What is a board portal?
A board portal is software that allows users to upload documents to the cloud server, store, edit, share and review them there completely securely. Also, the board portal app improves teamwork. Every director can not only work with important documents but also communicate with other members of the board. Various organizations use board portal software to manage the intense workflow of their leading boards.
Board management software selection guide
When a specific business understands all the benefits of board software adoption, many new questions can appear. Which provider is the most reliable? How much should we spend on the board software? Which deployment option to choose? Will the provider meet all the requirements? These questions are right. We will try to answer in our short but useful selection guide.
- Define the budget. Each business is unique, and has its own needs and possibilities. Board management software is like any service on the market: prices are pretty various. The best board portal software is not always the most expensive.
- Understanding what features of the board software are a must. No need to select the most known and reputable provider and pay for the features the business didn’t use.
- Choose a convenient board portal deployment type. The software is available both in cloud-based and on-premise options. Each option has its pros and cons. In a nutshell, cloud-based board portals are more flexible. It’s easy for the client to increase or decrease the number of features of a cloud-based solution. On-premise board portal could be a more expensive option at the beginning. Plus, system maintenance and possible customization require extra spend.
- Read as many board portal reviews as you can. You can find many valuable insights about board software providers while reading reviews.
- Use free trial option. You will hardly find a provider that won’t offer a 30-day free trial option. Even more, since the beginning of the pandemic, some board software can extend their free trial.
- Compare several best board portal software options before choosing the most convenient provider.
How to conduct board portal comparison
When choosing tools for your business, you need to make sure they fit your needs and goals. Before investing in new technology and committing to it long-term, it’s recommended that you try out the software and fully understand all the features it has to offer.
The board portal software comparison starts as soon as you get free trials or demo versions of several board portals. There are several aspects you need to consider when choosing the right online board portal for your business.
The comparison process usually consists of consideration of the following point:
Board portal vendors comparison
During this stage of the board vendor comparison process, it’s important to consider how the vendor interacts with a client, whether it offers 24/7 support, the speed, and the quality of processing the client’s requests. You also need to check if the provider offers training sessions, customization features, or the ability to choose the most convenient settings, and the quality of the interaction with a provider’s support team. Among other key factors to consider during board portals comparison are:
- Collaboration features
- Engagement convenience
- Intuitive interface
- Reliability and reputation
- Simple software setup and quick training
Board portal feature comparison
|Provider||Best for||Industries||User Ratings||Best Tools|
effective board meeting management and remote collaboration improvement
providing an access for board directors to documents online and offline from any location
boards of directors from multiple sectors
small businesses and nonprofits’ board management
board governance optimization in different companies
When you consider features of new software for your business, firstly, you have to identify what you really need to improve the workflow and get the most benefit out of using the new tool. Board portal feature comparisons allow you to see what the online board portal offers with its document management and collaboration features.
It’s good to take a closer look at board collaboration tools, as you will use them a lot. These are important for better and more effective board meeting management.
Typically, to ensure the best quality of meeting management, the board software should have at least these features:
- Analytics tools
- Tasks set via agenda
- Collaboration tools
- Audit possibilities
- Compliance with board meeting security standards
- 24/7 technical support
- Multi-factor authentication
- Mobile and desktop access
- PDF reports with meeting results
- Standardized templates for meetings
- Meeting process documentation
Board portal pricing comparison
|Vendor||Deployment||Free Trial||Training||Pricing Model||Price|
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When looking for the right board portal, it’s important to compare the pricing options. If not done correctly, you may be paying high costs for an average product. Board portal pricing comparison allows you to find the best solution for your business that suits your budget.
The secure board portal has up-front costs as well as ongoing expenses. It’s always better to calculate the pricing annually, where you include all expenses associated with the software like price per user, for example.
