Strong corporate governance is the foundation on which all large companies can establish clear accountabilities, drive smart objectives and implement effective processes throughout their organization. Without strong corporate governance at all levels, companies can quickly find themselves in a state of flux, unable to do what they need to do in order to achieve the objectives they have set for themselves. Indeed, a lack of corporate governance can even make the objective-setting process inefficient.
As technology becomes a larger part of overall business processes, many companies are exploring how they can use available tools to enhance their corporate governance. Board portals are one such tool that can help by making boards more effective and board members more accountable, while assisting businesses in everything from setting objectives to measuring results.
Here’s a look at five ways board portals can do this:
1. Instant Board Packs
Old-school businesses tend to be heavily reliant on couriers to deliver physical board packs to board members on time and in one piece. In today’s business world where board members may not all be in the same building, city or even country other than when they meet, this can prove hugely inefficient.
Using board portals means:
- Board members can receive their board packs instantly, wherever they are.
- Businesses reduce courier costs as well as the risk of confidential data either going missing or being stolen.
- Businesses reduce costs related to getting board members to physical meetings if they wish to conduct them online.
- Board members become more productive if they’re able to attend board meetings remotely.
- Board meetings and business operations in general become more flexible.
2. Efficiency Gains
Tremendous efficiency gains can be made using board portals. On top of all the advantages already explored, efficiency gains happen by allowing easy collaboration across documents, as well as ensuring your team members access only the documents and areas of your board portal that they need to, which is also a potential security gain depending on the structure of your company. Does your financial controller really need to see and know everything about what is happening in your human resources department? Does that same human resources department need to know what your IT team is working on?
Personal assistants also benefit from efficiency gains. Agendas can be collaborated and sent out digitally. Board members can be notified of and invited to meetings, with their responses logged digitally as well. Board meeting minutes can be taken, saved and archived online. Wave goodbye to unsecured, space-consuming filing of paper notes when you store them all in your board portal.
Moving to paperless board meetings brings huge efficiency gains, and we haven’t even touched on the positive environmental impact.
Ease of collaboration is a huge benefit, and standing alongside this is the added layer of accountability both your board members and your internal teams will inherit when using board portal software.
For your board members, all the documents they access and update in the board portal are time stamped and logged, so that there’s a clear record of who made the necessary edits and when they were made. This audit trail gives you details on what is happening in your organization, and whether or not objectives have been met.
You can feed down this practice through your business into your teams if you need to share different documents stored in your board portal with a variety of internal stakeholders. The audit trail ensures everyone gets to view and revise only what they are authorized to access.
4. Risk Management
When you go digital, you can wipe any data from remote devices should they be lost. This negates any risks attached to a laptop or another device being lost or stolen. Data can be wiped remotely and automatically if password guessing or a number of unsuccessful logins are detected.
From another perspective, most board portal packages also have a wider-reaching risk management software built into them. This helps board members to manage the risks they face on a day-to-day basis and can be useful for risk managers and directors to both demonstrate risk and ensure buy in from internal teams in all departments and at all levels.
5. Adherence to Regulations
While a board portal itself will not make your business come into line with whatever industry regulations you need to meet, it can help you put a variety of practices into place which then in turn could help you meet the standards you need to. Certainly, in terms of securing confidential information and data, using board portals could give you a strong advantage in terms of better efficiency gains, stronger accountability, and a clearer understanding of risk.
Try a board portal today. It may be something of a culture shock at first, requiring strong change management processes across your boardroom, but it is likely to deliver big benefits in the long term.