Google’s Strategy Plan Analysis
Google Inc. is one of the largest and most powerful technology companies dealing with internet related products and services. Although the company started from a humble beginning, it has grown significantly, and developed some of the most convenient applications and online services that we use today. These applications include Gmail, Google Earth, Google Chats, and Google Maps among others. The company has managed to win the competition against former giant corporations such as Yahoo, Alta Vista and Microsoft. The current paper presents a strategic plan for this giant technology company for a period of five years starting from 2014. Four strategic goals discussed in this paper include; to become the primary interface of the world, to improve the quality and access to the internet, to “own the home” and to control more of the purchase cycle. By becoming the primary interface of the world, the company plans to be the main choice in all internet and non-internet related operations of our daily living. In terms of “owning the home” the company plans to have gadgets and appliances that will be used in all aspects of living, at home and even at the workplace. By controlling more of the purchase cycle, Google plans to influence the commercial activities’ patterns of its customers and increase its share of the financial pie by indulging more into the commercial world. Improvement of the quality and access to the internet will be the key goal of the company’s expansion and efficiency as most of its activities require reliable and convenient internet connections.
The Most Dominant Search Tool
The most dominant search tool on the web today is Google; a company that was born in 1998 in a garage, in the minds of Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Google has seen a rapid and steady growth and success story from nothing to becoming the dominant search engine in less than 8 years. Today, Google Inc. is the largest multinational company that specializes in various internet-based products and services. These products and services include software, online advertising technologies, cloud computing and search services among others. The company has several subsidiary companies such as YouTube, DoubleClick, Songza and feedBurner. On the 10th of August 2015, Google announced the reorganization of its interests as a holding company, and became the leading subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. After the restructuring process Google became the umbrella company for the entire Alphabet’s internet interest (Google).
Over the years, Google has made significant strides in the world of internet related products and services, creating some of the most widely used online services that had previously not been thought of. These products and services include a combination of search engine options, photo and file sharing platforms, Google maps, operating systems and applications that run in a vast array of devices among many other life changing inventions and ideas. It is evident that Google made these strides in the contemporary world owing brilliant ideas and strategic planning and effective implementation of such strategies. This paper seeks to explore Google’s strategic plan, paying attention to its mission and vision, assets, competitiveness, challenges and opportunities, and its strategic goals.
Mission and Vision Statements
Since 1998, Google has grown according to the guidelines provided in its Mission and Vision statement, which has led it to its current position as one of the most powerful and valuable brands over the globe. Its Mission statement outlines the strategies of business, such as the creation of new products and services. It is focused on innovation and excellence. Furthermore, Google’s Vision statement pushes the company to achieve new heights through rapid innovation and excellence. The company’s success can be attributed to the company’s efforts to fulfill their Mission and Vision statements.
Google’s Vision statement is “to provide access to the world’s information in one click.” This vision statement reflects the nature of the company’s business. The most popular product of Google is the search engine service, which provides easy access to information to and from people around the world. There are three fundamental variables in this Vision statement; accessibility, world’s information and one click. The company gets world’s information by searching webpages. It then maintains databases that contain the indexes of these webpages. Finally, the firm fulfils the accessibility variable by providing its search engine services to all people around the world with access to the worldwide web. The one click component here signifies the ease of access to information to anyone and anywhere on the planet.
Google’s Mission statement is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Since its foundation, the company has focused on creating proprietary algorithms that maximize its effectiveness and ensure that people have access to the information they need. The Mission Statement has four variables; world’s information, organization, universal accessibility and usefulness. The company effectively follows its Mission and Vision statements by searching webpages, and organizing the information through its proprietary algorithm. It then provides universal accessibility to this information through their search engine services available worldwide.
Summary of Internal Assets Assessment
The main stakeholders of Google include; investors, users, employees, advertisers and developers. Google provides services to more than 12 billion users every month and this translates to more than 70 percent of the world searches. In the US, Google has more than 89 percent of the mobile search market. This is a huge clientele base and the strategies are aimed at keeping them happy and satisfied. Google has more than 53,600 full time employees and generates about 66 billion dollars in revenue globally (Statista). Their guiding organizational value and culture focus on the user, and they believe in doing something “really well.” The company also believes in fast internet connections and “democracy” on the web. The provision of fast online services and the ability to choose from an assortment of available services help Google to achieve their mission, and it is evident they have become the largest online goods and service provider among the available. Google has achieved these milestones by providing valuable and organized online services at convenient level that is imperfectly imitable, like in mobile gadgets and devices (Jurevicius).
