When you work on a board of directors, you need access to information and updates at all times, wherever you are. Board portals make good governance possible in a digital work world, but not all software is adequate for your needs. Free cloud-based file-sharing services don’t offer the security that most companies and organizations demand. Good purpose-built apps also offer features that ease communications between directors. They also enable features like remote voting and secure digital signatures. Today’s directors are busy people and always travelling. They need constant updates available remotely and 24/7 technical support to govern effectively.
Crown corporations, financial service organizations and non-profits have a responsibility to the public to keep costs manageable. When many boards in the private sector demanded better security for their materials, developers created software that could meet their needs. Tighter security meant higher costs, but vendors like Aprio that work with government bodies, credit unions and financial institutions and non-profits have made concerted efforts to make good governance available to everyone. An organization with a tight budget is not the same as an organization with small responsibilities. Fortunately, new board software opens the door to document sharing, remote communication, and security for organizations of all sizes.
Tablets and Phones
Directors need portability through their phones and tablets, but many still prefer to use their laptops whenever possible. Great board portals provide intuitive, comfortable user experiences across platforms. If your organization isn’t all on the same technology, it’s also important to find an app available across all operating systems, including iOS (iPads and iPhones), Android, and Windows. Directors also need access to documents offline without downloading them to their local drive to work on long flights, especially right before meetings.
Directors are not always experts at technology, so software has to be intuitive and easy. Pay attention to the user experience at the demonstration. Can you imagine tech-skeptic members using it confidently and feeling secure about it? It also has to come with around-the-clock support from real people (not automated messages). Unlike free software, purpose-built apps like Aprio Boardroom offer individual training to users, so no one feels left out of the loop. Support is as much part of the user experience as design.
Members often chat and brainstorm about strategies in-between meetings. Smaller discussions often lead to great ideas, but it’s unfair and ineffective when some members are pulling ahead of others. Board portals enable collaboration with private and public document annotation and instant notifications. When members collaborate through Aprio or other portals, they can make their discussions public to all members and update meeting agendas up-to-the-minute. Good governance means keeping everyone on the same page. Effective meetings can only be conducted by members who show up informed. Governors decide on better strategies when they coordinate with safe and easy document-sharing technology. Govern your organization better by keeping all members informed with board portal software, even when last minute changes come into play.