For pretty much as long as I can remember I have wondered why people in organisations persist in doing things in Excel and VBA that would be sooo much better in almost any other technology. We have discussed many of the reasons in the past but I got hit by a new one the other day:
The corporate process for requesting the right tools for the job is so long winded, painful and uncertain that no one bothers. Its quicker, easier and less pain to build an Excel monster instead.
To me this is a disaster, a dereliction of duty by IT, and just an all round FAIL.
IT should be proactively monitoring the markets and trialling interesting looking software and services with a view to proposing them to the business. Not sitting back, blocking all the interesting websites and file shares waiting to obstruct any other attempts to get the job done. (Hardly the work of a Strategic Business Partner is it?)
I have been through these processes a few times, some stuff like getting your Office install upgraded to Pro to get Access is normally a few clicks, an approval email and a cross charge. Getting approval to deploy some VSTO components and some C++ dlls at one place was a bit harder, including a half hour interview on the benefits and risks. I totally don’t mind needing to justify this stuff, but in many cases IT should already have proactively tested and approved it, imo. (or in the case of C++ understand they already have it all over)
I was looking at these processes for not so standard stuff at a few places that publish the detail, and sure enough it can be 6-8 weeks to get approval for an install. That’s ok if its bill and bobs virus ridden utility, but if its a part of what should be core infrastructure then you’ve already missed the boat.
So if you are in IT here are some tips
Developers need developer tools, they can and will develop without proper ones, but it wont be pretty – and it will be your fault for not providing the right tools.
Users need intelligent flexible access to complex data. If you don’t have the right tools, (Think OLAP/BI), then it is your fault when they do it badly in Excel.
What is the most long winded, laborious, misguided IT process you have had to go through? was it for software approval?