Introduction to SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Qualys (United States)
Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Qualys is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, technology disruption, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, there is backlash against globalization, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, wage bills are increasing, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%,
supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , increasing commodity prices, etc
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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Qualys
SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Qualys can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Qualys, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Qualys 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 Qualys can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Qualys
2. Improving business portfolio management of Qualys
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in United States
4. Making a Software & Programming sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Qualys
Strengths of Qualys | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The strengths of Qualys are -
High switching costs
– The high switching costs that Qualys has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.
High brand equity
– Qualys has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Qualys to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.
Sustainable margins compare to other players in Software & Programming industry
– Qualys has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Qualys to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Software & Programming industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Qualys to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.
Highly skilled collaborators
– Qualys has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Software & Programming industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Qualys have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.
– Qualys is putting a lot of focus on utilizing the power of analytics in business decision making. This has put it among the leading players in the Software & Programming industry. The technology infrastructure of United States is also helping it to harness the power of analytics for – marketing optimization, demand forecasting, customer relationship management, inventory management, information sharing across the value chain etc.
Effective Research and Development (R&D)
– Qualys has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Qualys staying ahead in the Software & Programming industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.
Innovation driven organization
– Qualys is one of the most innovative firm in Software & Programming sector.
Diverse revenue streams
– Qualys is present in almost all the verticals within the Software & Programming industry. This has provided Qualys 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.
Cross disciplinary teams
– Horizontal connected teams at the Qualys 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.
Superior customer experience
– The customer experience strategy of Qualys in Software & Programming industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.
Ability to recruit top talent
– Qualys is one of the leading players in the Software & Programming industry in United States. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in United States. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.
Successful track record of launching new products
– Qualys has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Qualys has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.
Weaknesses of Qualys | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of Qualys are -
Slow to strategic competitive environment developments
– As Qualys is one of the leading players in the Software & Programming industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Software & Programming industry in last five years.
Slow to harness new channels of communication
– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Qualys is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Qualys to provide better information regarding Software & Programming products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.
High bargaining power of channel partners in Software & Programming industry
– because of the regulatory requirements in United States, Qualys 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 Software & Programming industry.
Low market penetration in new markets
– Outside its home market of United States, Qualys needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.
Employees’ less understanding of Qualys strategy
– From the outside it seems that the employees of Qualys 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.
High operating costs
– Compare to the competitors, Qualys has high operating costs in the Software & Programming industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Qualys lucrative customers.
High cash cycle compare to competitors
Qualys has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Software & Programming industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.
Capital Spending Reduction
– Even during the low interest decade, Qualys 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 Software & Programming industry using digital technology.
Need for greater diversity
– Qualys has taken concrete steps on diversity, equity, and inclusion. But the efforts so far has resulted in limited success. It needs to expand the recruitment and selection process to hire more people from the minorities and underprivileged background.
Ability to respond to the competition
– As the decision making is very deliberative at Qualys, in the dynamic environment of Software & Programming industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Qualys has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.
Skills based hiring in Software & Programming industry
– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Qualys has created an environment where the organization is dominated by functional specialists rather than management generalist. This has resulted into product oriented approach rather than marketing oriented approach or consumers oriented approach.
Qualys Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of Qualys are -
Creating value in data economy
– The success of analytics program of Qualys has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Software & Programming industry. This can help Qualys to build a more holistic ecosystem for Qualys products in the Software & Programming 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. Qualys can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.
Leveraging digital technologies
– Qualys can leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production process, customer analytics to get better insights into consumer behavior, realtime digital dashboards to get better sales tracking, logistics and transportation, product tracking, etc.
Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities
– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Qualys 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 Qualys to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.
Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19
– consumer behavior has changed in the Software & Programming industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Qualys 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. Qualys 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.
Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Software & Programming industry
– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Qualys in the Software & Programming industry. Now Qualys can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.
Lowering marketing communication costs
– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Qualys in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Software & Programming industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.
Buying journey improvements
– Qualys can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Software & Programming 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.
Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains
– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Qualys can build a diversified supply chain model across various countries in - South East Asia, India, and other parts of the world. This reconfiguration of global supply chain can help Qualys to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.
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 Qualys 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.
Learning at scale
– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Qualys to conduct training and development for its employees across the world. This will result in not only reducing the cost of training but also help employees in different part of the world to integrate with the headquarter work culture, ethos, and standards.
Redefining models of collaboration and team work
– As explained in the weaknesses section, Qualys is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Qualys can utilize new technology in the field of Software & Programming industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.
Reforming the budgeting process
- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Qualys can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.
Threats Qualys External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of Qualys are -
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. Qualys needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Software & Programming industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.
Consumer confidence and its impact on Qualys 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 Software & Programming industry and other sectors.
– 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 Qualys in the Software & Programming sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.
– Qualys needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. Qualys can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Software & Programming industry.
High dependence on third party suppliers
– Qualys high dependence on third party suppliers can disrupt its processes and delivery mechanism. For example -the current troubles of car makers because of chip shortage is because the chip companies started producing chips for electronic companies rather than car manufacturers.
Stagnating economy with rate increase
– Qualys 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 Software & Programming industry.
Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins
– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Qualys 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 Qualys prominent markets.
Easy access to finance
– Easy access to finance in Software & Programming industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Qualys can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.
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 Qualys.
Shortening product life cycle
– it is one of the major threat that Qualys is facing in Software & Programming sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.
Learning curve for new practices
– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Qualys may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Software & Programming sector.
Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution
– Qualys has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Software & Programming industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Qualys needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Software & Programming 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.
Barriers of entry lowering
– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Software & Programming industry are lowering. It can presents Qualys with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Software & Programming sector.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of Qualys Template, Example
Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Qualys 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 Qualys 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 Qualys 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 Qualys 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 Qualys needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.