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What would the impact be? February 22, 2013

Posted by Ivor's Window to the IT and CRM World in Management, Microsoft CRM, Sales Management.
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What would the impact be?

Imagine the situation if you can, overnight all the Excel Worksheets in your organisation have become infected with a virus and are not accessible or recoverable. I would hazard a bet that this would be more than a calamity for many businesses. Important information is regularly stored on singular Worksheets on local machines never getting backed up.

When we implement CRM systems, it is often quite interesting to see that 90% of the information for the new system will be coming from Excel, and I have seen Customer, Product, Pricing, Order and Invoice information all stored here, often with no discernable backup or risk mitigation strategy in place.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Excel, I think it is a magnificent product, of which I am a power user and have been for many years, what I am highlighting is that very often core information which really ought to reside in an ERP, an HR system, a CRM system or a Production Management system is found in localised Excel Worksheets, and there is not a “single point of truth” for this information.

Another consideration is that staff may take these Excel Worksheets offline on a data stick or by e-mail so that they can work on them at home, and potentially sensitive company information is residing on personal computers, and maybe without the protection of corporate anti-virus and spyware software.   

This phenomenon is not new, in the early 90’s in the heady days of Lotus Corporation the same situation was in place with good old Lotus 123,

My challenge to all of you is simple; pretend for a moment that all of your Worksheets are gone. Now ask yourself the obvious question. “Am I vulnerable in any way?”

This is blog number 5 in the series “The more things change the more they stay the same”.

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