I received this junk email today.  Sounds compelling, but then pause and think about the implications on…..  compliance, security, risk, IT strategy and integration.  Then read the  testimonial at the bottom of the email and weep.

Aaaaagh!  This is what CIOs spend their entire life trying to stop. End users building  Excels with untested macros which suddenly become part mission critical and part of core processes.  This is also why Nimbus exists to help end users clearly define what they do, so  IT knows what it needs to support. And also why Force.com is a great way to build these apps.

EMAIL:

What if you could turn Excel files into Web Apps in minutes without any coding?

Creating an application from your business spreadsheets is not enough. Many tools will let you create a database and GUI to manipulate the data but fail when the business asks for more.

The Challenge: How do I support departmental applications that need to evolve rapidly, but with with my limited resources?

The OutSystems Answer: At OutSystems we understand that today’s departmental application can become tomorrow’s enterprise system. Check out this video to see how quickly and easily the Agile Platform can turn Excels into robust web apps that are easy to change and maintain.

“The company’s departments are using Excel spreadsheets to store and distribute important corporate data. There are so many versions that they don’t know what’s accurate. It’s not secure – that makes me nervous. I need to free up my team to create a web application, but I don’t have the bandwidth to build and maintain a new custom app.” IT Director, Online Retailer

Maybe this video starts to highlight what a slippery slope this is.

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One thought on “How to really scare the CIO. A recent email.

  1. Hello Ian,

    Seems our email wasn’t clear enough regarding the message we’re trying to spread, so let me see if I can explain it a little better.

    We understand your concern about Excel files that spawn from end users, but the fact of the matter is that they will continue to appear. Excel is a good way for users to experiment with new processes and ideas, without the need to wait for IT to implement a project. I actually believe this attitude should be encouraged, since it is in these experiments that new and innovative processes appear.

    The question is: What do you do when processes built with Excel actually become Mission Critical? Addressing this problem is the main goal of this particular feature of the Agile Platform. To take a process that was born and originally managed using Excel and that grew to become Mission Critical, and quickly turn it into a full feature web application – including such concerns as security, scalability, auditing, management, etc.

    Note that the web application, generated from the Excel file by the Agile Platform, will run on the IT infrastructure. In fact, the entire conversion process must be lead, managed, and controlled by IT.

    This is actually the value proposition for the Agile Platform we were trying to highlight in our email regarding these scenarios: use the platform’s accelerators to take an Excel file and create the first cut of the web app that implements the business process. Once this first cut is done, deploy it to a central server managed by IT. From that point onward, adapt and grow the application as needed, at a fraction of the cost and time it would take to do it with traditional development.

    I hope this clarifies the email,
    Rodrigo

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