For those involved in the world of corporate management and board governance, one of the most striking developments of the past two decades has been the rapid development of new, time-saving communication technologies. We’re planning a board meeting once required secretaries to mail physical copies of the board book to each director, and board meetings for national and international organizations could involve long-distance travel and complicated group calling tools, it is now possible for boards of directors to do most of their work digitally and remotely.
Unfortunately, just as the Internet has made communication easier, it has also increased the risk of hacking, data breaching, and corporate espionage. Many of the most popular communication tools are notoriously vulnerable to cyber attack, and keeping up with the challenges and threats requires ever-more elaborate cybersecurity protections. Communication between board members presents a particularly acute challenge, as board members may not be covered by the same firewall protections employees rely on. Given the sensitivity of the documents and data that regularly pass through board members’ inboxes, protecting board communications is as vital as it is challenging.
This is one of the reasons portal software has become such a popular option for corporate boards that want to ensure fast, efficient communication without compromising data security. Board portal software creates a secure digital repository for board documents that can be accessed by directors at any time via their personal computer or mobile device. Portals are accessible both online and offline and are protected by some of the strongest encryption available.
But portal software is not only useful for maintaining high-security standards. Good board governance means fostering good communication practices, and as those who follow board meeting software news know, portal software is an appealing choice for boards that want to be able to operate flexibly and efficiently. Whereas traditional methods of distributing board documents either involve time-consuming mail-outs or potentially risky reliance on email or dropbox (both of which have uneven track records when it comes to keeping documents secure), portal software means that board secretaries can prepare and distribute the board book in a matter of hours.
Because the software is interactive, directors can mark-up, annotate, and discuss the documents within the portal itself, which means that everything related to board business is in one place. This makes board meetings themselves more efficient, as directors literally have all the information they need at their fingertips.
In the hyper-competitive 21st century corporate world, the most successful businesses are often those that can turn in the technological landscape to their advantage. Where many businesses see as a liability, the new tools that come with can unlock powerful new ways of doing business. Electronic communications may open up the possibility of cybersecurity threats, but they also make possible time-saving tools like board portals that protect against vulnerabilities while making board conversations more seamless and intuitive.