Vision, Mission, and Change: Microsoft’s Acquisition of CloudKnox Security

Subject: Case Studies
Pages: 2
Words: 589
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Master

Introduction

Mission and vision are integral components of strategic management that outline what the company means to achieve and how it intends to achieve it. As such, they can be crucial when a company undergoes organizational change, be it that merger, acquisition, growth, or decline. Microsoft’s recent acquisition of CloudKnox Security may serve as an example of a reasonably successful change, but the company’s vision is not particularly crucial for it due to how abstract and overreaching it is.

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Main body

Generally speaking, a vision is a plan to produce the specific, meaningful contribution a given company aims to provide for society. While the mission “describes what the company wants to achieve” in the long run, the vision offers a general roadmap to actually arising at this desired point (Kreutzer, 2018, p. 33). As such, vision is inextricably linked to strategic goals, which essentially refer to a clarification of vision and offer concrete descriptions of future situations that need to be achieved to fulfill the mission (Kreutzer, 2018).

Crafting an organizational vision requires identifying core values and posing questions on where and how the organization means to be in the long run. Among other things, a well-formulated vision can help organizational change by creating a shared understanding of what needs to be done. Stouten et al. (2018) point out that vision is a crucial component of organizational change in many management theories discussing the subject. Alternatively, an ineffective vision can hinder change, especially if it is too narrow and specific, too broad, or unrelated to the ongoing change.

Microsoft’s recent acquisition of CloudKnox Security is a current example of organizational change. CloudKnox Security is a company focused on cybersecurity as related to cloud management, and Microsoft links the acquisition to the intent to “deliver secure and seamless experiences” to the clients (Chik, 2021). Microsoft formulates its vision as follows: “to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential” (Gregory, 2019).

In this regard, one may say that vision is related to organizational change because it is intended to provide the clients with a more secure and, hence, more helpful experience in terms of using digital clouds. However, assuming that vision is a meaningful variable, in this case, would mean going too far. Helping realize one’s potential is such a broad and vague statement that virtually any change that is intended to bring at least a marginally positive effect would fall under it.

The news statement of the acquisition lists the potential benefits in general terms but does not delineate the short-term goals. The article points out that acquiring CloudKnox Security allows providing customers “with granular visibility, continuous monitoring and automated remediation for hybrid and multi-cloud permissions” (Chik, 2021). However, a change leader for an organization would do well to outline several concrete short-term goals to consolidate change in its early phase and reinforce its implementation (Stouten et al., 2018). Combined with the fact that the company’s vision is way too general, it may signal that Microsoft did not work out this organizational change exceptionally well.

Summary

To summarize, vision can be crucial for organizational change, but it has to be specific enough to serve as a reference point. In the case of Microsoft’s acquisition of CloudKnox Security, the company’s vision is so broad that almost anything can fall under its scope, which means it allows devising virtually any strategy. While the acquisition is linked to the vision, the change leader in charge could also outline short-term goals designed to consolidate and reinforce the change in question.

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References

Chik, J. (2021). Microsoft acquires CloudKnox Security to offer unified privileged access and cloud entitlement management. Microsoft. Web.

Gregory, L. (2018). Microsoft’s mission statement & vision statement (an analysis). Panmore Institute. Web.

Kreutzer, R. T. (2018). Toolbox for marketing and management: Creative concepts, forecasting methods, and analytical instruments. Springer.

Stouten, J., Rousseau, D. M., & Cremer, D. (2018). Successful organizational change: Integrating management practice and scholarly literatures. Academy of Management Annals, 12(2), 752-788.