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Shift (3697) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Shift (Japan)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Shift is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, increasing commodity prices, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, there is backlash against globalization, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Shift


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Shift can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Shift, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Shift operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of Shift can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Shift
2. Improving business portfolio management of Shift
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in Japan
4. Making a Computer Services sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Shift




Strengths of Shift | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Shift are -

High brand equity

– Shift has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Shift to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Shift in Computer Services industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Ability to recruit top talent

– Shift is one of the leading players in the Computer Services industry in Japan. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in Japan. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Shift are driving operational speed, building greater agility, and keeping the organization nimble to compete with new competitors. It helps are organization to ideate new ideas, and execute them swiftly in the marketplace.

Highly skilled collaborators

– Shift has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Computer Services industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Shift have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Learning organization

- Shift is a learning organization. It has inculcated three key characters of learning organization in its processes and operations – exploration, creativity, and expansiveness. The work place at Shift is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Shift emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Shift comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Computer Services industry, building diversified operations across different geographies so that disruption in one part of the world doesn’t impact the overall performance of the firm, and integrating the various business operations and processes through its digital transformation drive.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Shift in the Technology sector have low bargaining power. Shift has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Shift to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Training and development

– Shift has one of the best training and development program in Technology industry. The effectiveness of the training programs can be measured in – employees retention, in-house promotion, loyalty, new venture initiation, lack of conflict, and high level of both employees and customer engagement.

Diverse revenue streams

– Shift is present in almost all the verticals within the Computer Services industry. This has provided Shift a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.

Strong track record of project management in the Computer Services industry

– Shift is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.

Digital Transformation in Computer Services industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Shift digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Shift has successfully integrated the four key components of digital transformation – digital integration in processes, digital integration in marketing and customer relationship management, digital integration into the value chain, and using technology to explore new products and market opportunities.






Weaknesses of Shift | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Shift are -

High bargaining power of channel partners in Computer Services industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in Japan, Shift is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the Computer Services industry.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Computer Services industry, Shift needs to come up with a strategy to reduce the workers concern regarding automation. Without a clear strategy, it could lead to disruption and uncertainty within the organization.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Shift is one of the leading players in the Computer Services industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Computer Services industry in last five years.

Employees’ less understanding of Shift strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Shift don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Shift has not been able to do capital spending to the tune of the competition. This has resulted into fewer innovations and company facing stiff competition from both existing competitors and new entrants who are disrupting the Computer Services industry using digital technology.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at Shift, in the dynamic environment of Computer Services industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Shift has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Shift, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Computer Services industry. But it has very little resources allocation to manage the risks emerging from events such as natural disasters, climate change, melting of permafrost, tacking the rise of artificial intelligence, opportunities and threats emerging from commercialization of space etc.

Products dominated business model

– Even though Shift has some of the most successful models in the Computer Services industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. Shift should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Shift needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Computer Services industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Shift can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Shift is planning to shift buying processes online.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Shift is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Shift to provide better information regarding Computer Services products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Shift has borrowed money from the capital market at higher rates. It needs to restructure the interest payment and costs so that it can compete better and improve profitability.




Shift Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Shift are -

Manufacturing automation

– Shift can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Computer Services sector. It can use CAD and 3D printing to build a quick prototype and pilot testing products. It can leverage automation using machine learning and artificial intelligence to do faster production at lowers costs, and it can leverage the growth in satellite and tracking technologies to improve inventory management, transportation, and shipping.

Reconfiguring business model

– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help Shift to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Shift to expand its talent hiring zone. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 20% of the high end workforce in fields such as finance, information technology, can continously work from remote local post Covid-19. This presents a really great opportunity for Shift to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Buying journey improvements

– Shift can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Computer Services industry by using analytics and artificial intelligence. It can provide automated chats to help consumers solve their own problems, provide online suggestions to get maximum out of the products and services, and help consumers to build a community where they can interact with each other to develop new features and uses.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Computer Services industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Shift can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. Shift can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Shift has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Computer Services sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Shift to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Shift to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, Shift is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Shift can utilize new technology in the field of Computer Services industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Shift in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Computer Services industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of Shift has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Computer Services industry. This can help Shift to build a more holistic ecosystem for Shift products in the Computer Services industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

Identify volunteer opportunities

– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. Shift can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Shift to increase its market reach. Shift will be able to reach out to new customers. Secondly 5G will also provide technology framework to build new tools and products that can help more immersive consumer experience and faster consumer journey.

Loyalty marketing

– Shift has focused on building a highly responsive customer relationship management platform. This platform is built on in-house data and driven by analytics and artificial intelligence. The customer analytics can help the organization to fine tune its loyalty marketing efforts, increase the wallet share of the organization, reduce wastage on mainstream advertising spending, build better pricing strategies using personalization, etc.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Computer Services industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Shift in the Computer Services industry. Now Shift can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.




Threats Shift External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Shift are -

Backlash against dominant players

– US Congress and other legislative arms of the government are getting tough on big business especially technology companies. The digital arm of Shift business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Computer Services industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Shift can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Computer Services industry are lowering. It can presents Shift with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Computer Services sector.

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

High level of anxiety and lack of motivation

– the Great Resignation in United States is the sign of broader dissatisfaction among the workforce in United States. Shift needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Computer Services industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Shift demand

– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Computer Services industry and other sectors.

Regulatory challenges

– Shift needs to prepare for regulatory challenges as consumer protection groups and other pressure groups are vigorously advocating for more regulations on big business - to reduce inequality, to create a level playing field, to product data privacy and consumer privacy, to reduce the influence of big money on democratic institutions, etc. This can lead to significant changes in the Computer Services industry regulations.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Shift may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Computer Services sector.

Capital market disruption

– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of Shift.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Shift has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Computer Services industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Shift needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Computer Services sector. According to Mckinsey study top managers believe that the adoption of technology in operations, communications is 20-25 times faster than what they planned in the beginning of 2019.

New competition

– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for Shift in the Computer Services sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Shift can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the Computer Services industry.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Shift can face downward pressure on margins from increasing competition from international players. The international players have stable revenue in their home market and can use those resources to penetrate Shift prominent markets.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Shift Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Shift needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of Shift is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of Shift is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of Shift to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that Shift needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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