Summary of External Environment Factors
Google’s external factors are mainly based on technological changes, and they serve either as opportunities or threats to the company. The outlook for the industry and market is very promising, especially if the company will be able emphasize its strengths and work to seal its weak points. The most significant political factors among Google’s external environmental factors include; globalization, stable political climate in major markets and state-sponsored online companies that pose a threat. These political factors in Google’s external environment are mainly opportunities. Globalization increases the demand for online advertising. The stable political climate in major markets minimizes obstacles to the firm’s expansion. Economic factors that will impact Google include rapid economic growth of developing countries and continued economic stability in major markets. These factors present an opportunity for growth as they create a momentum that can be exploited by the company for global expansion. As for social and cultural factors, there is a rising diversity of users in today’s world, which presents an opportunity, and as noted, the increase in the use of social media advertising poses a threat to Google’s main revenue producer. Technological factors include the significantly rising growth rates of internet access in developing nations and rapid adoption of mobile gadgets and devices globally. An improvement on the available mobile-friendliness of available online products and creation of new ones to meet changes in global markets will boost the company’s growth.
Despite the fact that Google generates most of its income online, the company is subject to ecological and environmental factors. The increasing awareness, spread of environmentalism, and growing interests in sustainable businesses present an opportunity for Google to integrate these factors into its product and service delivery. This will improve customer responses as most people perceive environmentalism and sustainability in a very positive way. Legal factors have a significant influence on the operations of the company. The increased regulations on online privacy and intellectual property rights give a chance to Google to improve its privacy measures and protect its clients, in addition to discouraging the violation of intellectual property rights. This will give clients a sense of security and they will be happy with Google’s online services. These factors present an opportunity for the company to achieve its vision and strategy, which will be faced with a few challenges, although the company has a potential to overcome these threats and accomplish its mission and vision (Google).
Assessment of Industry Competitiveness
Google is well suited to compete with companies that offer similar goods and services. With the ever changing and rising diversity of internet users, tapping this opportunity will give Google a competitive advantage over potential rivals. There is reported an increase in social media usage, which can be perceived as a threat as some social media websites like Facebook are being used for advertising. However, Google still has an advantage, since its ads are found in different websites providing different kinds of information to a wide variety of clientele.
Based on Porter’s Five Forces analysis on Google, competitive rivalry exerts a significant force on the company. Threats of substitution and new entries are moderate considerations to the business industry environment. The bargaining powers of both suppliers and buyers are minimally significant factors, and Google should focus on addressing the strong forces of competition. The diverse set of products comes with a diverse set of competitors, and the only significant threat is the low switching cost to other similar companies (Smithson).
Summary of Opportunities and Identified Key Challenges
There are numerous opportunities that can be a boost to Google if they are exploited to their full potential. These include
- The driverless car that Google is working on could significantly improve Google’s income in addition to bringing convenience in the society, especially for people who are unable to drive.
- Google’s Nest is developing “the internet of things.” This is a low level Operating System(OS) meant to run on a variety of devices, creating a communication layer like a weave that will allow devices with low level OS to communicate, making it easy to control them.
- Robotics projects. Google owns several robotics projects that create a variety of robots ranging from robotic dogs to disaster response robots.
- Other Moonshot projects in their development stages, such as project Loon and Project Glass.
There are also key challenges faced by Google today, and moving into the future. These include;
- Overdependence on search. Today, more than 80 percent of the profits made by Google are generated from search. This shows that they are heavily dependent on search services, indicating that if the search service collapses, the company will face extreme difficulties in raising revenues.
- State-sponsored online companies pose a threat to Google, as in the case of the Chinese government’s control of large firms in China.
Google has a strategic plan to be effected in the course of five years starting from 2014. This plan consists of four strategic goals.
To become the primary interface of the world.
In our day-to-day activities, we connect, create and discover, and we use a bunch of tools that primarily make our lives better. Although these tools have constantly changed over the years, they are a fundamental part of who we are. The primary strategy of Google here is to become the ultimate life tool, to be the primary lenses between the customer and everything else, to be the link between a person and the world around him or her. There is power and beauty in connecting the things that are used to shape the world around us.
Google seeks to provide the option to live almost every aspect of our daily lives through its interface. This strategy will tighten their hold on search in addition to opening up new revenue models. For instance, a Google made gadget wakes a person up in the morning, he or she runs on a Google Glass enabled treadmill, and then a self-driving car takes that person to work. At work, the person spends the entire day using Google business applications on Google devices, ordering food, chatting with family and friends on same devices, and then watches TV shows in the evening when he or she gets home (Wilson).
To improve the quality and access to the internet.
Google’s operations, growth and the speed of innovation are closely related to and dependent on widely available and fast internet connections. Today, Google is exploring all possible pathways to achieve this goal. Google fiber will continuously rollout to different areas around the globe, putting pressure on other similar service providers to deliver cheaper and faster services. This strategy can also be implemented within the wireless industry, carrying out small implementations to meet customer demands while staying away from government watchdogs. In the near future, Google will facilitate more high speed Wi-Fi networks similar to the one in Chelsea, New York, in public transportation and neighborhoods to make more partnerships between Google and companies with similar visions. Projects like Loon will create additional connectivity, aiming at connecting more than 50% of the world’s population that is not yet connected by 2018 (Wilson).
