Building a Business Case for Board Portal Technology | Aprio

Building a business case for board portal technology

Is your organization being asked to identify cost savings or new methods to work efficiently and effectively? Board technology is a well-known method for reducing the costs and administration effort required for board meetings and board management. But how much can it save your board? And is it worth the investment?

If your board is still using SharePoint, Google Drive, an internally built system, or even email and PDFs, we’re here to help you determine the value and ROI of board portal software for your specific business. By building a business case, you’ll be able to determine when to adopt board portal technology and evaluate which board portal is the best fit for your organization.

Read on to learn how to build a strong business case that articulates the benefits of board portal technology, the risks of not using software, and how to calculate the ROI. Download the full guide on building a business case.

You can also skip ahead to these sections:

What are the 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.

What are the 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. 

Crisis management support boards can offer 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.

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

An important first step in determining the value of board portal software is to document the actual time spent and related costs it takes your organization to prepare and run each board meeting. Many boards and executives are unaware of the true effort it takes!

Calculate how much time it takes board administrators and IT to:

  • Prepare and distribute board meeting materials
  • Distribute board updates
  • Coordinate documents and communications
  • Track down signatures
  • Calculate votes using Excel, or other manual means
  • Support directors with login or access issues

Then calculate the total cost of this staff time. You should also add in any hard costs including paper, printing or courier fees. This total number is often eye-opening to many boards, even if they are using “free” tools like email and PDFs for their board management.

Next, you’ll want to work out the savings of board portal technology. We’ve provided a calculator tool below and the approximate impact of using Aprio’s board portal as a guide. This will help you determine how your organization could save board administrator and IT time and costs if you were to purchase software.

Current expenses Total current expense $ Approximate % savings with board portal software Annual savings $
(Admin time: hours per year) x ($ per hour) = 60%
(IT time: hours per year) x ($ per hour) = 10%
Hard costs: $ for paper, courier, etc., per year = 90%
Total =

Once you have a total amount saved per year, you can then compare 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

Inside our Build a Business Case Guide, you can get a step-by-step guide to calculate your specific ROI value.

How to build a solid business case for board portal technology

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, see our 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. Or reach out to our team – we’re happy to help share additional tips. 

Download your board portal business case guide

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