Board portal adoption has been on the rise the past few years, thanks to increasing security concerns, more virtual or hybrid meetings, and more boards moving to paperless board meetings. So what is the value of board portal software and how do you pick a board portal that’s right for you? Read on to see our easy guide for board portal feature comparisons.
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Years back, paper board binders were heavy to lug and costly to produce and courier was a major motivator for companies to go paperless. Today, two key drivers making boards adopt board portals are security and efficiency.
“The use of purpose-built content sharing and distribution portals has become a common practice for sharing sensitive documents with corporate directors in preparation for board meetings.” – Gartner
Emailing board documents or sharing with free editions of software like Dropbox or Google Drive poses real security risks. More sophisticated file-sharing solutions like SharePoint often frustrate directors who struggle to find the right materials within unfamiliar folder names and labelling conventions.
On the efficiency front, many boards are seeking to best engage high-contributing directors – locally and virtually – which means offering online convenience. And corporate secretaries and administrators are seeking automation tools to perform their work in less time as governance demands grow.
If you haven’t already used board portal software, it’s like a web application that executives and directors log into to perform their role for an organization’s Board of Directors. A board portal offers directors confidential access to board materials, past and present, and provides tools that make it easier for administrators to prepare for board meetings and conduct committee activities. Board portals also improve information flow to and among busy board members on the go.
Choosing the right vendor can have a direct impact on the effectiveness of your board meetings and your overall board governance.
When evaluating board portal vendors, you’ll need to find a solution that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The user experience affects whether board members will actually use the technology effectively.
Security is also a critical factor when it comes to board portals, as board members often deal with confidential and sensitive information. Evaluating vendors can help ensure that the portal is secure and that the vendor has adequate measures in place to protect data.
Finally, cost is another important consideration. Evaluating board portal vendors will help you identify the features and pricing that best fit your needs and budget.
As there are many different board portals available on the market, how do you choose one right for your organization?
As Gartner reported in their Market Guide for Board Portals, “The majority of boards have very similar processes, and board portals have very similar feature sets.” With most online board portal software performing similar functions, it’s very important to evaluate service and track record with organizations similar to yours.
You can conduct a smart board portal product comparison with a simple checklist of the top 10 things to evaluate. You can use the Board Portal Buying Guide to find a tool that’s right for you. Download our free Board Portal Buying Guide here.
Explore how an online board portal eases the process for administrators to prepare for board meetings and provide updates to directors when dates or documents change. Consider the routine effort you take today and ask about how much time you can save.
A principal function of board portals is to provide timely, transparent access to board information. Assess the ease of use of different products. What will be intuitive for your board?
Travel is a routine part of daily life for many directors and executives. Both for recruiting high-contributing board members, and for keeping them engaged, technology matters. Explore the conveniences you can offer mobile directors, including tablet apps, offline access, support for remote approvals, and more.
Safeguarding the confidentiality of board documents and communication is a key motivator for boards to use a board portal. Select secure board portal software that keeps board materials safe while accessing information simple for directors.
Next to product ease and reliability, service is the biggest deciding factor on whether customers are happy with a software vendor or quickly move on. Board portal vendors who stand behind the performance of their products will also be happy to provide testimonials and references from their customers.
Talk with peers who use the product. Ask about their service experiences and how issues were resolved. You can also go back to the questions on this list. How do they rate the ease of use and level of security? Does the vendor follow through on its promise of great service and support?
Software has no impact on efficiency or security unless it’s adopted by your whole board. Understand the help that vendors offer to get your whole board to use their technology. Do they provide personal training for both board admins and directors? Do they give guidance on portal set up?
How can you ensure the tool you select today will evolve along with governance best practices and the needs of your organization?
Because an online board portal is used by some of the most influential and time-starved people in your organization, it’s paramount that help is highly professional and useful. Consider calling a vendor’s support line to test the support you’ll receive.
Better technology and service can come at a bit higher price, be sure to consider your goals with the portal, not just grab the best deal. A word of caution on editions. It’s become common in software to have basic, professional and enterprise editions, for example, with different features.
Make sure to keep in mind that product pricing is extremely important in order to truly weigh your potential ROI and make a solid argument when building your business case.
While conducting an assessment of the best board software, you’ll meet the people on different vendors’ teams. Consider the help they provide, their responsiveness, and interactions with your team. Which vendor is the best fit?
Evaluating a board portal’s ease of use is critical to ensure the technology is user-friendly for board members and can ultimately lead to better engagement and more productive meetings.
When evaluating a board portal’s ease of use, it’s best to get a demo of the technology and consider the following factors:
Security is one of the top reasons boards choose to adopt board portal solutions, but not all board portal vendors offer the same level of robust security measures.
When evaluating board portal vendors on security, you’ll need to consider several factors such as:
IT teams are often tasked with evaluating a board portal’s security to ensure it meets your organization’s security and compliance standards. To help IT teams evaluate board portal security, we’ve put together a step-by-step checklist on the key areas of board portal security.
While most board software may seem the same on the surface, there are big differences in customer service quality and ease of use among board portal software offerings. This leaves boards in the position of deciding which portal offers the best value for the best-fit product.
Here’s a rundown of how Aprio offers better value than its competitors.
Aprio stands out in the industry for providing an easy-to-use secure board portal and unmatched expert service. With a seamless onboarding experience and unlimited on-demand training, we make it simple to migrate from other board portal solutions or in-house systems or to get you started with technology.
All of our board software licensing pricing includes initial training for administrators and directors, and any ongoing training you may need to set your board up for success. Our starter subscription includes 15 user licenses – any number of which can be administrators — and unlimited committees at no extra cost.
We offer standard tools and features you need to better manage your boards: a library of current and past board materials, minutes builder, agenda builder, calendars, annotations, audit reports, decision tracking, desktop and remote access, attendance reports, and much more – with access to both desktop and mobile applications.
We know how frustrating it is to encounter unhelpful — or even rude — customer support representatives when under a time crunch while preparing for a board meeting. You definitely don’t want that happening for your board directors.
Got a burning question at 11 p.m. and your board meeting is tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.? We’ve got experienced board administrators on the other end of the phone or computer 24/7 to help you with advice or to walk you through a challenging task.
We also offer ongoing webinars and quarterly outreach. Providing you with prompt, accessible and exceptional service is our priority.
We know that administrators and directors need access to easy-to-use technology that makes maintaining good governance straightforward. Board members and administrators are busy and hardworking, and we aim to support you with superior service and user-friendly software to run your meetings smoothly.
Credit unions, financial institutions, crown corporations, non-profits and public companies choose Aprio board portal software because it helps them achieve transparent communication, make efficient decisions and run board meetings well — all for the best value in the industry.
Discover why hundreds of admins and board members love Aprio board management software. We top the charts for positive customer reviews by providing advanced security, complete features, and standout time savings tools like our automated agenda builder, meeting minute builder and comprehensive reports! Aprio stands out against our competitors for providing a user-friendly, secure board portal with unmatched expert service.
Make sure to include Aprio in your comparison of the best board portal software available. See Aprio in action – the board portal platform making good governance simple with 95% customer loyalty. Request a demo.
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