Large-cap companies are feeling immense pressure to adhere to good governance principles and engage more with shareholders. Small and midsized businesses face many of the same pressures. Somehow they need to deal with those pressures with full knowledge that they lack the finances and other resources that large-cap companies have. Compliance issues are always changing, and that’s another thing that gives smaller companies an unfair advantage when compared to larger companies.
At the same time, there are many other ways that small and midsized businesses function much the same as large-cap companies. Important decisions happen in boardrooms across the globe that impact the fate of companies of all sizes.
One notable issue that companies of all sizes share is cybersecurity. Boards are being forced to come to terms with the fact that they need to fight back with technology. Board directors are human and, like most other people, many of them resist change to some degree. With so many boardroom technologies to consider, and tight budgets for office equipment, it can be difficult to assess which technologies will serve the board’s needs best while staying within their budget.
The first place to start is with a board-portal system. The good news is that board portals create efficiency, which more than compensates for the cost of the technology.
Smaller Companies Have Fewer Resources
Smaller companies have less administrative staff than larger companies. In many cases, administrators are squeezing board-meeting preparations into their already overloaded days. Using manual processes to set up meetings can take days or weeks. Preparing board-meeting handbooks and materials by hand is costly, especially when someone makes a last-minute change and board handbooks need to be reprinted one or more times before the meeting to accommodate updates.
Are Free Digital Apps and Board Software Management Systems Really Free?
Boards won’t have to look too far to find apps and office equipment that meet some of their needs. When it comes to board use, there are some big problems when it comes to using software products and solutions that were designed for some other purpose than board work. Many of the standard office and communication apps were designed with public use in mind. Since most of them are free or low-cost, it stands to reason that they lack strong enough security to protect confidential board business.
You have to admit that companies are only going to give you so much for free, which means you’re not likely to get the platforms and features you really need without paying something.
Many aspects of technology are new, and software companies are moving fast to develop new solutions for businesses. This is prime time for boards to start looking at what they need to function their best in the boardroom rather than grabbing the first app that everyone is talking about.
Free email accounts are great if you only plan on speaking with family and friends. Free file sharing is fine if you’re not worried about the type of information that someone might uncover and that it won’t create an undue risk for your company. The same is true for free cloud-based storage or a limited amount of storage that comes as part of some other packaged service.
Free and easily accessible board management software nearly always lends itself to inconvenience, inefficiency and cybersecurity risk. Essentially, free software typically creates more problems than it solves.
Boards need to take a balanced approach toward digitizing as much of the governance and compliance activities as their budgets will allow. The first step to getting started is to investigate the opportunities for creating efficiency that a board portal can provide.
A Board Management Software Solution Is a Board “Must-Have”
Not only is a board management software solution a board “must-have” for all size boards, it’s important to choose software programs and apps that were created by an industry leader that clearly understands and responds to the needs of boards.
With free or partially free board-portal systems, you won’t have granular control over user permissions. Something more important to consider is the necessity of security for boards. With so many data breaches being reported in the media, security isn’t a good place to cut corners. It’s just not cost-effective for small and midsized businesses to create a board management software system in-house from scratch. Even if they did, internal IT departments have many other projects competing for their priorities. Often, they don’t have time to remain current on the latest in viruses, attacks and trends. When board directors ask for various features, those requests are likely to be put on the back burner indefinitely due to lack of time.
The best solution for today’s boards of all sizes is a board-portal system by BoardEffect because governance software is its primary business.
What a Board Management Software System Can Do for Your Small and Midsized Business
When you don’t know where to start, start with BoardEffect—an industry leader in board management software solutions. BoardEffect was designed around the needs of the governance processes and activities that boards of directors use most.
BoardEffect’s platform creates efficiency by supporting the processes for annual meetings and activities, board development and meeting preparation.
Beginning with board-meeting efficiency, BoardEffect digitizes the process for meeting management. Board administrators can use the program to quickly and easily create board books and agendas. That means that boards alleviate the costs of reams of paper, ink, shipping expenses for board books and shredding. In addition, boards save many hours in labor costs as online board books can be assembled much quicker. Board directors will like the convenience of being able to obtain their board books online anytime they wish using any device of their choosing.
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages and cost savers to switching to board-portal technology is the built-in security features. Cloud storage, communications and file-sharing all share the same high-level security features that today’s boards just can’t be without.
A consultation with BoardEffect will quickly reveal how the cost savings that board management software generates easily pays for the program. Once board directors start using the program, they’ll wonder how they ever lived without it. As an industry leader, BoardEffect has an eye on the future and plans to offer additional solutions as future needs arise. Overall, BoardEffect is the perfect board management software solution for companies of all sizes to help them govern at the highest level.