Crown agencies and crown corporations can’t afford to be wasteful when they invest in new technology for their operations, nor can they ignore technological tools that can improve efficiency and accountability. At the board level, directors and administrators always struggle to find ways to conduct more productive meetings that focus on strategy and good governance, and waste less time finding documents or going over information that directors should already have.
Board portal software offers directors a way out of the email quagmire and on the road to more effective meetings, but there are plenty of things to consider before your organization starts looking to invest in a solution. There are some valuable resources for information about board technology available online, but some of the essential features you should look for include
1. Secure document distribution that requires password logins, even if directors receive email notifications about updates. Email is not a secure way to send messages or attachments, as they can easily be intercepted, leading to stolen confidential data.
2. Software that works on both desktop and tablets and compatibility with all major operating systems; for example, the board portal made by the company Aprio is compatible with Apple, Android, and Windows mobile devices.
3. Home country data hosting, meaning that your organization’s data is hosted in the country where you operate; if your data is hosted on a server outside of Canada, it can be subject to that country’s legislation.
4. Multi-layered access privileges that allow administrators to set up committees and make sure that documents intended for In Camera sessions are only visible to those involved. One particularly great feature to look for is the ability to delegate “sub-administrator” status to someone like the chairperson, allowing the administrator to block themselves from viewing In Camera documents. It’s also a useful tool when it comes time to conduct executive evaluations or when a director has a conflict of interest.
These are some of the leading factors drawing more crown agencies toward investing in affordable board software:
1. Administrators save time scheduling meetings, inviting directors and executives, as well as uploading and distributing documents and reports
2. Directors have all of the relevant documents they need accessible on their tablet as well as links to important resources relevant to agenda items
3. Annotation tools such as those used in Aprio Boardroom allow directors to not only make notes as though it were a paper document, they can also share their notes to create a collaborative discussion between meetings.
4. Tools that allow you to track past decisions as well as an archive of motions and digital signatures.
When it comes to affordability, look for software that comes with a flat set up fee and that will accommodate your organization’s numbers, as well as offering unlimited committees. Crown agencies have a responsibility to find technology that’s both affordable and efficient, as well as solutions that keep data confidential and uncompromised. Start your search for a board portal software that can help your board of directors practice good governance today.