Say goodbye to paper-based board meetings
The reasons why paper-based meetings are both inefficient and ineffective are fairly obvious.
Firstly, they use far too much paper. Board packs can easily be up to 100 pages long. With an average of 9 members per board, that’s a lot to print out. With this comes cost, and an impact on the environment that most organisations are consciously trying to avoid.
In addition, paper documents are inherently insecure. If they get lost, they’re vulnerable to theft and misuse.
Paper-based meetings also don’t lend themselves to effective collaboration or faster decision making. Documents can’t be accessed online or remotely, so board members have fewer opportunities to review and discuss them prior to the meeting.
The fact is that the world is going digital and boards going to need to change if they want to keep up with the pace. This will particularly hold true as boards become younger, more diverse, more tech-savvy and have higher expectations of the systems used to get their job done.
So how is this transformation going to happen – and how do boards choose the solution that’s right for them?
The solution lies with modern digital board portals that have been specifically designed to replace paper–based meetings. A board portal is a document sharing and collaboration tool for board members, management, administration and other stakeholders in the company.
However, if you’re new to such solutions then how do you know exactly what you need? Is it something basic that just cuts out the printing? Or something extra that will improve collaboration, security and help digitalise the entire board meeting process?
If you’re considering a digital board portal, here’s a list of key questions to ask when choosing your solution:
Senior executives are among the favourite targets of malicious hackers. These attacks are happening all the time, so it’s vital that you ensure the board portal provider you appoint respects high security standards essential for the safety of your information and company.
Questions you need to ask of your potential supplier about security should include:
- Is all data encrypted?
- Where is the data stored? Are there backup servers?
- Has your company’s security ever been at risk?
- Does the board portal mobile application have a shield against hackers?
- Is the Vendor ISO-certified?
Performance history and support
Before you decide which board portal provider to choose, it’s also a good idea to find out about the level of support they provide. So, ask:
- How long does the costumers usually have to wait for support calls?
- What languages do support staff speak?
- In what markets do they have local offices?
- What percentage of customers stay/leave every year?
User-friendliness vs features
Board members are extremely busy people. A tool that isn’t intuitive and requires a lot of thinking isn’t going to be worthwhile. So to avoid wasting money and your board members’ patience, do your due diligence to ensure your chosen board portal is user friendly as well as feature rich:
- Is the board portal accessible on multiple platforms?
- What kind of advanced features do they offer (eSigning, eID, annotation sharing, voting etc)?
- Will my company get a uniquely tailored platform?
- Will my company get access to historical archive – online and offline?
- Can agendas and meeting minutes be generated in the portal?