SharePoint workflow could provide some of that functionality, but there is an overhead cost to workflow. When architecting a SharePoint-based solution and the question “Workflow or Event Receiver?” comes up, I always prefer event receivers until it’s proven that the process needs a workflow. If all the process needs to do is fire off an e-mail or update a field in another list or database, then why incur the overhead of a workflow when an event receiver will do the job with minimal management and overhead? But that doesn’t work in an app for SharePoint or in a hosted environment that doesn’t allow custom code…or does it?
I’m guessing you can tell from the title of this post what the answer to that is — yes, with remote event receivers.