The current crisis is forcing boards to make decisions at breakneck speed, and do so while meeting and working remotely. In this new reality, organisations without a board portal have to make do with email and messaging or collaboration apps to communicate with their boards.
While collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams may work perfectly well for everyday communication, they often fall short when it comes to collating and distributing a polished board pack at short notice and running remote board meetings. To help your board be at its best in these critical times, it pays to invest in a board portal designed around the board's specific needs.
So, here are the essential processes a board portal delivers to support your board and help them stay focused on what matters most during times of crisis.
Give your board members easy access to the latest information
One of the biggest challenges governance teams face today is keeping all decision makers informed about a rapidly evolving situation. It’s an essential process, yet, those in charge of it are under huge pressure, as demand for information from the board increases and management battles a growing number of priorities. In that context, having one view of the truth is critical.
A board portal can take away some of the burden, by ensuring that:
- All critical documents, conversations, and links are stored in a single platform that every board member can easily access.
- Board papers are available on any device, both online and offline.
- Papers are always combined into a pack in the right order.
- All board members are looking at the most up-to-date, timestamped version of your papers.
- You can easily control who has permissions to edit documents.
- Board members are notified when a new paper is uploaded.
- Board members can quickly and easily find relevant information, through a fast and simple search function.
Tools such as Microsoft Teams and SharePoint are good for creating and sharing documents, but they don’t ensure one view of the truth in a platform that eliminates any confusion around the documents being shared.
Build and distribute the final board pack in minutes
Building and distributing a polished board pack shouldn’t take hours. With a board portal, you can save time and money by automating some of the time-consuming tasks, including:
- Creating agendas from templates, or copying previous meeting agendas.
- Quickly re-ordering agenda items by drag and drop.
- Adding meeting timings automatically.
- Creating sections, tabs, and page numbers in just a few clicks.
- Combining PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, and other files into a single document.
- Quickly and easily distributing final packs within a secure platform.
- Collecting annotations and comments on the pack by exporting all notes into a separate file.
Teams and SharePoint are good for collaborating on documents as the team write them — but they do not solve the pain of quickly collating a clear and effective final board pack.
Manage late paper submissions and last-minute updates with ease
With a board portal, you can easily update a pack or a paper — ensuring your board has crucial information in good time:
- Easily update a pack with any late papers, without having to format the file again.
- Republish late papers or amendments, without losing the annotations, comments, and notes made.
- Eliminate the risk of previous board packs being in circulation and of board members looking at the wrong information.
- Save time from having to email the latest version of the pack, by notifying your board when changes have been made with a click of a button.
Last-minute updates and papers can take a long time to complete and cause a lot of stress when you have to go through numerous edits and comments stored in multiple tools. A board portal stops updates and edits from becoming an enemy to efficiency, and can turn them into a valuable addition to board conversations.
Keep your organisation’s most sensitive information secure
A board portal gives you greater control over how your information is accessed and shared than any collaboration tool designed with easy, organisation-wide sharing in mind, not necessarily security. With a board portal you can:
- Centrally control permissions on who’s allowed to download papers, limiting the risk of files falling into the wrong hands.
- Provide secure access to your meeting links by sharing them through your board portal.
- Easily monitor what documents each board member has access to.
- Access an audit trail of who has logged in and what they have seen.
- Remove individual users’ access to specific packs where necessary.
- Eliminate the risk of documents being shared in the wrong channel.
Your organisation’s most sensitive documents and conversations should be protected by the highest security standards that only a solution designed for the board’s needs such as a board portal can provide. The granular control of permissions and settings required to keep your board papers from falling into the wrong hands is not possible in most collaboration tools. Download our Guide to Virtual Boardroom Security for more tips on how to keep your information safe.
Run more productive remote board meetings
Apart from making collating board packs easier, a board portal can also be an aid during your remote board meetings. This will not only save you the time of having to prepare a PowerPoint presentation, but also allow you to do the following things in a single platform:
- Navigate to your remote meeting directly from the board pack with a click of a button.
Use the annotations attendees made before the meeting to ask for their contribution at the right point in the meeting.
- Use the split-screen view to compare this month’s dashboard to last month’s, or to view an agenda alongside your pack during your remote meeting.
- Vote, collect e-signatures, and keep an audit trail of votes that can easily be exported.
Collaboration tools might be great for managing the early stages of putting reports together, but are often not the best solution to use when presenting the final pack during a meeting — which is where a board portal can really add value.
Provide digital tools that are easy and intuitive to use
Finding a solution that’s simple to use and makes life easier for your board members, rather than more stressful, is essential. Here are some benefits that our board portal has over most other remote working alternatives:
- Board Intelligence’s board portal is designed to make the experience of reading and annotating papers easy and hassle-free for even the least tech-savvy person.
- Our board portal keeps everything we all enjoy about working on paper and combines it with smart and easy collaboration tools, so that even the biggest advocates of paper board packs love it.
Here’s what board members and leaders say about using our board portal:
“It took me 5 minutes to understand how to use the Board Intelligence Board Portal – it couldn’t be easier.”
~ Mathew Parker, CEO, Babble
“I wouldn’t go back to paper. Board Intelligence is just so much easier, so much more effective, and it gives much more added value.”
~ Richard Atkinson, Clerk, Middlesbrough College
Download our Board Director’s Guide to Boardroom Technology for the 2020s for more tips on how to find the right technology for your board's needs.
Ensure access to 24/7 technical support
We’re all trying to do our part in supporting our leaders navigate the current crisis. At Board Intelligence, we’re committed to supporting your board members with any technical issues and questions — at any time of the week and the day. As a Board Intelligence customer, you get access to:
- Brilliant, fast, and friendly 24/7 support at the end of a phone line or email for all users.
- An account manager with background in your sector, who understands your needs.
Having a trusted partner to help your board members with technical issues and questions at any time of the day is invaluable in the current remote working setting, and few technology providers can brag of a support team as responsive and reliable as our own.
Don't take our word for it, here's what our customers have to say:
“The IT support has been amazing, very responsive and for this reason alone, I would recommend it.”
~ Debbie Wakeford, Group Director of Legal and Company Secretary, Clarks
“It’s fantastic to get such helpful support so quickly and at the weekend.”
~ John Barton, Chair, easyJet