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Why You Should Consider Getting a Board Portal


By Mark Anderson, CEO/CFO   |   Posted May 8, 2017

A board portal can be a powerful resource for almost any organization. It can provide instant access to board packets and corporate information to help busy directors perform their governance duties. A portal can also help directors and committee members communicate from anywhere in the world before, during and after meetings. This makes it easier for them to collaborate, have more productive meetings, make better decisions and fulfill their other governance responsibilities.

Listed below are some other important reasons you should consider getting a board portal for your organization. (Some of the reasons are obvious, but I included unique insights to add clarification to each one.)

Ease and Convenience
With a board portal, it’s much easier for directors to get access to meeting agendas and other board materials. Directors can view board packets as well as updates to the agenda, schedule and other meeting files online—without having to hassle with thick printed board packets. They can also use the portal to browse through company policies/procedures, documents and other information to help them prepare for meetings.

Because a board portal allows information to be accessed remotely, it offers the ultimate convenience for directors. They can view meeting-related and corporate information anytime and anywhere—no matter where they’re located geographically. So directors don’t have to be in the same place to be able to review and discuss important documents. They can hold a strategy session about an upcoming meeting or decision without the time and expense of traveling.

Efficiency and Productivity

In addition to offering access to information, a board portal has built-in capabilities that can make directors more efficient. For instance, directors can add individual annotations, notes, bookmarks and highlights on their electronic board pack before, during and after meetings. This offers multiple benefits. It can help directors get better prepared for meetings, be more productive during meetings and make better decisions after meetings. Also, using a board portal to preview information prior to meetings reduces the amount of time spent in meetings. This, in turn, improves productivity of the board or committee members.

A board portal also allows board and committee members to electronically accept policies and procedures, including new changes. And some portals come with voting engagements capabilities that enable board members to vote on credits and other items. The system automatically records each vote, so members don’t have to do this manually. Board portals also enable directors to complete online evaluations of the board and senior management, which further enhances their productivity.

Governance and Compliance
Because a board portal gives directors convenient and instant access to meeting materials and corporate information, it enhances their ability to make strategic decisions that can benefit the organization. Plus, directors can also use a portal to connect in real time and exchange ideas about previous decisions, meeting minutes and other important details. Their collaborative efforts can result in more effective meetings, more well-informed decisions and better board governance.

Regulatory compliance is an increasingly challenging issue for organizations. A board portal can facilitate compliance in a multiple ways. It can be a repository of important corporate data and provide a legal record of the kind of documents that auditors typically require. Thanks to historical archiving, the system creates a central place where documentation is organized and maintained in an audit-ready form. This can enable the organization to give regulatory inspectors immediate access to any information that’s requested.

Security Features
Even with all the advantages that a board portal offers, security is a major area of concern for some organizations. But it shouldn’t be, if you consider all the built-in security features that board portals have. First of all, the digital nature of a board portal makes it less susceptible to some of the security issues that traditional printed board packets face. For example, it’s impossible for an electronic board packet to get lost in the mail, snatched from a brief case or stolen with a mobile device.

But if a company’s sensitive information is ever stolen with a director’s laptop, tablet or smartphone, a board portal has built-in security mechanisms to remedy the situation. Password and user authentication requirements can help keep the data away from unauthorized eyes. Plus, an auto-purge feature can erase the information from the device remotely.

Aside from that, a board portal offers secure and controlled access for directors, committee members and other authorized users. There are robust security features and strict protocols to control who can enter the portal and what information they can view. For instance, encryption helps to safeguard
confidential information about the company, customers and employees during transmission and storage inside the board portal. So users can use the system to access sensitive information, communicate and collaborate without having to worry about security issues.

So when you’re considering a board portal, make sure it covers all of the areas above. Then you’ll be on the right track for finding a portal that will positively impact your board and organization as a whole.



Previously:The Benefits of Connecting Employees through Intranets  Next:Importance of Keeping Your Employee Portal Content Accurate