Board Portals as Board Collaboration Software

Nicholas J Price
5 min read
Good collaboration lays the foundation for productive group work. Collaboration is a necessary and important component for every board of directors. One of the things that allows board directors to open up and share information without hesitation is knowing that the software they're using is highly secure. Diligent's board portal offers the strong security that is vital for robust board collaboration. The assurance of confidentiality encourages trust and honesty in discussions between board members.

A board portal is a central online meeting platform in which board directors can share documents and other information and collaborate in real time.

On the flip side, poor board collaboration leads to poor planning and decision-making, which ultimately costs companies because it affects their success.

Board Portals as Board Collaboration Software

So much of what board directors do revolves around timing. No sooner has the last meeting ended than the secretary, board president and board administrator begin planning the agenda for the next meeting. Diligent's board portal does much of the work for them.

Manual processes for preparing for board meetings are time-consuming and unproductive. Paper board books can consist of hundreds of pages of documents, making them costly to prepare in terms of labor and materials. Distribution or courier costs add to the expense.

Diligent automates the process of inviting members to the meeting, which eliminates a step for the agenda-preparer.

Board administrators can prepare board agendas in record time because Diligent's software program prefills much of the information. In addition, board administrators can simply attach any documents or reports to the appropriate section of the agenda. They can easily add new sections and any attachments as needed. Board directors can check the calendar for their board books and they'll be able to open them once the board administrator makes them available online.

An online board portal allows board directors to get their board books in real time, as soon as they've been published, which means that they'll have extra time to read the materials and come to board meetings well prepared. Board members who have something to discuss with fellow board members that's contentious or that needs extra time for discussion can ask for agenda additions and changes at any time.

Diligent's board portal also integrates seamlessly with Diligent Messenger, which is a highly secure digital communications tool.

Diligent offers mobile apps so that board directors can access their board portal any time of day or night using the mobile device of their choosing.

Board Portals as Collaboration Software for Committees

Board portals are equally useful for committee collaborations as for board use. All committees can use the board portal to store and share documents securely. Diligent's board portal uses cloud storage with unlimited space. Diligent's board portal also has a feature for granular permissions so that board administrators can restrict users to various parts of the portal.

It can be challenging for boards to fill their boardrooms with directors who have the right skills and who also provide the right balance of diversity. Nominating and governance committees have a daunting task before them as they recruit, nominate and make recommendations to the board for board candidates. The portal is an online space where the committee can work together or remotely to collect resumes and keep track of their succession planning process.

The compensation committee is another committee that requires a strong degree of confidentiality. The portal provides compensation committees with online space where they can document their discussions in meeting minutes. If they need to access policies or other board documents, any member of the committee can retrieve them and share them with the rest of the committee in seconds, in real time.

Diligent also offers a digital communications platform called Messenger. The last couple of years have proven that managers, board members or other employees have faced legal issues because they communicated information over insecure personal or business email accounts, which were not designed with the level of security against cyberattacks that would adequately protect confidential or sensitive information such as boards regularly communicate.

A good rule of thumb for all boards is that board members and managers should never conduct any business or communicate about any business-related matter over a personal or business email account. Convenience is never a good reason for risking confidentiality and opening up the potential for hackers.

Messenger has a nice feature that allows senders to retract email messages they've sent in error. It's not uncommon for a board member or someone else to hit "reply all" when they meant to press "reply." It's also quite easy to type the wrong recipient's email address into the box. With Messenger, email senders have a little time to retract an email before it reaches the wrong recipients.

Boards hope that they'll never be party to a legal matter. But if they do, they'll want to be sure to have all the facts on their side. Messenger was designed so that messages are easy to identify and it's easy to review the communications if a legal discovery process calls for content that boards sent using the platform.

Board Portals Have High-Tech Security

Today's boards are keenly aware of the prevalence of cyberattacks. In fact, many boards are seeking board candidates who have at least some technical expertise. Many boards are enlisting the help of either IT experts or entire IT teams to help keep their data safe.

The board's work is equally as important as the company's data contained in their software and hardware systems. Diligent's board portal doesn't require the assistance of a separate IT department.

Diligent continually monitors its systems, looking for innovative ways to improve them and to provide the best customer experience.

Diligent also eliminates the worry about electronic devices getting lost, stolen or misplaced, providing access to confidential information to criminals or others. Messenger has a remote wiping capability that creates a path to erase all content remotely upon request.

A board collaboration portal provides board directors with the ability to stay in constant contact without compromising security. Best practices for good governance suggest that board communications should be timely, accurate and reflect the principles of good corporate governance. Diligent's board portal lets them be and do exactly that.