Five Things to Consider When Purchasing Board Portal Software
Good governance requires digital access to documents (online and offline), transparency, equal opportunity for contributions from all members, and security. The people who govern organizations may be located across the country, or the globe, at any time. A board portal is the fastest and safest way to distribute sensitive documents to all members. Not only does instant notification and access keep everyone informed, work tools like annotation capability enable collaborative work between meetings. With video capacity, remote directors can also vote remotely or sign documents with unique digital signatures.
When your organization makes the decision to upgrade to a board portal, there are some important questions you will have to ask to find the one that works for everyone. Companies achieve better governance when they become better organized.
#1 Determine your priorities: Consult with members, administrators, and the CEO and ask them what their priorities are. Do they need to be able to vote on motions or sign documents remotely? Are they excited about the prospect of annotating and revising documents real-time? Is home country server hosting a non-negotiable when it comes to security? Compare your priorities to what’s available; a portal that offers these features like Aprio makes board governance easy, but only if you know what you need the most.
#2 Strike a technological balance: Some directors may actually be put off by complex features and advanced technology. Invest in a technology that directors will be eager to adopt. While ease of use is always a feature to consider, sophisticated technology users will feel hampered by limited abilities. Features to look for include flexible meeting scheduling and invitations, live material annotations, secure downloads for offline access, and digital signatures. Mobile apps also optimize document sharing for directors on the go.
#3 Do your research: Find vendors that can meet your expectations and research their current users. Are they popular with crown corporations and government institutions, financial institutions and credit unions, and publically traded companies? Do they have clients of similar size to yours in a similar industry Choose a vendor that’s right-sized for you, whether you’re a small credit union, a Fortune 500 company, or a non-profit organization. A vendor like Aprio with a number of credit union and government bodies amongst its clients will understand the kind of work your trustees do.
#4 Book a demonstration: Bring the vendor into your office to demonstrate the product in front of the directors. Ask questions about how they will implement their software into your organization. Does the software come with the ability to manage digital rights, track document archiving, and purge devices of sensitive information if they’re lost?
#5 Ask about support and training: the best board portal software vendors consider support to be an element of ease of use. Free file-sharing services direct user questions to search engines and FAQ sheets. Good vendors complement advanced user interfaces with one-on-one training and 24/7, human technical support. Some offer ongoing support, such as Aprio’s supplementary webinars explaining advanced functions and new features that are added regularly. Board portal vendors help the onboarding process with individualized training and answers to your questions at any time of the day, because directors can be anywhere in the world. Invest in a board portal that’s designed to meet your organization’s requirements.