To “own the home”
The house or home is one of the main focuses of Google’s strategic plan. A home provides a self-contained environment that gives opportunities for technological innovation, especially when it comes to connectivity, automation and content. Google’s acquisition of Nest puts the company in a leading position to build on smoke alarms and digital thermostats to conquer the emerging connected home and security market. These markets are coveted by cable and telecommunication companies, but Google has an upper hand when it uses central development platforms such as Android (Wilson). Content is the main aspect of Google’s strategy for the home. Competitive TV products in specific Google Fiber Areas and Chromecast are turning into solid content platforms, with access to contents such as NFL among other deals to expand its Google Play service. New content owners are continuously brought to YouTube Platform in paid YouTube channels, generating more revenues. Automation is also on the strategic plan, with companies like Boston Dynamics aimed to create robots that will help out in executing household chores.
To control more of the purchase cycle.
Currently, Google only enjoys a small portion of the commerce pie, which they seek to increase significantly by 2018. Google plans to use online ads to influence different aspects of products purchased. For instance, they seek to connect online advertisement to retail shops and stores by sending taxi to pick the customer for free and take them to the store to purchase the item they clicked on an advertisement online. Google is also expanding product comparison tools by offering the “recent press” around Google’s Flight Search evolution. They also plan to add purchasing functions in the main content platforms such as YouTube, Chromecast and Glass. Possible moves to increase their percent of the purchase cycle in the near future will include acquisition of more companies with unique yet fundamental products and services (Wilson).
SMART Objectives for Each Strategic Goal
To become the primary interface of the world.
- To become the primary choice of connection by 2020
- To create gadgets and devices that will enhance convenience and connectivity in day-to-day life
- To provide primary and secondary connections between gadgets in the office
To improve the quality and access to the internet.
- To provide fast internet connections with other partners in major cities by 2022.
- To expand Google Fiber network by 150 percent in the next five years.
- To provide low cost fast internet connections in 100 cities in the developing countries that will exhibit potential for growth by 2022.
To “own the home”
- To set up content streaming services including big league games like the NFL
- To establish and maintain a strong customer base for Nest’s products, like smoke alarms and thermostats among other.
- To provide affordable “home office” working packages for users in major cities in the next two years.
To control more of the purchase cycle.
- To increase the share of purchase cycle by 10 percent in every financial year until 2022
- To use online advertisements to market goods and services offered by Google and its subsidiaries in order to increase revenue by 15-20 percent by 2018
- To roll out more products and services that are market oriented in the next financial year.
Google is more than just a search engine as it specializes in technology and innovation. The search engine serves as a window to all sorts of webpages, videos, clouding books and music. The company’s main income is generated by an advertising program called AdWords. The program uses Keyword-based ads that are sold to companies. For instance, if one sells spectacles and sunglasses, they bid against other similar dealers for the highest place in the order at which the search results appear to customers (Studymarketing.org, n.d.).
The company will invest available resources in implementing plans while paying attention to the small details, especially regarding customer preferences and satisfaction. Google is also willing to invest significant amount of resources to smaller firms with the capacity and the knowhow to create revolutionary gadgets, inventions and services. Other companies with similar interests that are looking for strong, both short and long-term partnership with Google will be highly considered. The rolling out of better quality and access to the internet, especially in the developing world will open up opportunities to exploit numerous untapped potential for the numerous products and services offered by Google.
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Human Resources Plan
One of the main human resource tricks by Google is to make employees happy and satisfied. A team of experts will be hired regularly to test employees and gather information on how to improve products and service provision to customers. Keen attention is to be paid to the small things that have a great impact, such as the welfare of employees, namely health, and ensuring minimal wastage of precious resources such as time. Data will be used to establish the way of thinking among employees, and how to better manage the operations of the company.
There is a concerted financial plan put in place that ensures the growth of revenues in an accelerating pace. The available resources will be invested in key areas that exhibit maximum effectiveness in managing costs and generating revenues. Resources will be made available to new expansion projects, innovations and developments that show great potential for growth. A team of experts will be working round the clock to forecast possible future financial results and determine the best pathways to invest the company’s resources along with the pursuit of the short and long-term goals.
Diversification will be a key goal for the company going into the future. Generating income from different angles will shield the company from collapsing. However, in case of any unfortunate occurrence and if Google is adversely affected, the company has set aside enough resources to raise the company back to its feet and start operations again. The company has agreements with other financial institutions that will ensure provision of enough resources to fund the company back to operation in case of a disaster.