Every organization will have its own requirements when choosing a virtual boardroom. However, they should look out for some important features before committing to any board rooms.
Within this article, we’ll be looking at some useful tips for choosing the best board portal software for your company, covering everything from security features, collaboration options, and more.
1. Consider the Security Features
Security is the most important aspect of any board management software. Companies should check the board meeting platform’s credentials before choosing that service. Any board portal should have clear information about encryption strength and which standards and regulations they follow.
In short, the more secure the platform, the more trust you can have in sharing important documents. Consider the boardroom’s additional security features. For example, a board of directors portal gives you the option to remove documents and annotations remotely from a member’s device.
As such, if a stakeholder’s device is stolen, any sensitive data can be purged and the company avoids a major security leak. Some board meeting platforms will let admins execute this purge from any other device connected to the software.
There are other security features as well, all of which show how committed the board portal manufacturer is to protecting your sensitive information.
2. Consider Document Creation
One board portal benefit is creating documents such as board packs or minutes. This task usually involves multiple team members. A board portal should offer board document management, allowing admins to assign tasks and optimize workflow to produce valuable documents.
The portal should allow collaboration and assign due dates to important tasks. Admins should be able to track work progress within the platform, rather than jumping into different apps to complete their work.
3. Take Accessibility into Account
Usability should also be high on your list of priorities. Any online board room software should let you find any information quickly. The purpose of a paperless meeting solution is that you simplify your otherwise messy and unorganized traditional practices, which is why your software needs to be streamlined and intuitive. With that said, you should look for the following:
- Quick search. Board members should be able to search for documents and navigate them without issues, on any device.
- Work across all systems and devices. The right board management platform should optimize their service for mobile, tablet, and desktop, so members can work from any location. Some board portals are only accessible via desktop, limiting their appeal and versatility.
- Printer-friendly formatting. Another thing you should look for is how easy it is to print things out. While many businesses are thinking about the environment and trying to limit their paper use, there may still be a reason to print out documents, either through convenience or by limiting your screen time. The board portal should offer printer-friendly formatting, even if you won’t be printing too many documents.
- Offline document access. Companies may also want to confirm whether the board portal has offline access. Ideally, a user needs to be able to download documents to prepare for meetings and view them when they are not connected to the internet.
4. Understand Collaboration Features
Collaboration is an essential part of making board processes more efficient. Traditional approaches to board meetings wasted a lot of time during meetings, as members raised issues, made comments, and asked questions.
Board portals connected to the cloud mean users can raise the issues and make comments on board issues ahead of time, so everybody is well-prepared for the meeting. Users can also view comments and ask questions after the meeting, keeping meeting times to a minimum.
The right board meeting software should also allow in-meeting collaboration, so directors can back up points in the board pack and share the passage in question, so other members know exactly where to look.
5. Keep in Mind Scheduling Tools
Another feature you should look for is the chance to share, update, and sync calendars in the board meeting software. A shared calendar means everybody knows about meeting fats and other occurrences.
Members can also fill in days where they are unavailable, so organizing events and decisions takes less time and effort.
6. Think of Video Conferencing Possibilities
Boards have a legal obligation to identify anybody who participates in a board meeting. As such, video conferencing capabilities are necessary for transparency. If you hold board meetings via conference call, you can easily lose the connection with a board member.
In addition, video meetings are a good way to keep people engaged with the meeting. If people can see you, you are less likely to get distracted. Also, people will be less likely to talk over one another as they pick up on visual cues that other members want to speak.
For example, video conferences allow boards to use a raised hand system whenever members contribute to the conversation.
Keep in mind, most board portals will offer a robust video conferencing feature. However, this is not typical of every platform. If the system does not offer video support, you use another app like Zoom or Google Hangouts.
However, this would negate the main benefit of board portal technology — keeping everything in one place.
7. Check Governance Features
Businesses also need to be able to complete governance tasks online, especially if they are moving towards a paperless work environment. Some board portals offer various governance features, such as e-signatures and voting tools.
Keep in mind that an e-signature is different to a digital signature. While a digital signature is as legally binding as a written signature on a document, an e-signature is a mark that indicates the member intends to sign at a later date.
Board meeting software should also have a reminder setting so members know when they need to sign or approve documents or complete other governance tasks.
These are just a few things you need to think about when choosing the right boardroom software for your company. Remember that no two board portals are the same and you need to consider your company’s requirements before settling on the right platform.