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Role of Porter’s Five Forces, Critical Success Factors, and KPIS in Real Life Situation

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As an international student, as soon as I graduate from Wilmington University, I must find a job in a company which will be helping me for temporary worker visa. This would be the first step to achieve my goal to become an Information Security Specialist. More than that, I always have an entrepreneurial spirit. I hope I could be working towards that as well. This paper applies Porter’s Five Forces model to identify and analyze the influence of each factors to achieve my personal goal. Also, the crucial steps that I will be taking to achieve my goal will be elaborated along with evaluation criteria to measure them. The Porter’s Five Forces It was first described by Michael Porter, who is a well-known professor from Harvard University. According to Porter’s Five Forces Model, the competition in the market is regulated and determined by buyers, suppliers, new entrants, and substitutes (Harvard Business School, n.d.). Every year, US needs 40,000 information security analysts. And altogether, almost 200,000 cybersecurity professionals are in demand. If prediction goes well on track, by 2019, two million cybersecurity professional shortage will occur globally (ISACA Prediction, as cited by Kauflin, 2017).

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One can relate this as the buyer or those companies who need to hire cybersecurity professionals can be analyzed as if they are buyer in Porter’s Five Force model. If we see the supply of cybersecurity professional, it is in deficit. Colleges and Universities are producing not enough graduates for the information security market. In fact, cyberattacks are roaring up and skills to combat those attacks are not enough (Parrish, 2017). This uneven scenario between cyberattacks and cybersecurity skills shortage gives the power to the suppliers. The threat of new entrants is also there. Although the market reflects skill shortage in cyberspace job openings, market only accepts skilled/competitive applicants. There is high competition among the new graduates to get a job. So, I would assume that the threat of new entrants is quite high. When analyzing the next force, the threat of substitute, I would say there is minimal threat of alternative degree holders to be eligible to apply for this specialty position and occupy cybersecurity job space. The critical analysis of this cybersecurity job scenario that is relevant to me, according to Porter’s Five Forces, can be done considering employers, new graduates, other cyberspace professionals, and Schools and Universities producing graduates. According to Porter’s Five Forces model, the bargaining power of buyer depends on the number of customers, their sensitivity to price, differences between competitors, and availability of substitutes (Wilmington University, 2015). In this case, employers who need to hire Information Assurance Specialists or graduates have less bargaining power as the cybersecurity specialists are limited in number and cyberthreats are roaring up. Next force is the power of suppliers.

When the supplier power is high, the buyers lose revenue with the existing cost (Wilmington University, 2015, Harvard Business School, n.d.). But with this scenario, Schools and Universities supply cybersecurity graduates who may demand high pay with the employers because of limited number of specialties. However, this may lead companies to incur high expenses and as a result the services they provide may become pricey. The threat of substitute becomes high when there are many alternatives (Harvard Business School, n.d., and Wilmington University, 2015). With this case, the threat of alternatives seems low because in cyberspace, nobody other than cybersecurity specialists and information assurance specialists can outperform them. The threat of new entrant usually is high when there are many competitors to enter in the same market (Wilmington University, 2015). With this specific scenario, it is true that there are many new graduates entering into the market with competitive capabilities. However, the market is not saturated. So, I would categorize the threat of new entrants somewhat in between high and low or mild. One major thing I should not forget to mention here is the change in policy on employment. The buy American hire American policy seems to affect many new graduates like me who are studying here on student visa. Critical Success Factor To achieve my personal goal to become Information Assurance Specialist, I have already started one of the major steps i.e. getting a University degree on Information Assurance. Other major steps to perform to achieve the dream would be getting certifications that would show my abilities to accomplish cybersecurity tasks. One of the certifications that I will be taking is CompTIA Security Certificate – SYO 401. Similarly, I need to learn Linux fully.

These certifications and University Degree are Critical Success Factors (CSFs) which are crucial steps to perform to achieve the goal. CSFs are essential to build competitive advantage (Wilmington University, 2015). Besides certifications and academic degree, there are other areas to improve before entering into the market. Those areas are principles rather than factors and they are derived from Keizen principle, a widely known principle of overcoming unproductiveness and under-productiveness (Garcia, Maldonado, Alvarado, and Rivera, 2014). The basic principles of Kaizen include problems-oriented thinking, continuous improvements on every aspect, open acknowledgement of the problems, and development of self-discipline (Garcia et al., 2014). Key Performance Indicators Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the quantifiable metrices that are used to evaluate progresses towards CSFs (Wilmington University, 2015). In this scenario, one of the KPIs would be the number of security certifications that I will be getting. Another KPI would be number of new skills that I develop every month. Similarly, number of effective conclusions made while confronting problems would be another KPI.

Also, hours spent on learning skills without distractions of mobile screens would be another KPI that ultimately determines productiveness. In general, CSFs are short term goals to achieve the mission. KPIs are metrices to measure whether those short-term goals are in the desired direction on not (Shivaramakrishnan, Delbaere, Zhang, and Bruning, 2010). Establishing CSFs, monitoring the achievement through KPIs is essential to remain ahead of the competition. Porter’s Five Forces, CSF, and KPI In strategy formulation, these three topics come together. Regardless of the type of strategy, personal strategy or group strategy or company strategy, the first thing to analyze is market. Market analysis applying Porter’s Five Forces would give 360-degree view of every aspects of the market. Based on that analysis, one can formulate short term goals and strategies. These short-term goals are Critical Success Factors as success or failure of these goals determines the ultimate result of the project/strategy. KPIs are matrices build to measure the short-term achievements. Based on the KPI result, one can carry out required modifications on the strategy (Wilmington University, 2015). In my scenario, there is some threat of new entrants. To become a competent candidate for the Information Assurance market, after Porter’s Five Force analysis, I have decided to complete certain certifications courses. Obtaining OPT is another critical step towards the goal. Those are CSFs for my goal and as discussed earlier, I will be monitoring my progress by counting number of new skills that I learn every month, number of certificates, and number of new links established with the senior security personnel in the market. Conclusion Porter’s Five Forces analysis is widely accepted tool for effective and accurate analysis of market competition. With the application of this tool, one may find the market scenario and that information can be used to determine critical success factors to achieve the short term and long-term goal. Nonetheless, monitoring those CSFs is required to keep the things on track. Monitoring is done developing customized KPIs based on the requirements.

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