What is Board Management Software?
Board management software is a tool that provides the perfect, secured, and shared virtual space for directors to effectively collaborate with board members and external directors of other boards. It enables an environment for sharing documents with members and holding virtual meetings.
With features like e-voting, e-signatures, agenda creation, minutes builder, and task management, a board can make resolutions as it would when every member is present in person. Absent members can enter the board portal, view the agenda, add input, or cast votes. Everything is seamless, intuitive, and effective with an online board meeting software.
The board management software can be used as:
Why Use Board Software?
Business meetings are time-consuming and, let us be fair, often quite boring. Mostly it happens because board members that take part in the meeting need to study the documents.
- We all are familiar with those awkward moments during business meetings when everyone is silent and all you can hear is the rustle of paper. That’s the sound of people studying documents. And this process takes a huge amount of time. Also, it is really annoying to just sit and wait for others to read the needed information. What if all participants of the meeting could study documents beforehand?
- This is what the boardroom software was created for. A board portal is a tool that allows managing every aspect of the interaction between directors within one company and of relationships between heads of different firms. Board management software helps prepare for the meeting and hold it efficiently without wasting any time. Regardless of the frequency of meetings, the board of directors portal helps with keeping things organized and builds a stable workflow.
- Board portal software is useful not only for offline events. The whole world goes online. And businesses never lose a chance to use benefits internet gives them. Thus, lots of relationship between companies are held in virtual space. Especially, in Australia, since this country is physically rather distant from others. And it is much easier to hold a meeting online than to spend lots of time and money every now and then to just discuss things with partners. That’s why board portal software is rather popular in Australia.
How to choose a board management software
Compare the available board portals and make the right choice in seven steps:
- Evaluate your current approach. Note the pain points and weaknesses that a board management software can solve. For instance, an online boardroom can help cut down the costs associated, eliminate the need for traveling, and offer additional data security.
- Ask directors for their opinion. The board software has to be convenient for all participants in terms of usability and functionality. Account for every member’s comfort level with technology, specific requests, and previous experience with board portals.
- Define the vital features. All boards run differently and require different instruments in the process. Think of the tools that can complement and elevate your board’s operation.
- Allocate the budget. Set a spending limit based on your board’s size and requirements. Outlining the cost expectations beforehand helps narrow down the board software providers and adequately distribute the necessary funds.
- Shortlist the most suitable products. Consider all the above points to identify board portal vendors that can meet your demands. Pay particular attention to every provider’s servers’ location and security compliances.
- Check the reviews. The three R’s of evaluating any software reviews are: real, recent, and relevant. Look up the software you have in mind across as many independent platforms as possible to gather maximum intake.
- Request a free trial. Whenever possible, ask each provider for a complimentary trial period. This way, you will see board collaboration software in action without digging into the budget.
Crucial factors of board portal selection
There are several vital aspects to choosing the most optimal board meeting software:
- Provider’s reputation. Evaluate the combination of the provider’s user feedback, length of operation, support team solutions, payment processing, and product evolution. In case a virtual boardroom provider was developed or acquired by another company, learn about the parent organization as well.
- Governance improvement potential. Some providers go well beyond the standard board meeting software capacity by allowing users to collaborate outside of meetings and adopt long-term governance strategies.
- Implementation and adaptability. Assess how fast the board governance software will integrate with your current system. Also, check which devices are compatible with the virtual boardroom to ensure utmost user convenience.
- Security. The board meeting software provider’s outlook on data security is vital to your board’s success. Consider factors such as encryption methods, data backups, user authorization, and servers’ certifications and compliances.
- Frequency of updates. Ask the provider how often they add new features, fix bugs, and generally improve the board governance software. Constant and consistent development will allow the virtual boardroom to grow alongside your company and adapt to your potential needs.
- Possible discounts. Check if the provider can offer more value on the board meeting software based on the number of users you will bring, the included features, or the amount of time you will use the software for.
Benefits of Board Management Software
Board management software offers premium features that facilitate board meetings, resolutions, performance tracking, and many other benefits, including:
From agenda and minute builders to scheduling meetings and tracking attendances, a board portal is well-equipped with premium features to ensure quick and smooth online board management. There are even templates to make things faster if you don’t want to start afresh in building an agenda for a meeting.
There’s also a meeting center in the board portal where you can automate the scheduling of meetings to save time and concentrate on more pressing organizational issues.
Board collaboration software is optimally secured against unauthorized users and only accessible to those with administrator permissions. Consequently, documents and sensitive data shared in the meeting room or stored in it are safe. Even when the administrator is granting users access to certain documents, they can decide to limit what they see in the said documents. Implementing many embedded encryption protocols, it is virtually impossible to fall victim to a data breach inside the secure board software.
With a document management feature that ensures all documents are in a single, centralized location, accessing them becomes easier for the administrator to retrieve documents and share while avoiding the stress of dredging email attachments. These documents can be easily edited, annotated, embedded with links, and properly organized for effective collaboration anytime.
With online board meeting software, resolutions before, during, or after board meetings can be compiled from the results of online polls. All board voting procedures can be implemented in this e-voting system with the results saved and even added to other documents where necessary. Board members can vote from anywhere conveniently and fully engage in the board meetings without being physically present.
Thanks to a video integration feature, members can participate in meetings with only an internet connection. Attendees have a live-view of the proceedings, so they feel more involved and, consequently, are more attentive.
There are times when passing resolutions in a board meeting require signatures. Offering an e-signature feature to board members allows them to sign documents electronically. Letters can be drafted, signatures appended, and the letters sent out without the presence of signatories.
With a task manager, tasks can be created and assigned to board members during meetings or after meetings. These tasks can also be monitored to ensure full compliance is achieved. You can monitor tasks that have been completed and those that aren’t to improve accountability and drive productivity.
