Thinking Outside the Cell: 6 Questions to Ask Yourself About Spreadsheet Security
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Overview: The overuse and abuse of spreadsheets presents a real danger to the security and competitiveness of your organisation. This paper aims to further the debate over the viability of spreadsheets versus commercial business systems by posing 6 questions you should ask yourself if you use spreadsheets to manage your finances, expenses, projects, contracts or resources. It explores the dangers of using spreadsheets and letting them get out of control.
In this paper are examples of the very real danger that spreadsheets can pose to any size of company if they are widely used for mission-critical and financial exercises, including a North American power generation company which suffered a loss of several million dollars as a result of a simple spreadsheet error.
The white paper goes on to question the perception of spreadsheets as a 'cheap option' for managing data, challenging managers to really analyse how much time and effort goes into maintaining spreadsheets on their team. Over a resonable period of time, the costs associated with the up-keep of spreadsheets and the loss of man-hours which could be spent on more productive pursuits will outweigh the cost of investing in a commercial business management system.