Spreadsheets have been around for decades and it’s a great tool for businesses that just need to organize data and use some simple equations. Unfortunately, businesses can quickly find themselves in a tricky situation where they’ve outgrown their spreadsheets and need a better solution that is tailored to their business. This solution is to convert those spreadsheets into a mobile app.
There are many advantages of building a custom mobile app to replace your business’s spreadsheets. These advantages include Centralized Data, Authentication & Authorization, Improved Reliability, Automation, and Tailor-made to your business needs. By reviewing these pros, you can gauge whether or not a custom mobile app is the solution for your business.
The first benefit of using a mobile app over a spreadsheet is centralized data. The nature of a spreadsheet document is that it is a file on your computer — or maybe a server — that you access and update.
Centralized data becomes a need when other individuals also need to update that same file. A common pitfall is to share the file via email but this evolves into another issue: everyone has different files with different data. Not good.
To solve this problem, it is important to implement a solution which allows all individuals access to the data without having to email multiple instances of the same file. By converting a spreadsheet into a mobile app, all data would be stored in one location and all users would see the data in real time.
Authentication & Authorization
One of the strongest reasons for migrating away from using spreadsheets and to build a mobile app is so that you can implement authentication & authorization.
Authentication verifies the identify of an individual. Authorization verifies that the individual is allowed to access the data.
In many business scenarios, certain users should only be able to see one set of data while another set of users should only be able to see another set of data. With a spreadsheet, all users see the same set of data unless someone manually divides the files and delivers sets of data to those who require it.
With spreadsheets, there also isn’t any way to stop unauthenticated people from viewing the data. If someone gets ahold of the spreadsheet file, they can view it without restrictions. Some business could be destroyed if the wrong person gets ahold of your data.
Reliability is important when considering a solution. Spreadsheets can easily be deleted or lost by accident. Personal computers or laptops, which house these spreadsheets, can unexceptionally fail. Data loss should be avoided if the data is important to your business.
You may require a more sophisticated solution. This is where a mobile app can help. The backend of a mobile app can be built with automated database backups, fault-tolerance, and redundancy. This means that even if a catastrophic failure happens, your business is protected from loss.
Tailor-made to Business Need
It’s really easy to use excel. This program has been around for decades so it is no wonder why this is the tool that many people reach to when trying to solve a business problem.
Unfortunately, the ease of use leads to it’s biggest shortcoming: It’s not tailor-made to your business needs. Excel does a handful of things really well. Once your business requires you to deviate from those tasks, it becomes obvious that you’ve outgrown excel.
In today’s competitive market, implementing a mobile app instead of a spreadsheet may be the boost that a business requires to grow. Tools like spreadsheets, are being used by your competitors which means that it is easy to replicate how you do business. Your competitors will have a tough time competing when you’re using a custom solution like a mobile app. They won’t be able to replicate its benefits identically.
Spreadsheets also can’t integrate with any software your business currently has purchased. With a mobile app, it can be built to integrate with any off the shelf software that you’ve purchased or built.
Though there are many additional benefits of converting your business’s spreadsheets into a mobile app, the ones listed in this article are some of the most important for your business. At the end of the day, you’l need to assess whether or not these benefits are important to your business. Centralized Data can ensure data integrity and simplicity for your employees. Authorization & Authentication will ensure that viewers of your data are allowed to see it. Improved Reliability keeps your data safe and loss at a minimum in case of a catastrophic event. Lastly, Talior-made for your business needs is exactly that: Tailor-Made. You control the workflow so you can ensure maximum return on investment.