The benefits of conducting a SWOT analysis of an IT department include finding areas to improve and finding areas to maximize. Strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats should be defined and analyzed in every department of the organization and in the organization as a whole. Many companies speak about these things verbally, but that's a waste of time if they don't plan on taking action based on the results. If your company has strengths, then maximize those strengths and likewise, if your company has weaknesses, turn them into strengths.
One of the biggest benefits of SWOT analysis is to identify opportunities for cost savings, increased efficiency and growth. Before identifying what your company is currently doing, first identify where you want to be. For example, "We want our support team to answer clients within 5 hours, no excuses," then figure out what your response rate actually is at this time. Once those two piece of data are calculated it will be easier to create monthly goals that work towards your demands.
Suppose your IT department is strong at building software and it was determined based on the high profitability in that area. Then you determine that IT support is a weakness of your IT department, yet each of the areas equate to 50% of current operations. This data creates an opportunity for growth because the company could shift to 75% building software and 25% support. The balance of IT support can be outsourced to companies with better efficiency in that area or the team could develop a plan of action to improve efficiency in support.
Companies should identify internal and external threats to be prepared to take action if and when things take place. The benefit of this analysis keeps the company aware of competition and identifies how to turn threats into goals.
The benefits of SWOT analysis are clear, become more efficient by identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. First, identify opportunities and threats and turn them into strengths, then maximize current strengths, improve upon weaknesses. It may seem like the grass is always green on the other side of the fence, however take a better look over that fence to see what kind of fertilizer your neighbor is using so that you can turn that threat into a strength of your own.
Brown, C. (et al) (2012). Managing Information Technology. 7th ed. Pearson. Saddle River, N.J.
SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Retrieved from: