Real-time data increases efficiency and quality. There’s no time like the present, especially when it comes to information. Desktop applications just can’t keep up when your team is spread out in the field, in the office, and everywhere in between. That’s why you need to have constant access to your data. Without it, you can’t make the most informed decisions, and that affects quality. If you have to wait until you can gather all the facts, then that affects your efficiency. Keeping all your data with you while providing a secured, access-controlled interface to update it allows you to stay ahead.
Spreadsheets can reduce your productivity. Time is one of the most significant first costs you will have. However, we must look past that initial investment on a given project and see what tools and processes maximize our return in the long run. Yes opening a spreadsheet and typing data is initially quicker than using other software, at least a little. However, updating it isn’t. Distributing it isn’t. Trending data certainly isn’t. Data entry speed is important, but it doesn’t capture the full lifecycle of an issue. For a slight tradeoff in initial time, a few seconds per issue on average, you can keep your information organized and provide a mechanism for collaborating effectively with your team. Then, when the project is finished, you can trend all that data and use for further analysis.
Portability is key. How often do you have the luxury of waiting until you get back to the office to check for project updates? Those days are gone, and in order to keep up with the fast pace of squeezed project schedules, you must have the most up-to-date information at your disposal. With cloud-based software, you can take and update information wherever you go. There’s no need to invest in expensive enterprise equipment. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can collaborate with teams all over the world. And with newer technologies and multiple levels of networked devices, you can actually increase the reliability of data and minimize the risk of losing your information.