You may also receive a discount if you have a specific number of users, but not all vendors offer this. There are also certain additional costs to keep in mind when calculating the overall price for an online board portal. These include:
- The cost of the software setup (applicable for on-premise solutions)
- Subscription payments
- Training expenses (are often included in the total price)
Comparison of board meeting software reviews
It’s worth reading the board meeting software reviews to check if the quality level of services is maintained beyond the free trial. Board portal reviews serve as helpful resources for unbiased user insight.
Board management software comparison by likelihood to recommend
On the chart above we’ve visualized board management software comparison by likelihood to recommend. The data are from well-known software review websites, plus our evaluation. This chart represents the average estimate. But do not forget that reviews for each provider are written by specialists from different organizations. Each client has their own requirements.
Board management software comparison by likelihood to recommend:
- BoardMaps – 95% of customers will recommend this vendor.
- iDeals – 90%
- Boardvantage – 89%
- Loomio – 87%
- Diligent – 85%
- BoardPaq – 81%
- Convene – 80%
- Nasdaq Directors Desk – 75%
- Aprio – 73%
- OnBoard – 72%
Board portal features and benefits
There are various features implemented in this software. Let’s review some of the most important ones.
- In-app voting and decision making. For example, most board meeting software providers allow their customers to create votings within the virtual boardroom. Using this feature, board directors can make decisions on details and solve some minor issues without holding an offline event.
- In-app commenting and communication. Also, users can leave notes and communicate with other users of board meeting software. These features of corporate meeting software allow creating a steady workflow and communication between directors. Thus, everyone will be aware of what is going on and what actions do other members of the leading board perform.
- Secure space for virtual meetings. Board portals also allow companies to hold paperless board meetings. In fact, directors can even set a convenient date and time for the event to improve attendance.
- Convenient document management. Board rooms provide all the necessary functionality for working with documents before, during, and after virtual meetings. Since all documents are uploaded to the repository in advance and every member of the board can access them, participants can study the information before the meeting. Using their devices, directors can go through documents during the event. Once the meeting is over, all information about it goes to the virtual boardroom’s repository.
- Task and progress management. During and after the meeting, directors can create tasks for themselves, other members or executives. This data allows keeping a better track of the work of the board.
As you can see, board portal software allows you to keep all the essentials in one place: from meetings to decision making and performance tracking – all in a virtual working space.
Board management software and its security
One of the best benefits the board management software provides its users with is the perfect security of the data. Once documents are uploaded to servers of the boardroom software provider, they are highly protected. Let’s observe some security features in the table below:
- 256-bit AES Encryption
The essence of encryption is to convert board software content into ciphers. Decryption without keys is beyond the power of third parties or malicious programs. Before data is sent to AES, a random number generator creates a key. A host does not take part in decryption.
- ISO Certified Software
ISO-certified virtual boardroom software indicates a vendor that follows the standards of the International Organization for Standardization. The certificate is proving the high quality and commitment of a provider to customers. For both parties, the ability to receive a certificate is guaranteed protection against threats that arise.
- Multi-factor Authentication
Multi-factor Authentication prevents unauthorized entry into board management software better. A user receives a message with a randomly generated code after entering their password. The risk of third-party interference is significantly reduced.
- SOC-2 Compliance
SOC-2 indicates the board portal provider adheres to the information security policy. The software that received the auditor’s report meets the current parameters and requirements. SOC-2 differs from others since it implies constant internal security practices.
- Remote Locking
Remote locking makes it possible to restrict access to files after sending them. In this way, directors control all processes during and after transactions. Usually, the feature is available from any device.
- 4096-bit RSA Encryption
4096-bit RSA is based on long keys. Once the authentication process is finished, a key is created specifically for the current session. Each of the parties sends parameters, but none of them can have access to the equation.
- Access Controls
Paperless board meetings can be protected from third-party access with access controls. Directors or administrators track actions after granting permissions for access on the platform. Monitoring is possible from any location and device.
