Does your virtual team need to share a critical database to coordinate its daily workflow? From the office, or home, or during an overseas trip? Do they need to make important updates anytime, anywhere, so their colleagues are all working from up-to-date information?
Emailing a spreadsheet around just doesn't cut it; it is almost immediately out-of-date. Using Microsoft Access or another desktop application has its flaws too – it is way too difficult to export information to share with a far-flung team. In cases where updates come from multiple people/locations, you really need an online, shared database – a single source of up-to-date information, available anytime, anywhere. (Anywhere with internet access, of course!)
Previously, providing a web-based solution to a shared database requirement took many months (or years) of IT planning, development, and deployment.
Not anymore! Today business teams have some great new tools - online database software (software as a service).
Here are a few demos:
Furthermore, a few of these hosted online database solutions are actually designed for end-users – yes, business users, or what Gartner has sometimes called 'Citizen Developers'. These tools are advertised as requiring no IT or programming knowledge. No need to wait for your overworked IT department. GroveSite is one of those easy-to-use solutions. You can find others by Googling "online relational database software."
If you're a business user, like most of us, don't bother with Salesforce's upcoming offering, database.com. It's designed for developers, not business users. A great article was written about its pros and cons by Matt McAdams, CEO of Trackvia.
So what's stopping you from building that online database? Time to get started!