Businesses in every industry, throughout the world have benefitted from the customisable power of MS Access, when simplifying processes and improving productivity for their own unique business situations. For decades now, there hasn't been any other desktop solution alternative that has come even close to rivalling MS Access in the features it has consistently provided in managing single and multi user tasks locally.
But as the internet continues to make the world smaller, and business needs evolve to more sophisticated levels, are its days numbered? Has MS Access seen its heyday, and become destined for the junk heap of business tools, to be forgotten forever? Our lived experience suggests definitely not, and there are several compelling reasons for this.
Before looking at those reasons though, the more important question might be whether MS Access can itself evolve to better meet the changing needs of businesses? The answer to this, as we've discovered, is a resounding yes!
Work practices, environments and situations have changed quite significantly over the years. More and more people find themselves working from home, for example, or need to be able to access company applications remotely. The focus on collaboration has become more intense, as businesses work towards dismantling silos and encourage greater interaction between team members and stakeholders alike. The new business paradigm might make it look as though once critical applications like MS Access are being left behind in the dust of time. But it might only seem that way if you're not familiar with the capabilities it has to more than comfortably bridge that mystical evolutionary gap, and take a leap into the future with your business.
So what does making MS Access more relevant, more now, involve? Well, like a webpage, MS Access can provide a front-end user interface connected to an online database like MySQL, and thus provide a cost-effective way of preserving tried and tested, existing business processes, while tackling all those new requirements that may unfairly have made it seem a little frayed at the edges. But why would you want to do this? On to the reasons mentioned earlier:
One of the major reasons MS Access has been so popular to begin with, has been that it keeps sensitive and valuable commercial data local. This means only those people who need that information have access to it. This then begs the question whether moving that data to the cloud makes it more vulnerable to unauthorised access. Happily, the answer to that is no. This is because one of the primary methods used to hack into valuable online data is through webpages. If you don't have a webpage attached to the database that contains all your vital business information, the ways for a hacker to gain access to it are drastically reduced.
Add to this the fact that the only easy way to retrieve and use that data is by connecting to it from your existing MS Access Database application, and in order to do that, each user has to have a copy of that application on their hardrive, and that you can centrally decide which of those users has access to what information, and the benefits quickly become clear.
Think also of how much harder and time consuming it would be for a hacker who wants maximimum gain, to have to target hundreds of thousands of smaller individual databases, instead of one large one that contains data from hundreds and thousands of businesses. That in itself is a fairly major deterent that isn't often thought about.
More than likely, the MS Access databases you already have in your business were built by people with a deep, hands-on understanding of the processes they manage. There simply isn't a better alternative to making software work for you than that. So, instead of relegating all their hard work and devotion to the scrap-heap by commissioning web-developers who don't know your business anywhere near as well, and who will cost you far more, to recreate an already well-oiled wheel in your business, why not just evolve what you know already works to the next level for a fraction of the cost?
Some of the other benefits of evolving rather than replacing, apart from the cost savings, are the lack of disruption to workflows, and time to implement. The transition from a local back end to an online one can be involved and complicated, but not anywhere near as rebuilding everything from scratch. Also, it is relatively quick and easy to add new functionality to an existing MS Access database application, especially if it was built by someone in-house. Those kinds of changes can be made as and when required, without having to go through lengthy and involved processes of finding developers and getting them up to speed with everything you need.
Apart from the enormous wealth of information you can find on the internet to achieve this evolution yourself, if you need personalised and professional assistance with your databases, we are only an email away, and ready when you are to help!