Retirement Party for…Your Spreadsheets Part 1 of 2

November 17th, 2014

Is it time to trade in your spreadsheets for a web-based enterprise solution?


Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President of Operations and CTO at SafeSourcing.

It is no secret that when an organization gets comfortable with a tool or process that works for them, that they are very hesitant to move away from it.  The problem with this thought process is that many times the disadvantages and potential risks that can come with these tools and processes sneak up on an organization leaving them vulnerable without them even knowing it. 

This is especially true with spreadsheets because companies have begun to take this tool that they feel comfortable with and use it in ways it is not optimized for.  Today we will be looking at a few of the advantages for moving away from spreadsheets and towards stable enterprise online solutions.

Security – Spreadsheets have become a popular tool because they make many jobs and tasks easier to track and report on.  Some organizations have even done a good job leveraging the capability to secure a spreadsheet with a password.  Where that becomes a problem, however, is when an individual just needs to restrict access to a portion of the data.  Spreadsheets do not offer this in the same way an online solution can.  With spreadsheets it is an all or nothing option, whereas with an online tool, access can not only be restricted to portions of the data but also down to individual groups and users for certain areas.   This gives an organization ultimate control of who sees and can manipulate the data.

Accessibility – Accessible data is one of the biggest complaints with projects and processes within an organization especially when that data is contained in a spreadsheet.  With thousands of individual spreadsheets being created there is no clean way to search through all of it at once or to access working copies.  There are always options like SharePoint and DropBox, but these solutions are already halfway to having an online enterprise solution that would provide 24/7 access to however needs it.  Why not take the process the rest of the way and embrace a solution that captures and stores the data from those thousands of spreadsheets in one location to be accessed and searched when needed?

Data Consolidation – Duplicate efforts and data within an organization that relies on spreadsheets is also a very common issue.  With so many people operating within a tiny technical sphere of data in their own spreadsheet they cannot see the other work that is being performed and often times are not able to draw more valuable conclusions because of the lack of insight they have to what other departments are doing.  With an online enterprise solution they can see what trends and experiences other parts of the company are dealing with and make better decisions for their department by having access to a consolidated set of data that is capturing everything.

Tomorrow we will conclude this two-part blog with some other advantages with moving away from spreadsheets towards enterprise online solutions.  For more information on this process or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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