The ‘digital board’ is something we have written about in the past.
But what do we mean by the digital board? And why do boards that are digitally literate stand a better chance of success in the current scenario?
What do we mean by the digital board?
A digital board is one that embraces the technologies and innovations available to help them operate. These may be tools that boost efficiency, or improve operational robustness. Some tools will achieve multiple aims, enabling boards to operate more effectively, efficiently and securely.
The digitally-focused board is likely, too, to encourage digitalisation throughout the organisation, leading from the front to push forward the digital agenda and ensure that change takes place.
To do this, the board needs to understand the ramifications and potential of technology. They need to create a culture that embraces digital approaches; to be forward-looking and open to new ideas.
A truly digital board is one that adopts and endorses the use of technology, for themselves and their business.
Why is digitalisation particularly helpful now?
With the majority of boards working remotely, digital solutions are more important than ever. Organisations are turning to virtual meetings to fulfil a range of requirements – a number are holding online AGMs, as the FT recently reported. Trustee boards of pension schemes and charities are holding virtual trustee meetings.
And of course, organisations’ boards and committees are also meeting online to fulfil their obligations.
How can you make sure your board is digitally literate?
To ensure that the necessary committees and boards can ‘meet’ and progress vital actions, you need to adopt some of the technologies available to help you:
- Webinar or online meeting tools. From the ubiquitous Zoom and Skype to corporates’ own webinar or online meeting solutions, boards need to become familiar with the ways they can get together while apart.
- Collaborative tools – such as online slide libraries that enable you to access corporate templates and on-brand materials, or workflow tools that allow remote access to documents, enabling them to be annotated and edited.
- Board portals, which give directors the ability to upload, read and manage board papers and other documents needed for board meetings.
To capitalise on the technology at your disposal, there are a few rules boards should follow:
- They need to become fluent in technology. With a technology gap often evident in the boardroom, many directors do not take a lead here – but as ‘the right technology’ is cited among the 10 things you need for a successful board, there’s really no excuse for not leading from the front on this. If this is something you’re struggling to get your fellow directors engaged on, you can read about the benefits of board technology
- They need to make wise choices. Our blog on how to make the right decision when choosing a board portal has advice on selecting the best solution, while our 8 questions you need to ask a potential portal provider help you to narrow down possible suppliers.
An article in Harvard Business Review a couple of years ago noted that ‘Digital innovation needs to permeate and recast every aspect of the business and the board. Companies that do so will thrive in the new world, and those that do not, sooner or later, will fail’.
At the moment, this is truer than ever. Failing to adopt digital solutions will not only put you at a disadvantage; it may prevent you from being able to operate at all. One way to achieve this digitalisation is by moving to board portal technology, embracing digital to help you to deliver professional, user-friendly board packs.
If you want to find out more about board portals, and how they could help you to maintain board business as usual, you can download our Board Portal FAQs. The FAQs are free, and you can find a copy in our resource library.
Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.