​Prior to employing a board portal, there are some unique planning variables to consider for successful implementation including, but not limited to the following:​

1) Board Buy-in

Companies in various industries are adopting portals at a rapid pace, and there is a good chance one or more of your directors already use a portal. Finding a champion on the board can make a considerable difference when it comes to influencing board buyin. This gives you the ability to leverage that board member’s experience to highlight the key features a portal solution includes such as: 

  • Ability to search current board books or archived/ related documents
  • Annotative capabilities to help prepare and approve documents on the go 
  • Multi-board functionality 

2) Cost Analysis

While running a cost analysis for a board portal solution, it is important to not only look at the annual fee associated with a board portal, but also to explore the costs in your current board management processes. When you factor in the savings associated with eliminating courier fees, printing and binding costs, and the soft costs due to a simpler collation and distribution process, a company will see reduced costs within the first 12 months of implementation. When evaluating providers take time reviewing your options and find vendors that can provide you with the required value based on your board’s needs. Keep in mind, the functionality gap between portal providers is steadily closing but pricing gaps remain prevalent.​

3) Cyber Security

Cyber-attacks are becoming an increased threat for all global businesses. Based on a recent study by PwC​, the number of attacks reported by midsize companies jumped 64% from 2013 to 2014 (2,581 attacks to 4,227 attacks). The information you share within your board portal includes the most vital, classified information about your company. 

The increased need for cyber security creates multiple “must-haves” when it comes to the security offered by the vendor. Check to see if the vendor owns their own servers and infrastructure and if they have any IT security accreditations such as SSAE16, AT101 or equivalent audited data facilities. If the data is hosted by a third-party hosting center, it is important to investigate the specific warranties and obligations provided. End-to-end security may include encrypted data at rest (in the database vault) and secure document transmission to ensure downloaded content is protected, such as document rights management capability to automatically expire documents that have been transferred from the server to the director’s laptop or tablet after a pre-set amount of time.​

4) Director Support

If you have domestic and international board members, check to see if the vendor provides local business hours or ‘follow the sun’ type support models. Next, decide whether the vendor should have any or no contact with the directors and if they offer “train the trainer” programs. The ability to handle basic technical questions and individual inquiries quickly and efficiently is key.​

5) Beyond the Board book

What else can the portal do specifically for the directors and the company secretary? Examples of additional benefits and features of a portal include detailed information and reference material related to the meetings, online document approval, e-signature request workflows, director and officer questionnaires and storing/sharing sensitive information within the security guidelines of a portal. 

As you look to transition from print and mail practices, or to increase security in your digital file transfer, make sure to find a portal that has the security to protect your data, the functionality to streamline all of your processes and the support to tie it all together​.

To see the power of BoardWorks in action, schedule a demo today at cgsboardworks.com/demo-schedule​


BoardWorks enables critical access to board materials, allowing directors to advise executives and make decisions faster on strategic business matters.

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