The use of technology for virtual board or shareholders meetings was regulated back in the mid-2000s, but it became more common in 2020, during Covid-19 lockdowns. However, cybersecurity was the biggest concern and regulatory requirement for corporations. Thanks to the virtual boardroom software, businesses were able to fulfill legal requirements and easily conduct online board meetings.
However, after the massive success of board portal software, many unregistered vendors have been corrupting the virtual boardroom market, creating difficulties for organizations.
The question stands, how can you choose the right board management software for your company? You can find the answer in this guide.
Table of Contents
What is a board portal?
A board portal, in simple terms, is a cloud-based, paperless meeting solution that allows you to conduct online board meetings. A board portal possesses all the necessary tools required for every step of a board meeting. It also ensures smooth and safe communication between board members and other concerned personnel.
Here is what you can do with virtual board software:
- Send invitations to attendees
- Prepare and share the board meeting agenda and other documents (updated versions)
- Conduct audio or video meetings
- Take notes during the meetings
- Annotate documents
- Create polls
- Cast votes
- Sign documents online
- Record board meetings
- Prepare and distribute meeting minutes
- Track tasks assigned to attendees
To start with, here are some great options for the right board management software:
- Onboard portal
- iDeals virtual boardrooms
- Diligent boards
- Nasdaq Boardvantage
- Govenda boardrooms
5 valuable tips for choosing the right boardroom software
1. Look out for security features
Security in online board meetings is something you cannot compromise at any cost; it is a regulatory requirement too. Whichever boardroom vendor you are considering hiring, make sure to check the following security features.
- Two-step verification. It is easier to hack a user’s password, but two-step verification requires the users to enter a one-time code to complete the login process.
- Data encryption. The board portal must allow you to store or share data in encrypted form. An encrypted document can only be decoded by the intended user.
- Security certifications. Your boardroom vendor must (at least) comply with the following cyber security standards, including ISO 27081/ ISO 27001, SOC2, and SSAE 16.
- Remote device purging. The boardroom administration must be able to purge any device connected to the board software. It is helpful if a boardroom user loses their device.
2. Make documents easily accessible
Boardroom users must be able to access documents whenever they want, especially during meetings. It is only possible when your virtual board software has great searchability features. For example, board management software usually has a full-text search option that allows the users to find any document through a sentence, phrase, or text from the file.
The document indexing feature is also handy in finding documents instantly. Board software automatically indexes documents as soon as they are uploaded. You can use the index number to find your desired file.
Lastly, it would be a huge plus if the board portal gave offline access. That said, many vendors allow you to access boardroom documents without any internet connection.
3. Check for basic meeting tools
A board meeting software without meeting tools is a car without an engine. If your boardroom users prefer video calling, make sure the software has a built-in calling tool. Even if there is no video calling feature, at least ensure that the boardroom supports third-party app integration.
Other necessary meeting tools include meeting agenda and minutes builder, voting tools, electronic signatures, meeting notes, etc.
Communication tools are necessary for routine conversations. Therefore, It is better to have a boardroom messenger, online polls, and Q&A modules.
4. Use calendar management and audit logs
Preparing a calendar for your boardroom users and integrating it with your virtual board software is better. A pre-set calendar helps board members plan their time accordingly and make better preparations for board interactions. Also, any changes in the calendar can be immediately notified to the users.
Another important feature that you must ask for is audit logs. Audit logs are detailed audit reports of your boardroom. With these reports, you can get every minor detail on boardroom users’ activities; it brings transparency and helps win the trust of investors or shareholders.
5. Check out the customer support service
Any board portal software is ineffective without robust and helpful customer support. Even if your boardroom users have enough training, they may still face technical difficulties in the future. Only a responsive, experienced, and well-trained customer support service can make things better for you. One way to check out their customer support service is to ask for free trials and get hands-on experience of everything, including the CS department.
Rounding it up
The idea behind using a board portal is to make things easier for your board members. It is only possible when your boardroom has all the features required for effective online board meetings and communication. The tips mentioned above can help you do targeted research.