Our team at Aprio talks to a lot of people about board management software. One question that often comes up is build vs. buy: whether adding onto an in-house system such as Microsoft® SharePoint® can support your board meeting management needs. After all, board materials are content, and content collaboration systems are built for content. Right?
Not really. SharePoint works well for sharing files, especially with internal company employees. The challenge with board material, though, is that directors aren’t company employees and they don’t just expect you to share files. Board members want easy access to agendas, a meeting calendar, contact information and more, and they want to instantly get how the technology works. SharePoint is a solid tool, but with board management, there’s more to consider than what’s easy and already in place.
Your directors don’t work for your company and use your file system every day. They use it only when they have board work to do – and we hear daily that directors struggle with logging in and finding what they need on systems like SharePoint which are not customized for boards. Entering SharePoint can be like landing in someone else’s file drive. It’s logical to the creator but not an outsider.
In-house systems are often built and managed by the IT department and they require IT resources to make big changes. The IT group may need to support help questions from directors, add or delete users, address technical questions from administrators and even reconfigure elements of the system. This puts a resource burden on IT and prevents board administrators from being able to quickly and easily do some of this work themselves.
Directors often need offline access to board material. They need to make notes. They want to find documents easily again when it’s time for a board meeting or committee work. For all of these reasons, directors may download your company material from your SharePoint drive and that leaves company documents unprotected.
As our Build or Buy? white paper outlines, a board portal can overcome all these disadvantages with a system that’s built for board meeting management. It handles not just content but collaboration, all in a secure environment accessible online or offline, from desktop or mobile. A quick checklist reveals the advantages of Aprio when you compare it to a content management system:
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