Every decision, every investment a company makes is based on achieving an objective. For example, corporations invest in virtual board software to help board members with their governance responsibilities.
Board portals are designed to help the board perform its duties smoothly and ensure maximum collaboration. Imagine choosing a virtual boardroom and then realizing this isn’t what your company needed. What a waste of resources, right?
So how to buy the right board management software for your company? What things should you consider? Read on to get your answers.
Virtual boardroom software: What is it?
Virtual boardrooms or board portal software are secure, cloud-based online platforms where a company’s senior officials, including CEOs, CFOs, directors, secretaries, and chairmen, can collaborate on a centralized platform, accessible from anywhere in the world.
Apart from that, boardroom software are online data repositories where a company can store board materials, financial statements, and other confidential corporate documents.
Depending on their access level, board members can access data stored in board portals, edit, modify or add notes to documents, arrange board meetings, communicate with stakeholders or investors, cast votes, and whatnot.
Things to consider before buying board management software
Whether we talk about affordable board management software for nonprofits, public companies, or enterprises, we should always consider these things before you buy one for your organization.
1. Improvement in the corporate governance process
Board members are always under immense pressure as the organization looks up to them. Constant and easy access to board material is very crucial for board members to perform their duties efficiently.
Moreover, streamlining board documents management and ensuring smooth collaboration are also prime objectives of virtual boardrooms. Your organization needs a boardroom where the distribution of board material is easy and fast. Board members must be able to get alerts, read receipts, and notifications about every boardroom activity.
2. Administrative department’s efficiency
Board book creation is one of the most time-consuming processes for the board. That means the board members will have less time to focus on other important things. Stats say that board portals reduce the time required to create boardbooks by 60-70%. You need to look for boardroom software that reduces the strain on your board members’ shoulders and helps them focus on important things.
3. Notifications and alerts
Imagine an addendum in the board meeting agenda, and your board members are not notified about it; or even if the information is dispersed, how sure are you that all the members received the notification?
Notifications and alerts are important to update your board members about everything happening in the boardroom. It is important that the board portal you are choosing must have a strong notification system that keeps the members updated.
Board members are in possession of the company’s most important and highly confidential documents, and the board portal is supposed to keep them safe. One thing you cannot compromise on is the board portal’s security.
Is every board portal as safe as others? No, they aren’t. You need to look for a certified board portal software vendor that complies with international data security standards, including SOC2, ISO 27001, FINRA, etc.
Always look out for at least basic security features such as two-factor authentication, data encryption, customized access restrictions, digital watermarking, etc.
5. Cost reduction
Board portals are supposed to reduce governance costs. For example, let’s talk about the cost of preparing board materials. The list starts with paper cost, then compiling, printing, binding, and distributing it to all board members.
Also, don’t forget about changes or alterations, and the cycle starts again — recompiling, re-printing, and so on. An ideal board meeting software must be able to minimize the costs associated with preparing and distributing board material.
6. Price flexibility
You should only pay the price for the features you want in your virtual boardroom. For example, if you need board software to store board material, you don’t need meeting tools. But the question is, does the vendor offer flexible pricing plans, or do you have to pay for standard products? Choose a vendor that is flexible with the pricing system.
7. Ease of use
Board meeting management software is simply useless if your board members find it difficult to work on it. Business software is supposed to make things easy, not hard. A board portal must be easy to use and simple to navigate. Anyone with basic tech knowledge should be able to use it.
8. Compatibility with the operating system
Compatibility is one of the most important factors to consider before choosing a virtual boardroom. If your company uses Windows as its operating system, make sure the board portal you want is compatible with it. Ideally, a board software should be compatible with multiple operating systems, including Linux, Mac, Windows, and iOS.
9. Training and implementation
Board members often feel reluctant to shift from traditional channels to digital solutions, and the last thing you want is an improper implementation of your board portal. A board portal must be straightforward to implement, and the vendor must offer flexible training programs to help your board members learn things easily.
10. Free trials
Getting hands-on experience with boardroom software before buying is always helpful. It gives you an idea of whether the software fulfills your board’s needs or not. Consider those options that offer free trials so that you can make a more informed decision.
Investing in a board portal is not a decision to be made in haste. It is an investment that will have a massive impact on the overall performance of your board members.
Therefore, be sure that your choice is easy to use, cost-effective, secure, and improves the board’s efficiency. Most importantly, don’t forget to request free trials because practical experience helps you make better decisions.