OnBoard is a board portal, a secure platform for boards of directors, executives, and administrators to access meeting materials, communicate with each other, and execute their governance responsibilities. This post provides an overview of board portals, including their benefits and capabilities, and how they help your organization make agile, smart decisions and simplify every step of the board meeting life-cycle.
Benefits of a Board Portal
Whether you are responsible for collating board materials or a board member who must read them, board portals have many advantages. Some – like cost-savings brought about by reducing or eliminating paper use – benefit the entire organization. Others are particularly advantageous to admins and support staff. By replacing the old regime of paper, printing, and email, a board portal helps boards and committees improve governance, boost security, save money, and provide more actionable information to their members.
Recently, these benefits have been brought into sharp focus for many organizations. The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an overnight shift to remote work and virtual meetings, highlighting the need for boards to preserve good governance and maintain continuity regardless of where their people are located.
7 Key Capabilities of Board Portals That Enable Effective Governance
The following seven capabilities demonstrate the outcomes and results that organizations will experience by using a board portal. Features such as voting, eSignatures, or Zoom integration are no less important, but the capabilities listed here emphasize how the technology helps boards govern more effectively.
1. Advanced Meeting Preparation
Last-minute changes and reports that come in at the 11th hour create uncertainty, leading to meeting time wasted on “getting everyone up to speed.” A board portal systematizes meeting preparation and ensures that the most reliable and accurate information is available at all times.
2. Centralized Board Communication
Board materials such as policies, documentation, and past decisions are too often scattered between emails, text messages, shared drives, and more. A board portal centralizes all board communications and content in one place, thus eliminating email overload, lost files, and communication breakdowns.
3. Remote Governance
Your time is valuable. Finding yourself two hours into a meeting that’s still covering routine actions is not only frustrating but counterproductive. A board portal enables members to reach consensus, make decisions, and execute responsibilities outside the meeting and take real-time action on votes, agreements, and contracts from anywhere – even the comfort of their own homes.
4. Business Continuity
Frontline organizations are all too aware that emergencies such as natural disasters can happen without warning. Your board must maintain an open channel of communications to share updates, offer guidance, and make decisions that preserve business continuity. A board portal makes it easy do this and to assemble emergency virtual meetings all while keeping mission-critical data secure and backed-up in case of a disaster or pandemic.
5. Data-Driven Meetings
Boards today are too often flying blind. They have little insight into when board books are read, what sections are heavily scrutinized, or where notes are taken. A fully-featured board portal should provide those kinds of analytics (with attendee data anonymized and aggregated) so you can improve your meetings. After all, you can’t change something you don’t measure.
6. Multi Board
Smart CEO’s and other executives are in demand, and often sit on multiple boards and committees at the same time. The nightmare scenario for any director is serving on multiple boards that all use different platforms to keep track of notes, messages, documents, and documents. A board portal helps these directors avoid information chaos by keeping documents and priority action items organized. That way, they are focused on bringing their expertise to bear and not where their information lives.
7. Effective Meetings
Too often, board meetings are not meetings at all – they are very expensive presentations. The lights dim, a PowerPoint begins, and the meeting gets bogged down by reviews and recaps that should’ve happened beforehand. A board portal changes the very nature of these board meetings by transforming them into more productive, strategic work sessions with effective follow-up., After all, there’s nothing quite like the feeling you experience when you’re part of a board meeting where everyone’s engaged in discussion, a consensus is reached, and deeply thought-out action is taken.
How to Make the Right Choice When Selecting a Board Portal
By taking all of these capabilities into consideration, the needs of directors, executives, and administrators can be met. But you need to ensure you make the right choice and select the solution and provider that will make your board happy and keep your meetings focused on strategy.
We’ve put together a comprehensive Board Management Software Buyer’s Guide and made it available with the goal of educating members on the right solution for your organization. Click here to download the Buyer’s Guide today!
About The Author
- At OnBoard, we believe board meetings should be informed, effective, and uncomplicated. That’s why we give boards and leadership teams an elegant solution that simplifies governance. With customers in higher education, nonprofit, health care systems, government, and corporate enterprise business, OnBoard is the leading board management provider.
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