​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​As a company board member, director meetings can be filled with the monotony of flipping through page after page of company documentation. Now, company secretaries and directors have found a modern day solution to communicate their board materials via a web-based board portal. 


A board portal is a digitized, secure communication and collaboration tool between a company and its board members. ​​​​​​



The initial purpose of a board portal was to provide a new way for directors to access company board materials. The most common practice was using the portal as a centralized, web accessible storage unit on a company Intranet or secure web directory. However, concern over accessibility and security grew substantially and companies sought alternative ways to stay in touch with their directors. From this, the board portal market was born. With the increasing need to adopt new board practices to improve communications with directors and keep confidential information secure, the idea of using a streamlined portal solution flourished. 


The key benefit of a Board portal: Security


Security is the top priority when implementing a board portal. You are entrusting a new partner to control the delivery of the most sensitive information of your business.


Top-level board portal providers allow for higher levels of control over the accessibility and discoverability of your shared board materials, unlike programs that are geared towards an employee base such as an Intranet provider. Board portals provide a dedicated space to separate out this level of sensitive information and allow you to minimize risk. Alternative delivery methods of board materials susceptible to risk include:​


Intranets:


Intranets also tend to have complex and complicated accessibility control. The user has to depend on an internet connection to access or view board materials. Once the director accesses the information, they are held responsible to download the files from the Intranet which creates lack of control from an administrator’s perspective if they lose the material or change it without informing other users. ​


Email Communications:​


Similar to the Intranet, users have no control over who is accessing the documents once they are downloaded and emailed — and there is no guarantee the intended recipient ever saw the material. If you are sending the information to someone’s business email, company file size restrictions may also create transferable challenges, not to mention that information is now stored on another companies’ server. Board members tend to have email addresses via Hotmail, Yahoo!, Google and other email service providers which are more susceptible to hacking.


Print and Mail:


Print and mail is not only unsecure, it is expensive and labor intensive. Often times, the total page count of board materials can be 100-200+ pages with 20+ directors each receiving a binder resulting in additional time and increased costs spent collating, packaging and mailing. ​


So, what is the “Board portal” of today?​


A board portal is a digitized, secure communication and collaboration tool between a business and their board accessible from a mobile device via multiple platforms. Ultimately, board portal providers own hosting facilities and data centers with the highest security protocols available, allowing administrators to upload their board materials securely to a dedicated space. Outside of security and safety, board portals also offer the ability to: 


  • Review, annotate and approve documents whether on- or off-line 
  • Utilize single sign-on and consolidated views when serving on multi-boards 
  • Access voting and survey modules 
  • Hold director to director communications within a secure portal 
  • Key word search all board materials​​

We know in today’s global business environment, managing your time and your board responsibilities is no easy task. Board portals help you work more effectively and efficiently by offering the functionality to streamline your board processes, the security to protect your data 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​

Pre-register our free demo to get a HKD$100 coffee brand coupon!

We are sponsoring the 10th Biennial Corporate Governance Conference from 23 to 24 September 2016. ​Throughout the day we will also have a series of demos at our booth showcasing how BoardWorks, board portal software developed by Computershare Governance Services, can help directors and compliance professionals make strategic decisions faster and simplify Board meeting preparation. Pre-register our free demo to get a HKD$100 coffee brand coupon!
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