You’ve finally decided to bring your board of directors into the 21st century by going paperless – congratulations!
So, now what?
Unparalleled flexibility, mobility and security, but it is important to understand that this software is not without risk. Anything done online has some level of risk – although there are many things that can be done at the individual level, as well as the organizational one, to end off e-intruders.
Here are some tips on how to manage a paperless board:
1. Choose your board portal wisely. Not all board portal software is created, so do some shopping before settling. Make sure all of the company’s executives and their IT team know which options you’re considering, and involve them in the decision-making process. Choosing software may seem like just one more thing to check off a to-do list, but you’re effectively choosing a home for your organization’s most sensitive information. It’s important to make the decision out in the open.
In terms of what to choose, priority security features – for example, remote wiping in the event is a member’s device is lost or stolen. But do not sacrifice user experience for security. Something as seemingly innocuous as an annoying design feature can dissuade members from using the board portal, and paint a uniform can expose everyone on the board to more risk ,
Download or consult some of Diligent’s board resource guides to get a snapshot of how to do board work.
2. Enforce compliance. As a recent report by the New York Stock Exchange Governance Services and Diligent, there are almost as many ways to handle board documents as there are board members. Many respondents to that survey said they regularly download board materials to their personal devices, and that they use personal email accounts to conduct board business. Both of these are major security faux pas, but it may not be so obvious to some individuals. They may not be easy to hack password-protected email accounts, or how easy it is to swipe personal tech devices.
Hire a security expert, invite you to an online security training session for board members, executives and IT staff. Have them explain the best practices for interacting with the board portal. A common refrain when a risk is unwittingly introduced is “I did not know.” Help mitigate that sentiment by working proactively to nip potential compliance issues in the bud.
3. Embrace the technology . It’s easy to look back on pre-internet board processes and for the good old days. But things were not secure when everything was on paper. Filing cabinet locks are not foolproof. And how many sensitive documents have left out in the open – or worse, forgotten – over the years? Earlier this year, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s, which included the address of a hotel where they were working, reported The Guardian . These absent-minded slip-ups put organizations and government agencies at risk.
It may seem counter-intuitive to centralize all of your organization’s or agency’s most sensitive data in one place. One breach, and everything may be subject to exposure. But has one document saved on the board chair? S tablet and another document saved on the treasurer’s iPhone, and then printed out to board members and sent them to out-of-town member via courier, is far riskier. A secure board portal that lets members consolidate documents, minutes, communications, calendars, to-do lists and more keeps up, hands and slip-ups to a minimum. Keeping all your relevant documents and tools in one place thus helps streamline tasks, making the individual board members, and the board as a whole, more efficient than ever before. Request a demo of the most secure board portal software on the market today.
Board portal software has revolutionized the way today’s boards operate – but it can only do so much if the board is doping in the governance department. A board portal can not fix board members who are poor communicators or who paint discipline. The board’s operating procedures, issuing reminders about upcoming meetings and task completion dates, and offering each individual board member – even those who tend to be on the quieter side – a way to collaborate in a meaningful way.
Crave and the accountability stakeholders demand.