Most Information workers use spreadsheets at work to play with numbers. Microsoft is the undisputed leader in desktop and server based spreadsheet software. For most people spreadsheet simply means Microsoft Excel. Microsoft Excel is also available on Mobile devices and given the growth of mobile device use, I think Excel will live forever.
However, using Excel for business purposes has its limits. You can use Excel for all sorts of number crunching. You can even load millions of rows of data with the latest versions and Power Pivot. You can have concurrent editing, sharing, syncing to cloud, etc. But, the mere fact that Excel spreadsheets are open to its users for virtually all kinds of manipulation and they are accessible every where brings its own set of problems. Although Excel services or “Excel on server” is aimed to solve some of these issues, Excel usage stops at a point when your business use becomes seriously multi-user.
This is the point where Relational databases and applications come to the rescue. They are built to solve these particular issues and are really the next step in the evolution of Excel usage. This is the point where you and your business graduates from workbooks and enter into the brave world of applications. This does not mean you are completely ignoring or stopping to use spreadsheets. The funny thing is with each project we deliver and move users from Excel to process applications, one of the feature requests we get is “Can we get it to export data into Excel? ” 🙂 So, yes, Excel is not going away. It has wonderful charts and unparalleled levels of interactivity. But, the logic and rules around how business is conducted and the process that should be followed to the tee to get things done requires more than just Excel.
I think businesses can achieve excellence only when they automate their business processes using carefully crafted applications. These applications don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact they don’t. We have delivered plenty of solutions cost effectively and delivered over and above the projected ROI calculations for these applications.
You can always track your leads and opportunities using a spreadsheet. But, you cannot scale your growing sales force to many by just using Excel. Excellence comes with mass usage of systematised processes. Apps are the answer. Want to learn more? Talk to us via firstname.lastname@example.org