Is Excel Era over?

Citing an IBM study of customers (as stated here), 2.5% of the processes are complex, 22.5% are somewhat complex (less than 200 steps), 75% are not complex at all. This last category is done today by excel over email. Excel era is everywhere – people are creating and updating spreadsheets, sending them to managers by email for approval.

Excel and email are excellent tools that help to understand how business processes are done in organization. There is backside – people tend to believe in excel as silver bullet, and want  to have every piece of software like excel. On one of conferences on implementing budgeting software trainer said that if company is not doing budgeting in excel, they should not automate budgeting at all since it is impossible.

Excel is awesome revolutionary tool for business and cover all simple processes. Heterogenous data perfectly fits into excel files, folder and file naming and security policies, DMS systems tend to make some order in mess of excel files. But when we go to next level, obvious issues appear – data integrity, validity, performance, collaboration, mobility require new tooling.

One said “BPM is not technical but cultural issue” and I agree. When planing BPM it is critical to know whether organization is ready to formalize processes move from Excel Era.

Migration from gigabytes of excel files with validation and reconciliation, with non-stopping business is technically big task, but it could be waste of time if organization is not ready yet.

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3 Comments on “Is Excel Era over?”

  1. Nazar Marko says:

    I had similar experience in developing banking systems. After we’ve made complex system for loan calculation, they asked “and now we want to export it to macros enabled Excel document”

  2. Excel seem to be unversal enterprise protocol – everyone want export/import to excel to connect to other processes. Or CSV in order to further open with excel. No PDF export is required – excel cannot open it.

  3. […] Era continues. For many organizations (or at least part of their processes) Excel Era will never end. Not because these organizations are ignoring  technological revolution but due to […]


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