Spreadsheets bad – digital good, but is there really a viable alternative to our comfort with cells and columns?

Posted on November 22, 2019


As you all know, I have been in the high-tech world for more than 35 years and in procurement for almost as long.

In those early days of first CPM and Kaypros, then DOS and IBM’s Charlie Chaplin, most IT people dismissed the personal computer as a “passing” fad. After all, what could you do with a diminutive little box on someone’s desktop that offered little more than a blinking cursor at the “C” prompt? Then VisiCalc happened!

Personally, and as someone who has sold and purchased millions of dollars worth of computers and related components, I think VisiCalc was THE game changer. Simplistically powerful, it turned PC promise into a viable business tool that transformed the way we work.

However, like a cast left on a broken leg that has long since healed, spreadsheets have become more of a security blanket with which we are comfortable but, in the process, hinders our ability to take the next great step into the digital world.

The challenge with giving up our security blanket is not an unwillingness to change or for that matter, a lack of recognition of the spreadsheet’s limitations. The real obstacle is not knowing the answer to the question; so, I stop using spreadsheets, now what?

Besides giving you an unprecedented look into spreadsheets, Kelly Barner, Iain Campbell McKenna, and Alun Rafique join me to answer the “now what” question.

Here is the link – make sure to take note of the results of a series of surveys and offer your feedback on “The real obstacle to digital transformation: Finding an alternative to spreadsheets and email.”

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