How Does Your Organization Communicate with the Board?

Nicholas J Price
5 min read
When boards and managers communicate and work well together, companies can run like a well-oiled machine. Digital tools for communication and collaboration have changed the cumbersome, costly workflows of the not-too-distant past.

As new digital tools and electronic applications have come forth, consumers have been offered many more options from which to choose. Just as a carpenter relies on tools that are right and reliable for the job, board directors also need digital tools that are right and reliable for the work that they do.

Many tools and applications were designed for general public use. The bulk of board documents are sensitive or confidential in nature, and that means that board directors need to choose digital tools carefully so that information doesn't get into the wrong hands. It's true that boards need board management software that creates efficiency, helps them do their work and saves money. Boards also need tools that call for extra levels of security that may not be necessary for other applications.

What Is Secure File-Sharing and Secure Meeting Workflow?

Secure file-sharing is also known as protected file-sharing. The terms refer to the process of sharing one or more files between different users or organizations securely, privately or within a protected mode. File security is usually performed by using an encryption algorithm that encrypts the file before it gets transmitted over a network, while it's being transmitted, or both. Using secure file-sharing, users can transfer files within a local network or over a standard internet connection and prevent intruders or unauthorized users from gaining access to the files.

File-sharing programs can restrict access to the files by specific individuals. Boards can also arrange for individual user settings so that only authorized people can access, view or download the file.

Why Organizations Need Secure File-Sharing and Secure Meeting Workflow

Companies have many teams within their organization. The board is also a team ' one that also partners with management. Teams create many opportunities to communicate, collaborate and share files. Boards and managers need the ability to share information quickly and confidentially without using outdated processes like printing and couriering. Technology has made it fast and easy to share most anything most anywhere. The caveat is that boards must take precautions to ensure that they're not sacrificing ease over security.

Secure file-sharing allows boards to restrict files so that they can be viewed, but not edited or printed. Authorized users can mark up, annotate or leave comments on documents and then share the documents with or without the markups.

To make things even easier, board directors and managers can arrange their settings so that they receive notifications when a file or folder has been changed. In addition, they can automate some processes to make things even smoother and easier.

Secure file-sharing is a necessary process for handling sensitive materials. File-sharing applications that were designed for public use lack the proper levels of security to protect board business. Those types of applications are fine for sharing photos and other non-sensitive items with friends, but the lack of security makes them good targets for hackers.

With secure file-sharing, all of a board's files are stored in one place, safely in the cloud. Restrictions on the documents reduce the chance that a careless user error could cause the document to fall into the wrong hands. Secure file-sharing ensures that files will be protected while they are in storage and while they are in transit.

Board Management Software Technology Ensures Secure Meeting Workflow

The advancement of technology and the availability of digital tools have given boards a few options regarding preparing board books for board meetings. In the past, Corporate Secretaries spent numerous hours printing agendas, reports and other materials for board meetings. With the introduction of electronic tools, boards now have the choice to use a variety of electronic tools for file-sharing, emails and other office applications.

Is your board crafting various non-secure applications together to complete board books? Are they using non-secure email platforms to distribute board books electronically? If so, the board's information is at risk with every click of the keys. As noted earlier, boards need to collaborate and to share information using only secure methods.

Diligent Corporation's secure file-sharing tool facilitates secure document sharing across multiple contributors, whether they're internal or external. Documents can then be included in board books, through an integration with Diligent Boards, or they can be used electronically during special board meetings.

With Diligent Boards, there's no more need for hours of printing, collating and distributing. Boards no longer need to mail out or courier board books to board directors. In addition, they don't have to implement an insecure document-sharing application, insecure email system or other program that subjects board materials to undue risk. With Diligent Boards, preparing board books, receiving reports and sending board books out is as secure as possible.

With a Diligent secure file sharing, the distribution of important documents can be executed in a seamless environment that provides a smoother and more reassuring experience because all the software solutions are harbored under the umbrella of a highly secure electronic platform. Since the system operates in real time, board directors and managers can continue making changes, mark up documents, and share information securely up until the time of the meeting, and even during the meeting.

As an extra measure, Diligent Corporation developed a remote-wiping application so that if an electronic device gets lost or stolen, everything on the device can be wiped clean remotely.

Diligent even makes it possible to send email messages securely with Diligent Messenger, a secure communication tool. Board managers no longer need to rely on personal or business email accounts to send another board member or a member of management a quick note about what they're working on, what has been finished or any other message they want to send.

Final Thoughts on Secure Communication and File-Sharing

With pressure from shareholders and regulators and giving proper focus to the business of moving the company forward, boards shouldn't have to concern themselves with data leaks, costly preventable consequences and the risk of shared networks.

Keeping data confidential is at the core of good corporate governance. Modern governance accounts for empowering leaders with technology, insights and processes to support good governance so that companies can thrive in the rapidly evolving marketplace that they work in today. Diligent's board management software system provides a platform where companies can collaborate securely and without needless worry.