Has the Cloud Made Traditional Spreadsheets Obsolete?

Corporate spreadsheets often are the lifeblood of an organization. If you want to know exactly how a company is performing, you must first formulate the data on the spreadsheet. Much of this data comes from different sources and while tools such as Excel allow multiple users to access and edit data on the same sheet, the process isn’t as easy one might envision.

There are several free cloud-based spreadsheet options that are available which save and open XLS and XLSX files without problems. Google Apps notably publishes a spreadsheet app that does most of the advanced features of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. What if this isn’t enough?
Organizations are increasingly relying on auditing trails. When you have so many different people contributing data on one project, it can be difficult to determine who inserted what data and when they inserted it. Even though spreadsheet suites like Excel provide auto save features and document recovery features, a cloud spreadsheet application can provide much more flexibility, accessibility and peace of mind.
What if your organization needs something more powerful? Commercial cloud spreadsheet programs are available that are designed to give you a more specialized view of your organizations data. Adaptive Insights is a prime example.  Adaptive allows you to budget and plan your expenses much like you would on a spreadsheet. Adaptive also takes data from other departments in your company and marries them together in order to create a dynamic report that goes beyond numbers on a spreadsheet. In the past, a person had to sit down and do all of this work manually. Adaptive aims to create a centralized data store for presenting, manipulating and viewing corporate data.
Should you need to convert your data back to a format that can be exported, commercial cloud apps universally allow this functionality. Perhaps the cloud hasn’t replaced traditional spreadsheets yet, however the cloud adaptation could make spreadsheets as you know them today a thing of the past due to emerging technologies.