Although boards can be managed using a mash-up of free and low-cost solutions, such as spreadsheets, email, instant messaging and online file-sharing sites, this often results in disjointed processes, increased admin time and decentralized communications.
As such, board portals are quickly becoming the more popular option. Read on for a look at board portal alternatives and where they fall short.
The Challenges with Board Portal Alternatives
Free and low-cost solutions may save boards money upfront, but in the long run, they can be frustrating and cost unexpected management time.
Managing multiple systems cuts into staff and board productivity. Information can get lost in transit (Was It sent via email or Google Drive?). This leaves board members searching for the conversations or attachments they need, and staff members having to respond to information requests.
If board documents are stored on online file-sharing sites, such as Dropbox, organizations are limited by storage and user counts. Over time, boards will need to pay to upgrade their storage limits, as more documents or people are added.
They may also run into compatibility and accessibility issues. Some companies block these sites from their employees, so members may be unable to access the resources they need. Accessibility is also an issue when employees work remotely, as not all solutions are built to work from a smartphone or tablet.
Board Portals: Forward Thinking
What most boards lack is a management system built with a board’s specific needs in mind.
Board portals offer a centralized location to house and access strategic plans, deliverables, meeting materials and more. Materials can be accessed on any device (laptop, smartphone or tablet) to cater to on-the-go board members.
This results in increased efficiency and revenue. Instead of managing multiple systems, employees can use their time to work toward organizational goals. Relatedly, board members can apply their time to projects and deadlines, rather than combing through emails, files and software applications trying to find information.
Finally, board portals increase transparency and compliance. With everything in one place, staff and board members are always in the loop, and information is easy to pull for tax and reporting purposes.
To assess whether a board portal is a good fit for your organization, download our Board Portal Purchasing Guide.
Which side are you on? Let us know in the comments.
Image Source: Matt Chang