What to Look for in a Board Management Software

My Post (1)Board management software, commonly known as board portals, are secure environments for board members and administrators to upload and access board or committee materials, communicate, and execute their meetings and governance duties effectively. Through merging mobile hardware and cloud technology, board portals can take the place of paper, printing, shared drives, survey & form tools, e-signature software, and email. Board management software streamlines every step of the board meeting from prepping the board book to conducting the meeting to creating and maintaining follow up tasks for both the board members and administrative staff.

To start, more manual processes like paper are being reduced in every part of business. With the movement of digital transformation influencing all companies, board portals have proven to expand board communication, update processes, save time and money, and help with cybersecurity.

Below are some baseline features and functionality that you should look for when searching for a board management software.

Features and Capabilities

• Board member features like shareable annotations, always up-to-date & synced materials, and calendars can help share information easily and quickly.
• Board and committee member must have the ability to work from anywhere and at any time, so be sure your board portal offers multi-device compatibilities.
• Ease of use features like a drag-and-drop agenda and board book builder, complete file support, and a resource library can greatly ease any challenges that board administrators might face and save time.
• Granular user access controls can help with granting permissions to certain items in the board book or to an entire meeting.

Security

• Secure board management software protects your data with RSA 4096-bit and AES-256 encryption, so this is a bare minimum.
• Microsoft Azure is the gold-standard in cloud-security, and it can be a warning sign if a vendor builds and manages their own servers as there is no way to verify security measures.
• Ask for proof of external audit trails and compliance with basic standards like SOC-2.
• To protect your data, make sure your provider backs up data in multiple locations to not have all eggs in one basket.

From the Vendor

• Be on the lookout for vendors that have been acquired by larger companies, which can lead to a deterioration of customer satisfaction and support.
• Ask about awards and recognition. It’s a good window into market credibility, which has a direct correspondence with quality. Usually vendors who have awards from online review sites gain those from real customer reviews.
• Lastly, ask about their customer success program. Do they retain customers? Are you given a dedicated manager who will help when you need it the most?

Virtual Meeting Needs

• A complete suite of governance features for in-between meetings like e-signatures, voting, and surveys can help make decisions faster.
• A board meeting software with an integrated group or private messenger can help when there are sensitive subjects that need to be discussed or for people to work in an audit-friendly format.
• A board portal with a document management system built-in can help with the searching and dissemination of documents.
• Work with a provider that integrates directly with video conferencing software like Zoom.

Still a little confused on what you should look for in a board portal or how to begin your search? This board portal buyer’s guide will help!

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