SWOT analysis is a marketing technique used by organizations to understand its external and internal environments. SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The first two is related to the internal environment of an organization while the other two is concerned with its external environment (Stone & Jacobs 2001, p. 35).
The quality and impact of information systems with regard to its benefits to both the company and its customers can be looked at according to four perspectives (Symons, 1991, p. 181). These four perspectives are determinist, mechanic, systems, and inter-actionist. In a deterministic perspective, the hardware and software is seen simply as a technological advantage that can speed up routine tasks. This implies that systems were solely used by employees to work faster by automating the different tasks within an organization. There is bound to be widespread fear that it will bring about large scale unemployment through automation of jobs.
The mechanistic perspective views an IT/IS system as a set of machines that will make its operations more efficient. It will bring about reliability and accuracy to different levels of operations and tasks. The next perspective views the modern outlook that organizations are dynamic systems made up of people. Hence an IT/IS system should reflect the proved cliché that the ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. Such a system will more than justify an investment in hardware and software in terms of efficiency and benefit to both the company and its customers. The final inter-actionist perspective reflects the current view of the efficacy of an efficient IT/IS system. It takes into account the concept of human computer interaction (HCI). (Hassan 2008, p. 230). This should ensure that an IT/IS system should be interactive with active participation of all the stakeholders which includes customers. Such a