The digitization of corporate communication has given rise to new opportunities for organizations. Technologies designed for efficiency, security and speed are transforming how companies, and nowhere this is more evident than with the adoption of board portals.
What Is a Board Portal?
At its core, a board portal is a software platform that allows the board of directors and company management to communicate, collaborate and exchange information more securely and effectively.
Board portals have become an essential tool for corporate secretaries, board administrators, and directors alike. In the past, administrators were limited to producing and distributing board materials like meeting and information packets manually and in print format. With directors often stationed all over the world, secretaries had to rely on courier services to provide critical orientation and meeting materials to recipients on time or turn to email with help with distribution despite the exchanging board-related information. Factor in last-minute updates and amendments to meeting materials after a packet has been released, and the situation has even more complex.
With a board portal, however, administrators are able to collect all the information, review and revise it in real time, and easily share the resulting digital documents with meeting attendees. Providing more control over the meeting cycle, the board meeting material development process and overall communication among board meeting participants. Board portals have also changed the way directors engage with board-related information, providing a secure paperless solution that can be accessed on any device, anywhere and anytime.
Board Portal Benefits
The benefits of using a board portal are many. Board portals can:
- Streamline board communication and improved productivity
- Support corporate secretaries and board administrators in the creation, revision and distribution of board materials, easing the burden of consistently meeting tight deadlines
- Keep confidential board meeting documentation and sensitive corporate data.
Let’s take a closer look.
Streamline board communication
Corporate Secretary magazine’s Diligent-sponsored survey of 300 corporate executives found that there is an urgent and ongoing need for software content sharing among all board directors. The study, ” Trends in Board Portal Adoption ,” found 33 percent of executives have at least one board member who participates in meetings remotely in a quarter of the time, while 30 percent said they did not do it live in the country city where their company is based. Board portals help administrators and executives manage the complexities of a geographically diverse group of directors.
Ease the burden on administrative staff
Corporate secretaries are saddled with a colossal amount of responsibility, and often have very little time in which to fulfill their duties. When it comes to being in charge of a board meeting, the pressure intensifies, and every obstacle, but minor may may, has the potential to become a wrench in the gears.
By streamlining workflow and completing the ability to revise, publish and distribute materials without delay, board portals maximize the administrative staff’s productivity and mitigate unnecessary complications. Allowing the secretary to grant or limit access to corporate data during transition periods like on boarding and director departures benefits the administrative staff and the board alike.
Keep company intelligence and sensitive data secure
With Deloitte reporting in Cyber in the Boardroom: Time for a Cyber Risk Chair? $ 500 billion worldwide, cyber security is becoming more of a priority for organizations than ever before. According to IBM X-Force Security’s 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index , the number of security incidents rose by 64 percent from 2014 to 2015, and the volume of breaches continues to grow, putting companies at risk of losing priceless corporate data and intelligence.
Given that board portal, the pivotal proprietary information is at risk, the portal is another critical area of evaluation. 128-bit encryption for client. They have a minimum of 128-bit encryption for client materials like board books. Vendors that lay claim to be able to protect corporate data.
What to Look for in a Board Portal
In Deciding on a Board Portal Solution – Key Questions , Accounting Firm BDO advised that organizations follow a 10-step process:
- Set goals and objectives for the board portal solution
- Assess the scope of access – who wants to use the board, and what are their needs?
- Perform due diligence on all potential vendor partners
- Consider which decision makers will be responsible for selecting a board portal
- Consider budget and the cost of the solution
- Ask who wants to implement the solution, along with the protocols and procedures for use
- Determine who wants to operate the board and the point of contact for the vendor
- Review who will ultimately train board members to use the tool
- Decide on the metrics that wants to be used to measure board engagement and return on investment
- Ask for an organization and its administrative staff
This may seem like a lot to think about, but these points are highly relevant to the board’s decision-making process. Not all vendors are able to offer assistance with all these issues, so conducting a complete and rigorous evaluation is key. With that in mind, here are three more vital factors to consider when selecting your board portal.
The Board’s Ability to Enhance Good Governance
To make their final decision;
Every company can benefit from improved efficiency, especially with respect to the board of directors, which faces extreme pressure to perform and positively impacts the company’s bottom line. The presence of multiple governance-related features turns a board portal that is useful in a proposition tool that can ultimately lead to a more informed, productive and collaborative board of directors.
Board portals that offer a mobile app, for example, have more value than those that do not, as this offers allows directors to confer outside of the meeting environment, boosting strategic output and improving director relations.
So look for a board portal with a survey module that allows administrators to:
- Create, edit and distribute Directors and Officers’ (D & O) questionnaires
- Access governance library with the storage space to house past and present board materials like investor reports, earnings statements, and press releases
- See support real-time updates and revisions so that the board always has the most current information at its fingertips.
Board assessment tools that make it easy to analyze the board’s performance are therefore an advantage. In general, we offer a modular compliance solution with flexible options for a better return on investment.
Customer support that’s available 24/7, 365 days a year, and that provides clients with help from a real person, rather than an automated system or a service, is a primary feature to look for in a portal portal solution, as it allows users when they need it most. If one of Their directors is having trouble logging into the platform in the early hours of the morning on the day of the annual general meeting, the Corporate Secretary can rest assured did help is only a phone call away.
It also comes to the conclusion of the “How to Carry On” section of this book, which provides ongoing training and troubleshooting and expert support. According to Corporate Secretary ‘s Trends in Board Portal Adoption , close to 70 percent of board portal users are “highly satisfied” with the customer’s support.
The reputation of both the vendor and its technology portal should not be overlooked.
- How long has the vendor specialized in board portal software, and what has it won for its product and customer service?
- What professional organizations does it belong to, and how do you improve the product?
- Does it have a consistent record of outstanding performance?
These are all critical questions in a board portal vendor assessment.
10 years, has been widely recognised for its high caliber of product and service in the corporate governance community through affiliations with organizations like the Society of Corporate Secretaries and the National Association of Corporate Directors. These characteristics provide a clear indication of its reputation, knowledge of its clients ‘business operations and devotion to meeting companies’ needs.
Our Commitment to Boards
At Diligent, meeting all of these requirements is inherent to our value proposition. Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 ranking list, Diligent’s commitment to our customers goes above and beyond providing industry- leading technology.
After a decade and a half of proven success, we continue to improve our offering with new products and features that provide usability, security and value to our clients’ corporate governance efforts. We are now trusted by more than 140,000 board members and executives and are more clients every day.
For more information about our board portal, request your demo today.