The emerging Spreadsheet Management software market will skyrocket over the next five years, increasing more than 33-fold to $500 million by 2011, according to Ventana Research's just completed analysis of this new software category.

Spreadsheet Management applications are ones that monitor and manage issues of errors, auditability and control that inevitably occur when corporations use stand-alone spreadsheets in collaborative, repetitive, enterprise-wide tasks. Spreadsheets have been an essential business tool for more than a quarter-century, but their use means that companies have had to grapple with too many undiscovered mistakes and too few controls, particularly for sensitive or business-critical spreadsheets. Errors in spreadsheets have led to large operating losses and even earnings restatements by public companies. Existing spreadsheet software does not offer a practical way to audit and manage the thousands of these most important spreadsheets. Over the past two years, numerous companies have introduced products that address these shortcomings.

The Ventana Research report, The Spreadsheet Management Market - Worldwide Demand Forecast 2006-2011, offers a number of important new observations about this emerging market, among them:

  • Worldwide demand for Spreadsheet Management software will approach $500 million by 2011, up from $15 million in 2006
  • Adoption will be fastest in more heavily regulated businesses, particularly financial services, but slow in government entities despite their need for fiscal controls
  • North America and northern Europe will be the two largest geographic markets

"Spreadsheets are not going away," said Robert Kugel, SVP and research director for Financial Performance Management at Ventana Research. "Many earlier attempts to control them have been rejected because they limit the flexibility and ease of use that make spreadsheets indispensable in the first place. The rapid growth we see is a result of the new software's ability to offer the best of both worlds, giving users the same flexibility but making it feasible to manage and control all of the spreadsheets used, even in the largest corporations."

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