The board members have spoken: security needs to be higher up the agenda
Board members’ concerns include security and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues and they believe that digital tools simplify working life. These are some of the findings of our survey that attracted 963 responses from company directors.
In late 2019, Admincontrol conducted a survey of company directors in the Nordics, the UK and the Netherlands, in order to chart the key trends, changes and challenges in the boardroom. We have gained valuable insights into these issues from prominent and experienced business leaders.
Here we take a deep dive into the feedback and summarise some of the key findings.
Security needs to be higher up the agenda
One of the first things to strike us is that the board members who responded are focused on security. In fact, half of the respondents think that security should be EVEN HIGHER up the agendas of their companies.
Their concern does not come as a huge surprise. In an increasingly digital world that depends on secure and robust cloud solutions for everything from corporate finances to wider democratic processes, the threat picture looks ever more scary. Cyberattacks are more frequent, more devious and more damaging than before. If you don’t have proper security systems in place, you are obviously much more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
At Admincontrol, we too have found that our customers have been getting more security-focused in recent years, and more of them are using secure platforms like board portals to communicate and share sensitive documents. In addition, more boards are now using our Secure Messaging module.
Taking corporate social responsibility seriously
Another trend that emerges from the survey responses is that many board members are focused on ESG issues. It was gratifying to see that 69 per cent of board members said that ESG investments were important for their company. This translates into commitment to the environment, social responsibility and corporate governance.
And there is no doubt that social responsibility is a concept whose time has come. Earlier this year, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, one of the world’s largest investment managers, published a letter to CFOs, challenging companies to place sustainability at the centre of their investment strategies. Read the letter HERE.
At Admincontrol, we are committed to social responsibility, and our solutions facilitate paperless meetings and environmentally friendly processes. A board portal is also an excellent tool for conducting digital board meetings, in combination with secure video/teleconferencing. This can save board members from unnecessary travel, which in turn has obvious environmental benefits. We hope that even more companies will take a serious approach to social responsibility in future.
The boardroom is a more challenging place
Another interesting finding to emerge from our survey is that half of the respondents have found the board member role to be more challenging over recent years, and also that their duties have increasingly intensified.
Faced with more demanding board work, 77 per cent of respondents say that a board portal simplifies their tasks, and 83 per cent note that using a board portal boosts efficiency, security and control.
In other words, it is clear that digital tools are simplifying working life, even as it becomes more challenging.
To sum up:
Most boards are engaged with the issue of security, but it needs to be moved even higher up the agenda, together with ESG, which is also gaining in importance and requires more investment of time and money. In the face of greater challenges, the board’s work demands suitable tools to make it more streamlined and secure, while also ensuring that digital expertise is able to make inroads into the boardroom.