The global pandemic forced boards to go fully digital, completely transforming processes and interactions that used to take place in person. From creating a board meeting agenda to approving motions in remote board meetings, everything changed seemingly overnight.
And while the shift to virtual was uncomfortable for some, boards embraced board portal technology and found increased efficiency once they got on board. Now that boards have experienced how technology optimizes boardwork, digital boardrooms are becoming the new normal. Read on to learn the benefits of digital boardrooms.
What Are Digital Boardrooms?
A digital boardroom is a paperless boardroom that digitizes all board processes. Board members can meet online from different locations and communicate using digital tools anytime.
Depending on the technology behind a digital boardroom, it can act as a central communication, document storage, and meeting platform that simplifies board meetings and makes them more effective. Digital boardrooms enable directors to collaborate seamlessly, which improves the decision-making process.
Advantages of Digital Boardrooms
Digital boardrooms offer myriad benefits, including:
1. Improved Board Management
Changes and last-minute addendums are no problem with a digital board portal. Materials are centralized in an electronic environment that keeps everyone in the know with current and live information. Remember the hassle of writing down notes and waiting hours, if not days, for an updated version only to discover more errors? One of the core advantages of using a board portal is the immediacy of accessing current materials. No delays. No paper (cuts). No problem.
By providing well-organized document storage platforms, digital boardrooms ensure boards have clean and reproducible records of past meeting minutes, voting records, conflict-of-interest handling, and policy changes. This enables boards to remain compliant with regulations.
2. Increased Cost Savings
To prepare a paper board book, a board incurs the cost of materials, distribution, labor, and the time-consuming processes involved.
Going digital saves the cost of printing and distributing your board book. Last-minute additions will no longer cost an arm and a leg, as all revisions will be available to your board instantly. Calculate how much you can save by going paperless with OnBoard’s board portal ROI calculator.
3. Simplified Note-Taking
Digital boardrooms exist within purpose-built board solutions with intuitive note-taking tools. For example, OnBoard offers annotation features to help organize and summarize notes in board materials. You can easily highlight and comment on sections in real time or prior to board meetings.
4. Improved Meeting Efficiency and Effectiveness
With a digital boardroom, you can easily organize meeting information and distribute it to all board members in one platform that’s easily accessible from anywhere and at any time.
With on-demand access to board documents, members come well-prepared for a more effective meeting. Engagement analytics offer insights into what sections of documents members spend the most time on so board directors know what to focus on in meetings.
Depending on the technology that powers your digital boardroom, board members can easily meet, vote, and share thoughts on one platform without geographical barriers. Additionally, digital boardrooms powered by advanced technology have live presentations and meeting tools that enable directors to collaborate seamlessly.
5. Improved Board Engagement
Board documents stored in a unified platform ensure every member can easily access meeting materials. As a result, they prepare well to meaningfully participate in discussions during the meeting.
While in meetings, directors can access board documents to stay on track and remain fully engaged. In addition, going digital allows you to use video and animations to communicate with directors, which can break the meeting monotony.
A digital boardroom also allows you to measure board engagement and identify areas to improve. For example, you see board books that members read, sections that are getting the most attention, and where directors make annotations. This information is crucial to hosting data-driven meetings that bring real value to the board.
6. Improved Data Security
Boards often hesitate to go digital because they fear their data won’t be as safe as using paper. The truth? Information is more secure in a digital boardroom than in a paper-based boardroom. There is no “undo” button for accidentally leaving behind a stack of papers at an airport or watching your important documents turn to ash when your company’s building catches fire.
Having a digital version of materials allows for controlled access and distribution. Users may also restrict downloading functions, viewing, sharing, or editing capabilities. Also, materials are encrypted to provide added security. Papers get shuffled, couriers make mistakes, and packages get lost — but in the cloud, documents are protected and accounted for at all times.
Technology’s Role in Digital Boardrooms
Technology is the cornerstone of digital boardrooms. A purpose-built board management solution allows board members to collaborate in real time, creates better workflows, and provides solid data security.
With board management software, administrators can easily upload minutes, compile meeting agendas, distribute reports, schedule meetings, and publish board books. As a result, board members come well-prepared for the discussion and can easily vote within the software and follow up on past items.
OnBoard’s board management solution helps board administrators and corporate secretaries move faster and work smarter. Our platform makes it simple and easy to create, distribute, and organize important information relative to the board meeting and the board at large.
See why OnBoard is unquestionably essential to empowering board leaders. Join us for a live demo. No matter where you or your organization are today, OnBoard is designed to elevate what’s possible for you and your board members.
OnBoard Powers Extraordinary Boards
While switching to a digital boardroom powered by board portal technology requires user buy-in and training, doing so offers several benefits, including:
- Single source of truth for communication, board materials, and resources
- Reduced administrative efforts when preparing for and holding meetings
- Real-time updates to board documents
- Integration with other systems, platforms, and apps
Ready to create a digital boardroom using result-driven software? Request a free trial of OnBoard, the board management software that empowers boards to hold more informed and effective meetings.
About The Author
- Josh Palmer serves as OnBoard's Head of Content. An experienced content creator, his previous roles have spanned numerous industries including B2C and B2B home improvement, healthcare, and software-as-a-service (SaaS). An Indianapolis native and graduate of Indiana University, Palmer currently resides in Fishers, Ind.
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