Building a Business Case for Board Portal Technology | Aprio
August 19, 2020
Ian Warner

Building a business case for board portal technology

CEOs and executive teams need a well-functioning board of directors now more than ever.

With every major workforce impacted by the coronavirus, boards are no exception. The pandemic has challenged how boards meet and operate—from governance, strategy, and leadership.

While boards and many management teams continue to work at least partially remote, the shift to virtual board operations has shown many benefits, including:

  • Reduced travel budgets
  • Increased attendance
  • Improvements in governance and collaboration
  • Exposure to key executives and outside experts
  • More inclusive and bolder conversations.

Leaders across organizations are being asked to identify cost savings or new methods to work efficiently and effectively. For governance teams managing boards of directors, this call for efficiency is signalling a review of meeting administration and communication processes, as well as an audit of the effectiveness of tools in place to conduct board meetings remotely. 

As we push forward into a new era of economic recovery, board operations must shift their focus on operational efficiency and cost savings. A well-known method to reduce costs and the administration effort required for board meetings and board management is through board technology.  

Building a business case to invest in board portal software can help you evaluate which board portal technology is best for your organization, or to decide when the right time is to adopt board technology if you’re using SharePoint or email and pdfs.

How to calculate the value of a board portal for your organization

In the guide Build a Board Portal Business Case, use the calculator tool to account for the time and costs of board administration tasks using your current tools. This will determine how your organization could save board administrator and IT time and costs if you were to purchase software.

Here’s an example of a type of calculator that can determine the savings your organization would experience with a board portal:

Current expenses Total current expense $ Approximate % savings with board portal software Annual savings $
(Admin time: hours per year) x ($ per hour) = xx%
(IT time: hours per year) x ($ per hour) = xx%
Hard costs: $ for paper, courier, etc., per year = xx%
Total =

Your total amount saved per year can then be compared to the cost of the software to determine ROI over five years. Subtract software costs from the estimated annual savings:

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Total
Estimated annual savings $
Software costs/year $
ROI: savings minus costs

Things to consider include:

  • Preparing and distributing board meeting materials and updates
  • Distributing board updates
  • Coordinating documents and communications
  • Tracking down signatures
  • Supporting directors with login or access issues.

Download the guide now to get the full list of administrative and IT tasks to consider, so you can calculate your specific ROI value.

Benefits of board portal technology 

Board portal software enhances meeting efficiency and makes the work of board members more efficient, and saves corporate secretaries and board admins time in meeting preparation and communication. Board portal software also improves director engagement and helps attract and support new board members. 

Streamline administrative tasks

When staff spend more time preparing for board meetings, distributing board updates, tracking down signatures, and coordinating documents and communications for committees, this equates to higher staff and material costs. 

Board portals can reduce costs and streamline administrative tasks as information is shared instantly and securely with members. Corporate secretaries, board admins, and board members consider these 5 features when choosing board portal technology.

Better director engagement

Engaged boards are the most efficient and productive, characterized by directors who challenge the status quo, initiate productive debates, and provide meaningful contributions at every board meeting.

The most productive board meetings are ones used for discussing materials or making decisions, instead of catching up on background information or rehashing old discussions. To keep directors engaged and interested, collaboration and discussion between board meetings is encouraged. Board portal technology makes collaboration and decision making easy, even on mobile devices.

Board portal business guide

Attract & support new directors

Successful boards attract and support new directors from the very beginning. Board portal technology like Aprio helps new recruits ramp up quickly with self-serve access to board needs (meeting minutes, committee contact information, and background materials) into one, easy-to-access place.

Risks of not using board portal software

To evaluate whether board software is a smart investment, consider the risks of not using board technology: 

Ineffective crisis management

Boards are responsible for safeguarding the governance and viability of the organization, and therefore should play an active oversight role in crisis management. 

According to research by Deloitte, crisis management support boards can offer during the pandemic can include:

  • Risk assessments 
  • Business continuity plans
  • Organizational resilience
  • Developing new digital strategies
  • Enabling the digital workforce
  • Communication plans with both internal and external stakeholders.

Without board portal technology, boards may face a disorganized crisis response. With no central place online to access information, host conversations, run polls, and request signatures, crises are harder to manage.

Privacy & security

According to a Forrestor report, roughly half of board directors are using their private email accounts for board-related communications. Data and privacy leaks that happen via insecure email communication threaten your reputation. 

Board portal software allows directors to be confident that they are discussing confidential issues and reviewing documents in a secure online environment. Even if a director loses a device, the data can often be scrubbed remotely to eliminate hacker risk and he or she can easily access all their board meeting materials by logging into their board portal software on another device.

Evaluate board portal technology by building a solid business case

Boards of every organization, small or large, local or global, look to board meeting software to save time, collaborate effectively, and maintain an engaged board. To help you assess how to reduce costs and maximize the efficiency of your board operations, download the full guide to build a business case.

Inside, you’ll learn how to:

  • Articulate the key benefits of board portal technology
  • Identify the risks of not using board portal technology
  • Calculate ROI 
  • Evaluate competitors and compare pricing.

Make an informed evaluation of the best value board portal for your needs. Download your guide for building a business case.

Download your board portal business case guide

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