Board portals have advantages that go beyond digitization of paper documents. They help directors to plan meetings, manage tasks and work with fellow members and help them uphold and improve governance in specific ways.
When a director receives an email from the company secretary advising her that the board’s documents are available on the portal, she can review them over the weekend or in the afternoon on Tuesday, to stay ahead of the agenda and to make notes on the most important issues or questions. She can also use real-time analytics available on the portal to know how directors interact with the materials prior to the meeting, and how much time they devote to each piece of paper or document.
This is particularly beneficial for directors with a busy schedule and limited time to devote to the board. A well-designed portal can be accessed by any device, at any time. Because most board members already use their familiar devices to access other online services it doesn’t require a steep learning curve.
When evaluating different companies be sure to take into account other features. While ease-of-use is important for most directors, it’s not the only one. Certain portals, for instance allow directors to vote and record their decisions. This reduces the time spent by the company secretary and makes it easier for the board to make changes in between meetings.