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When I worked within Corporate IT, my peers and I all looked down on solutions built with Excel.

In our eyes, Excel was ‘just’ an end-user application.

It was fine when used by ‘the business’ to do ’some maths stuff’.

But we assumed Excel couldn’t be used to solve ‘real’ problems. Real problems required ‘real’ technology. Real technology that required budget, servers, and ‘real’ techies.

Those were the days when I thought technology mattered.

The technology does not matter. It is the business outcome that matters.

If a ’simple’ tool like Excel can solve the business problem and deliver the desired business outcome, how can that be wrong?

There are many advantages with the use of a ’simple’ tool like Excel:

  • A tool that non-techies can use is a tool that will be used.
  • A tool that enables the people who experience the problem to also solve it, is a valuable tool.
  • A tool that can solve problems without requiring new technology or new new skills is a cost-effective tool.

Why introduce cost and complexity when it’s not required?

Excel may be simple. But it can also be valuable.

As long as appropriate controls are put in place to ensure the Excel solution does what it’s supposed to do, it may well be the best tool for the job – Despite what IT people may say.