Ask the Expert October 2014
Q: A significant amount of work is undertaken by directors in between meetings, typically on an urgent basis, in the form of approval of circular resolutions and signing of documents. Can these work flows be integrated into our board portal?
A: Yes, this kind of work can be integrated into a board portal, but only if that portal is purpose-built to facilitate such outside-of-meeting activity with security and ease of use.
Today’s 24×7 business environment has reset expectations for communication in the workplace, including at the board level. A great deal of board work today takes place between meetings. So, the board portal needs to offer a lot more than passive document sharing to be of any value to directors. It needs to have two-way interactive capabilities that improve decision-making by providing greater efficiency surrounding board meetings, but also to effectively respond to all the work that goes on between.
The portal needs to have a range of productivity tools that can capture the typical process board members are involved in: web conferencing for remote meetings, approvals for greenlighting initiatives or eSigning agreements, and secure email to support the need for one-on-one communication.
Since today’s geographically dispersed board members are attached to their mobile devices, especially their iPads, being able to be productive on the go is key. The board portal needs to have a mobile app that helps directors deliver process continuity from these devices wherever they work, whether in meetings or in between, in the office or on the road. This kind of continuity not only drives efficiency, but more importantly, it accelerates the process of making decisions, something every board member will value.
Of course, small screens have their limitations and that’s why it’s essential that the board portal’s mobile app have an intuitive user experience that overcomes these limitations, and makes complex information actionable. A strong visual presentation helps the board member locate and absorb the information they need – promptly and efficiently.
It’s common to think of mobility as synonymous with being online, but as business travellers know, network access is spotty on the road. That’s why it’s imperative that the board portal offers not just offline capability, but also a seamless online-offline experience that allows board members to sign off on resolutions even when an internet connection is unavailable. Without this capability coupled with the others mentioned above, the system will not be useful – or find acceptance among boards.
Erin Ruck, Regional Director BoardVantage
Tel: 2108 4600 firstname.lastname@example.org www.boardvantage.com