Benefits of Online Board Meeting Software | 2021
With the increased sophistication of technology and wide-scale implementation in various aspects of business functionalities, information technology software has become rampant.
Online board meeting software, also known as board portal software, is one such advancement that aims to facilitate communication organization-wide and aid in better strategic decision-making.
What is a board portal?
Board portal software, generally referred to as the board portal, is fundamentally a highly secure, centralized online platform designed to facilitate communication amongst board members. The company directors and board administrators use this platform to interact and communicate, organize and manage meetings, and execute their managerial and governance-related tasks. The portal can be accessed from any web-enabled device and any location.
Features of a board portal
Board portals typically include the following features, amongst many others:
Creating and scheduling meetings
Compiling minutes of the meetings
Principal users of a board portal
The primary users of an online board portal are the Board of Directors (BOD) itself. However, it is an over-arching platform that facilitates easy communication amongst the senior-level management and external players, including legal counsels and advisors, senior executives, company secretaries, and board administrators. Hence, best board portals must necessarily meet the needs and requirements of all end-users in a board meeting lifecycle.
In most organizational settings, the BOD delegates company secretaries to act as the board portal administrators. Hence, they have the control to create and schedule meetings, collect, compile and distribute digital board packs, generate and update policy documents, manage portal workspaces, and send out emails and notifications via the board portal.
Other members use the board portal to receive meeting notifications, agendas, digital board packs, and other essential board documents. They have access to view, review, edit, comment, and share these materials. Additionally, they can digitally sign-off board documents.
Choosing the best board portal software
To select the most optimal board portal for your organization, you must consider a few critical questions and then choose wisely:
How secure is the board portal? Since your board portal will inevitably contain all the sensitive corporate data therein, security remains the utmost concern.
How easy is it to adopt and implement the board portal? The chosen board portal must be easy to implement, easy to use, accessible from a multitude of devices, and entirely functional for all board-related tasks.
What is the market reputation of the board portal? Before deciding to purchase from the board portal vendors, make sure the selected software has a good market reputation. Run a rigorous board portal comparison, read through customer reviews, and check which portals are other companies from your industry using. To make your choice of the best board portal software easier and faster, be sure to check out board portal software comparison websites, which offer ready-made ratings and reviews based on their knowledge of the industry.
How can a board portal help?
The benefits offered by a board portal range from significant cost reductions to improved corporate governance. Be sure to conduct your board portals comparison based on how fully the provider of your choice covers the benefits below.
Running paperless meetings help business corporations to save on the massive paper costs and resource hours dedicated to creating board packs. Board portal vendors replace these paper-based packs with digital board packs.
Additionally, the meetings can be created within minutes via a board portal as compared to the long hours in the conventional paper-based setting. Similarly, any required changes to the files and documents can be instantly pushed through and handed to the members timely. And we don’t even mention the absence of the need to travel.
Hence, an efficient board portal helps your organization save time and money and divert these resources towards other tasks and functions. But be sure to conduct your own board portal pricing comparison to find the most convenient price vs. quality ratio.
Back in the days, the company secretaries were responsible for the cumbersome task of creating paper-based board books and keeping them updated. With the advent of board portal solutions, this task is circumvented and digitized for ease and convenience. Moreover, the ‘anytime, anywhere remote access to your board portal puts added comfort and flexibility to your everyday board-related tasks.
Since a board portal is typically accessible from both a mobile app and the web portal, and on any internet-enabled device, it offers flexibility to log in and manage your critical tasks from any location, anytime. This means the members need not learn new technologies to access and manage tasks on the board portal.
Since board portal vendors allow users to quickly access all the important, up-to-date material, it equips them with adequate efficiency to plan, prepare for meetings, and manage their relevant tasks. Board portal features also ensure efficient collaboration and communication amongst the members, all from a single central location.
Moreover, a board portal overcomes the need to rumble through physical board packs or search through email threads for the required information. Also, since the board portal is a secure platform, not accessible to all, the information therein can be relied upon as authentic and credible. This further adds to the efficiency of workflows.
Streamlined collaboration is another facet to the use of board portal solutions since they allow the directors to add comments, review and edit policy documents, share notes, and tag specific and relevant users.
Apart from other objectives that underlie designing and implementing a board portal, improved governance remains the most critical cornerstone. This is attributable to a wide variety of factors.
Foremostly, since a board portal facilitates the directors to make efficient decisions with minimal resource utilization, their overall productivity levels are bound to increase. Their seamless ability to review and collaborate on critical board documents and information further improves corporate governance. They can easily track actionable tasks that merit attention and act promptly during all stages of the board meeting lifecycle – before, during, and after the meetings.
Similarly, from a macro perspective, an efficient board portal plays a pivotal role in enhancing the overall board meeting experience, improving the board engagement levels and board effectiveness.
In today’s hyper-competitive digital business landscape, all business organizations are vulnerable to cyberattacks. They increasingly face stringent regulatory requirements and a pressing need to secure sensitive information and policy documents. Hence, they leverage techniques such as data encryption to ensure robust data protection.
Efficient board portal solutions are designed with multiple security layers to protect the sensitive business information it contains. Various board portal features are aimed specifically at ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and immediate availability of the required information. Moreover, they ensure compliance with the global privacy and security standards to help divert organization resources on other important matters.
Simply put, board portal software broadly supports all board-related functions. A secure board portal allows members to create meetings, access meeting materials, communicate and collaborate, and execute their organizational governance responsibilities.
Leveraging the advancements in cloud technology, a board portal typically replaces the old regime paper-based tasks. Given that a board portal is a comprehensive solution that drives real-time collaboration, it is designed to help businesses accomplish much more outside the boardroom. This is commonly mentioned in numerous board portal software reviews.
The most critical aspect of a board portal is that it simplifies every function and every step of the board meeting lifecycle. Here’s how:
Before the meeting. Administrators can organize and prioritize critical information, check the members’ availability for meetings, upload meeting minutes, and update information dynamically in real-time. They can also compile and distribute agendas, board books, and board packs.
During the meeting. Meetings can be executed with one-tap navigation and can be tracked efficiently. Directors can vote for important decisions within the app, digitally sign important board documents, assign tasks, set deadlines, and follow up on unanswered questions.
After the meeting. Notifications and reminders can be set to alert the directors for any unattended tasks, pending approvals, and other errands such as eSignatures, etc. Every activity can be efficiently tracked using the portal to ensure governance compliance.
The use of board portals spans all industries and all types of business enterprises, ranging from public and private companies to non-profit organizations, government agencies, and educational institutes.
These portals were initially introduced in highly regulated sectors and by large-scale business enterprises only. However, board portal solutions are now being increasingly deployed in small and medium-sized businesses organizations as well. Owing to the low cost of ownership and impeccable benefits they have to offer, board portals are an ideal measure to ensure data security and compliance with regulatory requirements.
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Interestingly, the board portal market is snowballing primarily because the software offers commendable security benefits. It has essentially revolutionized the way boards, committees, and executive leadership communicate and collaborate, circumventing the conventional paper-based taxonomy.
It is no longer required to send out hard copies of the board book before board meetings or to meet to plan agendas physically. With board portals, managing board communication has become a lot more efficient, convenient, and secure. To top it off, these portals help bypass regulatory scrutiny by ensuring compliance with the general regulatory requirements.
With efficient meeting management, better document management, streamlined governance, improved security, and enhanced governance, a board portal significantly helps optimize board workflows. So be sure to check out ready-made board portal feature comparisons to choose a solution that meets your needs best — and enjoy its benefits to the fullest.