Here are the key questions that you will need to prepare for… along with suggestions on how you can build your response.
Persuading the board Q&A
“Why do we need to consider moving to a new board portal?”
To build your case you’ll need to cover important areas like security, support and the credentials of your prospective new board portal provider in detail. But first you’ll need to reiterate and reinforce the top line benefits of getting this decision right.
Digital board portals accelerate decision making and make collaboration easier within a safe, always-available, easy-to-use environment.
The most advanced and developed portals cut through old inefficiency so your board can work faster, more securely and have more productive and efficient meetings
Remind your audience: having the right board portal for your needs, not just the one you’ve always used, is critical for effective and efficient board work.
“What does the new portal do that our existing portal can’t?”
Make it clear that not all board portals provide the same level of functionality. The features you have will vary according to how advanced your platform is. The core functionality should enable your organisation to create and manage meetings more efficiently, communicate securely within the portal and use e-signatures for remote sign-off on decisions and minutes.
But other useful board portal software features include:
- Access controls and user permissions
- User activity tracking
- Approval process and workflow control
- Secure document storage and retrieval
- Calendar management
- Compliance management
- Collaboration via commenting and notes
- Automated reminders for meetings and actions
- Secure file sharing
- Offline access
- Functionality for polls and voting
- Easy document search
- Document version control
Advanced and feature-rich portal will also include additional modules for managing additional processes outside meetings, such as the annual board evaluation.
Again, there are differentiating factors here. Board Evaluation from Admincontrol, for example, takes 50% less time to complete than other comparable surveys, costs less to implement than competitive offerings, is embedded within Admincontrol Board Portal processes and requires no new log-in or manual work-arounds. The tool has also been developed with input from academics, law frameworks, boards and experienced executives to ensure that it delivers all the key insights required to evaluate and improve board effectiveness.
Our recommendation: conduct a gap analysis to find out which elements of functionality you are currently missing, identify how this will be resolved by the new portal, and show how this will move the performance of your board forward.
See our board portal buyers guide for more information on what makes an effective portal and the features you should expect to see.
“Is our sensitive board information truly secure from cyber threats and unauthorised access in a digital environment?”
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the cost of cybercrime is predicted to hit $8 trillion in 2023 and will grow to $10.5 trillion by 2025. This is a highly sensitive issue for board members. Many of them will have already represented organisations that have been the victim of serious security breaches. They need to consider cybersecurity as part of their corporate risk management agenda. They must think about how they are securing their own communication too.
Make sure you have a clear response. Do your due diligence and ensure that the new board portal you propose to adopt includes all the necessary measures needed to keep board level documents and communication secure. These measures should include ringfenced communication via secure communication channels with the portal, secure storage for all current and historical documents and electronic signing for remote approval of board documents. Other measures should include compliance with GDPR and also Two Factor Authentication, which helps to overcome weaknesses in user passwords and restrict access and ensure stringent user verification.
You should also ask your prospective supplier to present detailed information on how data that travels within the portal is encrypted, where the data is stored and how often they conduct third-party penetration and security testing. Equally, it’s important to establish whether the software is regularly audited by independent and respected auditors.
All this information is a critical part of presenting the case for a new portal that will not only drive productivity and efficiency, but will also offer enhanced protection against malicious attacks.
“How reliable is the portal, and how well is it supported?”
As well as establishing the credentials of your board portal software supplier in relation to performance and security, stakeholders will also want to know whether the board portal is robust, reliable and well supported. Board members are busy – often sitting on several different boards across different geographical locations and time-zones and in different languages. They demand high levels of availability, ease of use and full support for systems whenever they need it.
You should therefore also check whether your potential new provider offers critical factors such as
as access to 24/7 support and backup servers in the event of the system being unavailable. Also establish how long customers usually have to wait for support calls, what languages the supplier’s support staff speak and what the supplier’s support SLAs are.
The ease of transition of your new portal will also be key, so make sure you also check (and communicate to your board) that full support will be offered for onboarding and training in the nuances of how the system works – for example, how to personalise user settings.
Reliable access to the board portal on the move is also important for all users of the system, so also investigate whether your provider has an app for both iOS and Android and how regularly it is updated. Checking this will help you to reassure your board and other users that mobile access will never be a problem.
“What are the credentials of the board portal supplier?”
Of course, as with any tech they adopt, your key stakeholders will want to establish the credentials of your provider. They will need to know they are dealing with a partner they can trust that has an established reputation for performance and customer satisfaction. Key questions you will need to cover include when the company was founded, how many customers it has and how many active board portal customers it has globally. More importantly check the annual renewal rate among those customers (at Admincontrol, our annual renewal rate is 97%).
Also read customer reviews and find out what other clients say about working with the provider you are suggesting moving to. Those reviews, positive or negative, will often focus on the level of support they provide.
“What are the board portal supplier’s plans for the future?”
The tech you buy should evolve with your business and the market evolves. So also make sure that your chosen provider is continuously improving their product based on customer feedback and industry needs.
Look at your potential supplier’s product roadmap to see where it is heading. What features are they planning to add in the future? If your business grows, will the board portal be scalable in a way that will grow with you?
The right supplier will have clear product development plans and will be open to listening to your feedback to decide what improvements to prioritise in the future.
Confirming this will help you, and all your key stakeholders, to gain the assurance that you are transitioning to a supplier that will be better able to fulfil all your present and future requirements.
Having the right board portal software for your needs is essential for organisations that want to improve the way their board works while saving time and keeping confidential documents secure. Interested in finding out how Admincontrol could improve your board operations? Find out what we have to offer by booking a free Board Portal demo today.
If you are considering moving to a new supplier, the answers provided in this guide will help you to build a case based on detailed understanding of technical and security requirements and supplier credentials.
Need more information? Why not read our eBook; getting buy-in from your board.