If you touch back office technology, you hear a recurring chorus: we need to get people off excel. In this CPA Practice Advisor piece, Thack Brown of SAP describes spreadsheets as "archaic" and highlights the advantages of real estate CFOs moving beyond it. It's 100% true: spreadsheets are decades old technology, from a period that predates dial-up internet.  

I can tell you from experience that this old technology is beloved with an intensity that many a techy is unprepared for. Generations of numbers people built their careers and their entire mindset around cells, formulaes and pivot tables. Saying they should leave it behind isn't offering them a new tool; it's striking at their soul.

So what's the solution - endless excel plug ins? It probably doesn't hurt. But more fundamentally, the new technology has to be continuous with this excel mindset. Whatever the back office stack of the future looks like, it will be built on a foundation on excel.