9, 2009. Aircraft Accident Report NTSB/AAR-11/04. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/AAR1104.pdf
National Transportation Safety Board (2014). Crash Following Encounter with Instrument Meteorological Conditions After Departure from Remote Landing Site, Alaska Department of Public Safety, Eurocopter AS350 B3, N911AA, Talkeetna, Alaska, March 30, 2013. Aircraft Accident Report NTSB/AAR-14/03. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/AAR1403.pdf