If you have a board portal – do you ever consider that your provider should invest in your board’s future?
Maybe not. Maybe it sounds like an odd idea – perhaps you’ve never thought that your portal provider should be concerned about your future.
In fact, if you deliver board papers via a portal, your portal provider is very much connected to your future.
Their investment in infrastructure and technology will have a significant effect on your ability to keep pace with developments, and enable you to optimise the service you offer to your board members.
Here we look at why investment is so key to successful portal use.
What investment is needed for the best board portals?
By their very nature, portals are reliant on leading-edge technology.
But innovation can’t be the only consideration; portals also need to be robust and highly secure.
If you don’t yet have a board portal, it’s worth looking at what it should include. Your own portal can be an investment that pays for itself in terms of explicit (paper; electricity; print) and implicit (time; usability) costs.
The thing about innovation, of course, is that it doesn’t stand still – far from it. A portal provider needs to invest continuously in the latest developments to ensure their offering keeps pace with the competition.
Keeping up with new delivery mechanisms can help to ensure your portal mirrors the ways that your directors use technology in their personal lives – for instance via the use of touchscreens – to deliver a user-friendly experience.
It also enhances the board members’ experience and enables them to make the most of the portal. Many directors use travelling time to catch up on reading, and rely on being able to prepare for meetings while on the move.
In the days of hard copy board packs, this meant lugging around hefty papers. The advent of online-only portals did away with the reams of paper, but brought its own challenges – if directors wanted to read the papers, they needed to be able to connect to the internet. Not always so easy on a train or plane.
Now, the best board portals enable offline as well as online access, so that papers can be read anywhere.
Investment in this type of development gives better access and an improved end-user experience.
Changing portal provider
If you decide to change portal provider, investment in technology again underpins the end result. Data transfer, for instance, has to be seamless. The provider’s investment in the portal’s technology is central to this: read more about how you can ensure a seamless transition when you change portal provider.
Increased security is another recognised benefit of a board portal, but again, investment in key. Companies implementing a portal have to weigh up the pros and cons of hosting the portal themselves versus outsourcing.
Outsourced hosting tends to deliver a more secure solution, with access to the latest technology, and any updates automatically applied to keep pace with changing risks.
The best portal providers will ensure their systems are regularly security checked and tested by independent security experts to ensure they are water-tight. Disaster recovery plans will be kept up to date, with robust processes for recovering any lost data.
You can read more about the benefits of outsourced hosting in our blog on board portals – the in-house/outsourced debate.
Does your provider invest in your future?
The board portal landscape is fast-moving.
To keep pace, a provider must invest in the latest solutions, to ensure that their product evolves continuously to meet client requirements around access, production and security.
If you have, or are considering, a portal, ask your chosen or preferred provider what investments they are making in their product and supporting service. Are they investing to support your board’s future?
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.