Best board portals offer an e-signature feature for long-distance interactions. Parties do not need to meet to sign the document. In this operation, security mechanisms work to protect confidentiality.
Why it’s better to avoid free board portal software
Security is one of the most important aspects you need to look for in board meeting management software. High-quality security features require significant investment during the development stage as well as for the further maintenance of high safety standards.
That’s why almost all reputable board portal vendors are fee-based. Among other reasons why you need to avoid free board portal software are:
- Free software provides less data security than a premium app. In fact, free board of directors portal software offers only basic features.
- A board portal provider may not have any additional products to consider. To benefit from a software’s full power, you need to pay for additional features — you may even end up spending more on add-ons using free software than subscribing to any industry-leading paid software solution.
- Free software may not offer all of the needed features to boost the productivity of your meetings. The purpose of using additional tools for your business, like board collaboration software, is to make processes more efficient and productive. Free board of directors management software may not meet your expectations, and you risk wasting time on tools that won’t meet your needs or expectations.
Those are the reasons for investing in high-quality industry-leading board meeting management software to get the most out of its functions and features. However, to protect your files and experience the benefits of high data security, it’s best not to skimp on service. As the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.”
Meeting management within board software
Arranging meetings online is not only an option but also a necessity these days. For busy members of boards of directors, these meetings should be productive, convenient, and completely confidential. Luckily, you can do all these meeting management functions within a board portal software.
How to create board meeting agenda
Board meeting software offers ready templates of a board meeting agenda. All you need to create the document is to fill in all necessary information, approve (if needed) and share it with the participants. The virtual boardroom will provide everyone with a ready agenda. Also, board software users have an option to customize the template according to their needs.
The board meeting agenda typically includes:
- what topics will be discussed
- who will take part
- what is the agenda of the next meeting
An ideal board meeting agenda template covers such board functions as:
- voting and proposing
- discussing KPI and metrics
- revision of previous decisions and their results
- solving of possible problems
- strategies setting
How to take minutes at a board meeting
Using a board portal software, it’s possible to use a board meeting agenda to prepare the clearest structure of board meeting minutes. Board of directors software will automate this process and help its users create documents faster and with more effectiveness.
A board meeting minutes is a corporate and legal document. It is evident that the board has made a certain decision at a certain time.
Meeting minutes include:
- a list of the board members present and absent
- steps to take after board meeting
- date and the time of the next meeting
Board meeting minutes help shareholders understand what went through during the decision-making process. The meeting minutes should be clear even for those who’ll read or view the documents years after.
Organize voting using a board portal
Board meeting software is a great option for remote work. You can organize meetings and voting even for people from different countries. Board portals help organize anonymous, fast, and easy voting.
Follow these four steps for painless voting:
- Set the goal and object of the voting.
- Make sure everyone understands the process and has internet connection prior to voting.
- Let people make their choices.
- Get statistics and an error-free result.
Automate board resolutions
Board meeting minutes can be used as a source of information for board resolutions. Board management software provides a convenient feature of template’s using or creation of your own document. Anyway, having organized documents in your virtual boardroom leads to faster and more efficient work on board resolutions than the processing of paper documents.
The board meeting resolution is drawn at the end of a board meeting. It’s a document with the final decisions of the company’s directors. Board resolution templates usually include:
- the date of the meeting
- the name of the company
- a clear context for the decision
- a well-defined prescription
Ten tips for a successful and professional board meeting
- Assign roles before a board meeting
- Create a board meeting agenda
- Send participants of an upcoming board meeting a PDF template with a schedule to cut the time for unnecessary reporting
- Check if everybody has an Internet connection during the meeting
- Allot a specific amount of time for each topic to be discussed
- Set targets for each topic you have to discuss. Should this inform your team, or vice versa – do you need to enlighten some information?
- Create a space where people can communicate with one another
- Make sure everybody knows exactly what is going on
- Add a little description to each decision if possible
- Sum up everything, and announce the time of the next meeting