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Adobe Systems SWOT & PESTLE Analysis

ID : 52403453| Sep 2020| 18 pages


Business Sector :Information Technology

Operating Geography :United States, North America, Global

About Adobe Systems :

Adobe was started from the garage of the founder John Warnock in the year 1982. It was founded by John Warnock along with Charles Geschke. The company is headquartered at San Jose, California. Adobe is one of the most well-known and trusted brand in software development. Photoshop, Acrobat Reader, PDF and Adobe creative cloud are some of the most well-known products of Adobe Systems. Adobe has a variety portfolio, they are mostly into multimedia and creativity software’s, with more focus on rich internet application software development. As of November 2018 Adobe employs over 21,300 people around the world. Adobe has a global presence and operates from around 24 countries.

Adobe Systems Revenue :

US $ 9.03 billion - FY ended 30th Nov 2018 (y-o-y growth 23.7% growth)
US $ 7.30 billion - FY 1st Dec 2017 (y-o-y growth 24.7% growth)
US $ 5.85 billion - FY 1st Dec 2016

Ownership / Major shareholders :

The major holding is by institutions. The share holding for the top institutional owners as of 31st March 2018 are as follows:
• Fidelity Management and Research Company – 7.52%
• Vanguard Group INC – 7.26%
• Primecap Management Company – 4.41%
• State Street Corp – 3.68%

Competitive Analysis of Adobe Systems

The SWOT analysis for Adobe Systems is presented below:
1. Product Diversification
2. Globally trusted brand
3. Industry leader in digital signatures
4. Strong presence in digital imaging domain, publishing and text domain
5. Growth of business in APAC region and Middle East region
6. Switch from licensing to subscription
1. Expensive pricing of adobe subscription
2. Flaws in security
3. Severe debt issues
4. Poor customer service
5. Lack of marketing
1. Growth in digital marketing
2. Increased awareness about mobile application in growing markets like India
3. Partnership with Microsoft
4. Collaboration with Nvidia
1. Piracy
2. Cyber security
3. Alternatives for adobe’s prime products
4. Foreign currency fluctuations
5. Open Source Software
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Detailed SWOT Analysis of Adobe Systems



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1. Expensive pricing of adobe subscription: Although Adobe has shifted from its traditional licensing model to subscription model the prices of these subscriptions are considered very costly by many individual users. The monthly subscription price for the complete creative cloud product is $49.99 which is considered very costly in most parts of the world. Although Adobe has monopoly in these areas, many startups as well as established companies like google, Microsoft and many other companies are trying into get into these domains and the pricing of these products are less than Adobe. This can impact the preference of the users.

2. Flaws in security: Some products of adobe are considered vulnerable to security breaches, for example using adobe reader to gain access to personal computers is one of the most notorious ways used by hackers. Also there are many instances in Adobe’s history where there are data breaches and data leakages. A security researcher Mr. Alex Holden, chief information security officer of Hold Security, characterized this Adobe breach, which affected Acrobat, ColdFusion and numerous other applications, as "one of the worst in US history". According to Web analysis from January 1, 2015 to September 30, 2015, Adobe Flash Player comprised eight of the top 10 vulnerabilities leveraged by exploit kits. Other leveraged vulnerabilities affect Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 10 and 11 (CVE-2015-2419) and Microsoft products including Silverlight (CVE-2015-1671). Also a data breach on October 3rd 2013 impacted atleast 38 million users, the attackers obtained access to costumers’ IDs and encrypted passwords, as well as too many inactive Adobe accounts. The company did not make it clear if all the personal information was encrypted, such as email addresses and physical addresses, though data privacy laws in 44 states require this information to be encrypted.

3. Severe debt issues: Adobe is known to acquire a lot of competitor companies. In order to acquire these organizations a lot of free cash is necessary and the same is obtained by Adobe with the help of heavy debts, as of 2017 the interest paid by adobe towards these debts are very high and is eating into shareholders profitability. In 2017 Adobe has paid around 74 million USD as the interest expense and is 3.43% of the operating income as per the annual report and is exposed to a debt of 1881.42 million USD.

4. Poor customer service: Although Adobe has an army of extremely user friendly and advanced products; a lot of customers complain that adobe doesn’t hear to the requests of the customers. Forums are rife with consumers complaining that Adobe is very abysmal at handling timely refunds, product cancellations and upgrade supports. A lot of their products do not support upgrades or are incompatible with new releases. Customer feedback must be taken into account to develop the most popular and profitable products. The lack of robust customer support mechanism is a potent weakness of Adobe systems.

5. Lack of marketing: Although Adobe systems is the market leader in most of the product categories it serve, there are many products in adobe systems arsenal which has wide application and are least known in the market, the best example is the suite of sound editing software provided by Adobe systems is not a well versed name in the market but has wide applications and is quite an holistic offering by Adobe. Adobe Scout is such software which is used for 2D graphics and text rendering, and 3D graphics rendered via the Stage3D application programming interface (API), but the software is not famous and is rarely used in spite of its advanced features. Another such application is Adobe Muse which helps a user to create websites without writing any codes, but the lack of marketing led to the downfall of Muse and is going to be wrapped by 2019.


This section is available only in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.


This section is available only in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.

Major Competitors :

  • SAP
  • Intuit Inc.
  • Dassault Systems SE
  • ServiceNow Inc.
  • Red Hat Inc.
  • AutoDesk Inc.
  • Workday Inc.
  • Square Inc.
  • Palo Alto Networks Inc.
  • Splunk Inc.
  • CheckPoint Software Technologies Ltd.
  • Ansys Inc.
  • Symantec Corp
  • Fortinet Inc.
  • Major Brands :

    • Adobe Acrobat Reader
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • Adobe Pagemaker
    • Adobe Flash
    • Adobe Dreamweaver
    • Portable Document Format (PDF)
    • Flash Video

    Key Business Segments / Diversification :

    Adobe Systems
    Digital Media Digital Marketing Print and Publishing
    Software creation Computer services Computer programming

    Recent Acquisition / Mergers / Alliance / Joint Ventures / Divestitures :

    Open Table Preview
    Business Segment
    Objective/Synergy Achieved
    MagentoSoftware2018Acquisition Adobe acquired Magento for $1,680,000,000. This deal was done to capture a large slice of the e-commerce market and compete with Oracle and Salesforce.
    SayspringVoice Assistant Technology2018 AcquisitionAdobe acquired Sayspring to bolster its voice interface efforts.
    Source: Company website and other reliable sources. The detailed table is available in the Complete Report.
    SWOT & PESTLE (combined)
    Complete Report
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    Adobe Systems SWOT & PESTLE Analysis - SWOT & PESTLE.COM

    SWOT & (2021). Adobe Systems SWOT & PESTLE Analysis - SWOT & [online] Available at: [Accessed 08 Mar, 2021].

    In-text: (SWOT &, 2021)

    Copyrights and Disclaimer

    Adobe Systems SWOT and PESTLE analysis has been conducted by Anupam Bangaru and reviewed by senior analysts from Barakaat Consulting.

    Copyright of Adobe Systems SWOT and PESTLE Analysis is the property of Barakaat Consulting. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions and Disclaimer for usage guidelines.

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