If you are looking for paperless board meeting software, board management software can help. Board directors can hold meetings without the burden of needing paper copies for all attendees.
The best reasons to use board software
This solution allows creating a custom board book that will fit the pattern of meeting your company has. Users of the digital boardroom cannot only upload needed documents there, schedule meetings and leave important notes. With this technology the busy life of the company’s board will be organized and accessible to all members of the board. Every detail – last minute additions, notes, and changes – will be seen by every director before the meeting. Therefore, there will be no need to waste time on recent updates during the event itself.
In the corporate meeting software, users can schedule dates for the future meeting while others can accept or decline them. This practice helps reduce the number of board members who could not make it to the event. You can pick the date and time that will be convenient for everyone and improve the attendance. Also, there usually is a voting board management software improves board meetingstool in the virtual board room. It allows making sure everyone is satisfied with things and conditions.
Board Management Software Pricing
Pricing can differ from software to software and is dependent on the features they offer. There are free board portal solutions, but they rarely come with high-end security features and some important features that would make them more effective.
When it comes to board management software costs, many board portal vendors don’t publicize their pricing structure—contact providers for a customized quote.
Board Portal Features
- Usually, this software is adapted for mobile devices. This means users can access their virtual board rooms from any location and at any moment. The interface of such software is very intuitive and requires no training for new users. But if any issues or questions occur, the support team is always there for customers of board rooms.
- Another useful thing is the ability to create tasks for yourself or other members of the board. First of all, it allows keeping track of what things are done and what should be done in the future. Also, it helps in organizing a workflow and micromanage processes in the company. It is a powerful tool for remote partnership in particular. So Australian businesses can really benefit from implementing this technology into their workflows.
- The storage of the board room is usually unlimited or close to the unlimited. So board members can keep there all the archives of every meeting that was held after the software was implemented in the company. Also, if you have any important offline information from previous meetings you can upload it to the repository as well.
- Since the information that is uploaded to the online repository is usually rather sensitive, providers of digital boardrooms care a lot about the protection of their servers where all data is stored. But documents are protected not only on the server level. Users can improve the security as well by controlling the amount of access other board members have.
Set a meeting time
Board management software makes this step simple with the Calendar tool. A meeting host proposes available time slots. Attendees book the most convenient time, and the organizer confirms the meeting, after which each attendee receives an invitation.
Create an agenda on the board portal
The board meeting agenda software includes templates. Their clear structure helps prevent a secretary from missing essential details. The Agenda Builder allows users to:
- create a program from scratch
- modify templates
- apply the ready-made ones
- attach files if necessary
Provide access to the data center
This aspect affects the opportunities for quality preparation. Hence, the online board meeting tool provides a solution for easy yet safe access to storage. Users can view agendas, reports, minutes, etc. Authorization and activity are secure from any device.
One of the best practices for secure board document management is granular permissions. They concern both individual users and files.
Admins divide colleagues into groups according to jobs and then configure the parameters:
- Administrators. These persons have access to all data, settings, and permissions. They are responsible for board meeting document management.
- Download only. Download and Viewoptions are available to this group.
- Full access. Users can carry out all actions related to the content:
- data exchange
- View only. Only viewing files and folders is possible.
The board of directors meeting platform is easy to configure down to a single file. So, managers can apply all of the above settings to each document. So before the upload, they decide a group’s access level concerning each file.
For security purposes, developers designed the software to give admins as much control over their files as possible. Even before the user goes through virtual boardroom login, their permissions and restrictions are set, and only the admins can change their access approvals.
Board meeting solution providers offer the following built-in apps and dedicated services to drive engagement:
- Zoom. This integration enables video conferencing in the boardroom without switching tabs. Users can join a meeting with a single click and have all the necessary materials at hand. For installation, administrators attach an account to the boardroom. From this point, the software uses encryption to ensure data and user protection.
- Internal messengers. Interaction between colleagues in public and private chats takes place on the platform. The advantage is that users do not get distracted by other programs or devices. Moreover, the security of correspondence is reliable and stable, unlike e-mail or SMS.
- Polls. Board members make decisions collaboratively and immediately with this feature. Administrators publish a poll, and participants have a time window for casting their vote. After everyone has voted, the program reports the result.
- Interactive agendas. At all stages of the conference, directors can work together on their agenda. Namely, they comment on existing items, add new ones, and suggest changes. Thus, all persons take an active part in discussions. Once the organizer closes the session, everyone involved receives a copy of the document.
The value of compliance is that security experts conduct a thorough review of the software. So, it makes data more resistant to leaks and breaches. Check the following regulations for a secure board portal:
Certification indicates that a vendor adheres to the five information security principles.
- data availability
- complete and reliable data processing
- protection from third parties
ISO 27001: 2013
It is also proof of the provider’s robust approach to user security. To confirm its compliance, a boardroom vendor must:
- conduct risk assessments taking into account potential threats
- install mechanisms for security management
- make the process management compliant with standards
To make the implementation smooth for everyone, many companies opt for board software training sessions. The dedicated course aims to speed up and optimize a team’s work. Customers can choose from an online class, a webinar, or a brief user guide.
Although the digital board meeting portal is easy to use, the knowledge gained from IT professionals is of particular value.
Another suggestion is the free demo. That is how a client gets to know the product better. The provider demonstrates virtual spaces and features to potential users.
A free trial period is an opportunity to test drive online board management software. Clients use it to evaluate the program and to discover benefits and drawbacks.
Typically, reputable vendors allow users to test all features. Others disable some options for the free trial period. Potential users are notified about restrictions on their website. It is better to pass on software for board meetings if the provider does offer a free trial period. It is a way to protect your company’s data from a low-quality product.