In effect what I am saying is that companies which get the most value from spreadsheet automation(including using it to avoid expenditure on less adaptable commercial off the shelf applications) will be those which empower their users to routinely generate "in house" solutions. In such companies, you will find that only when the requirement becomes considerably specialised or complex, does the IT department get called upon to develop or purchase software solutions for user departments or functions with significant data recording and analysis needs.
Spreadsheet Automation Facilitates EFFORTLESS Data Handling, Analysis & Report Generation! Sometimes people don't really care about learning(or using) all the "cool' advanced functions, formulas and techniques in the spreadsheet application they use for their work. They just want to punch in their relevant raw data _ at any time _ and immediately see the computed results generated by the spreadsheet in a manner that can facilitate their important decision making.
This last point in my opinion is ONE major benefit you must seek to extract, if you choose to engage the services of a developer. S/he should be able to help you develop (in_house) expertise needed to maintain the application AFTER s/he is gone. If you fail to ensure this, all your cost_savings from using the application might end up being spent paying the developer to maintain the application over time in the future!
2. Sourcing Capital _ For Expansion or Startup. You can make it easier for banks and prospective investors to back you financially and/or take the decision to buy into your business. Those already running their businesses will know that banks like to see detailed business records that show in real terms all aspects of a business' performance. Without detailed and comprehensive spreadsheet tracking, it might be difficult to show this. Agreed there are software applications that capture most of these. However, sometimes, you want to highlight certain scenarios or trends in a way that an off_the_shelf application cannot accommodate due to the uniqueness of your need. It is in this regard that the use of spreadsheet tracking becomes relevant.