The lost productivity, missed opportunities, and lost knowledge in email and Excel is insane! I am baffled that in a world where cars can park themselves, and where I can have a computer on my wrist, that spreadsheet and email are the way most businesses are run.
As someone who focuses 100% of my day thinking about new ways to drive higher adoption for business intelligence, employees need to spend less time buried in emails and spreadsheets, and more time collaborating, problem solving, and executing on their job roles.
WHY EMAIL AND SPREADSHEETS WILL NOT DIE
How you use email and spreadsheets may be completely different from how I harness these tools. That is what makes them impossible to replace. The spreadsheet and email inbox/outbox are flexible tools that can be adopted to different work habits, and personalities. This is why every attempt to replace spreadsheets and emails have failed.
WHY CAN’T WE IMPROVE THE TOOLS WE KNOW AND LOVE
I think Microsoft has always realized spreadsheets are the hub for how information is distributed in an enterprise and have made mild attempts to beef this up over the years. I think the latest flavors of Excel with PowerPivot, direct connectivity to BI platforms like BusinessObjects, and more robust visualization / mapping are the right direction to get the most adoption.
EMAIL / CALENDAR
Email is the most infuriating and frustrating part of my job. After sitting through workshops, downloading extensions, trying methodologies, changing technologies I still can’t find a suitable way to communicate with my employees, customers, vendors, consultants seamlessly while staying organized and keeping tabs on hundreds of individuals at one time through email, CRM, and social media.