Knowledge is power, and time is money. To professionals responsible for overseeing board-level communication, these two sayings aren’t just catchy, they’re closely connected. It’s vital for administrators to ensure that all board members are well-informed by distributing information and facilitating ongoing correspondence. As any corporation will tell you, saving money is just as important to a board’s success.
In the context of board portals, though, saving money doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Board meeting management solutions are known for their ability to improve corporate governance, and play a critical role in building and maintaining an effective board of directors. But the benefits don’t end there. These platforms can cut board-related costs in numerous ways.
Let’s take a closer look.
In recent years, online document sharing, storage and management services have grown in popularity among businesses in need of flexible solutions for inter-company collaboration. With geographically dispersed workers, digital products are a must. It stands to reason that corporations would look to these tools as well, but when the information that’s being shared is proprietary and highly sensitive—data that can’t be exposed to the competition under any circumstances—is it really worth taking a chance on a bargain platform?
The answer lies in security. Last year, new research into cloud-based synchronisation services found that most such solutions are designed with an inherent vulnerability that hackers can use to gain access to data. The issue doesn’t just affect individuals, but businesses as well.
Free storage solutions and email accounts may be tempting, but they can get costly quickly in the event of an attack. Just how much can a company expect to pay? The number varies, but it’s high—and getting higher. Research firm Ponemon Institute, which surveyed 350 global companies for its 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis, puts the average total cost of a data breach at $3.8 million, up 23 percent since 2013. Meanwhile, a recent report on UK telecommunications company TalkTalk Group, which suffered a data breach that compromised the personal data of 150,000 customers in 2014, stated that the cyber-attack amounted to $88 million in the form of lost customers and other “exceptional costs.” Rather than having to invest in augmented security measures after the fact, when you’re scrambling to recover lost information and mitigate the effects of compromised corporate intelligence, it’s in a company’s best interest to choose a board portal up front that provides robust encryption and end-to-end security.
There are numerous board portal options for companies to choose from, but not all platforms are created equal. Low-cost vendors may meet some of a board’s requirements, but are sure to be deficient in other areas. Does it make sense to pay more for a more complete system? When you consider the additional cost savings provided by the most comprehensive of solutions, you’ll find that it does.
A premium board portal can provide a board of directors with everything it needs, from intuitive access to agendas, commenting, note sharing and annotations, and voting with signatures—all designed and engineered based on board member behaviour, which can be analysed to determine exactly what directors want and need.
Premium board portals offer cost savings over traditional board meeting management processes as well. By opting for a streamlined, full-service paperless platform, companies can reduce their reliance on printed materials, which come part and parcel with printing and shipping fees—along with additional risks such as loss. This also reduces travel costs associated with flying in remote directors, as meeting information is readily available to board members wherever they are in the world. Because all information is delivered in digital form, it’s always up to date, and users can access meetings, calendars, archived materials from previous meetings and other corporate resources anytime.
It’s difficult to put a price on the peace of mind that corporations stand to gain from a board portal that doesn’t just deliver on its promise of simplicity and effectiveness, but that also meets the most rigorous of security standards—particularly when it backs that up with the support of a customer service team that’s always available and ready to help.
With the right board portal, knowledge and (saving) money can go hand in hand.