The Everyday Board Portal By: Kevin Asuncion
One of the ongoing challenges facing board portal applications is how to stay relevant on the desktops and mobile devices of Board Members, Executives and other governance professionals when they are using a bevy of software solutions to facilitate and augment their daily workflows. Often times, board members and senior executives will only access board portals on an "as needed" basis. In other words, only when there's an upcoming board or committee meeting will they log on and either download relevant materials or review online via their computer or mobile devices. Fighting for shelf space, if you will, is a daunting task for any board portal provider, but there are three key elements that need to be achieved in order to break in to the top five applications that directors and executives will use every day, before, during and after regularly scheduled meetings.
#1: Keep it Simple
The best board portal applications are the easiest ones to use and the adoption rate will be high if the user interface and experience is clean, intuitive and functional. The more complex and cumbersome it looks and feels to a director or executive the sooner it will be dismissed as non-usable. It is equally important for the application to have full set of features. A delicate balance must be struck with providing all of the necessary tools and workflows needed, all the while ensuring that there are no wasted bells and whistles that could clutter the user experience. It really just comes down to keeping it simple by delivering usable features and functionality that add value to the daily workflows of each of the users.
#2: Provide Timely and Relevant Information
Busy board members and executives thrive on timely and relevant information to fuel their daily workflows. It is critical that board portal applications give them a dashboard view of immediate actionable items at the enterprise level in order to make quick tactical and strategic decisions around governance, risk, compliance and other corporate matters. The success of these organizations is heavily reliant on the board and executives to make fast yet good decisions in an ever changing global environment. Fueled content within a board portal allows users to securely and immediately access the information they need right at their fingertips.
#3 Mobile Ubiquity
Progressive board members and key executives are increasingly global and mobile. Fading away are those who previously ignored and resisted any kind of technology to assist them with their board matters. Always on the go, they need ACCESS to critical information from wherever they are in the world. While the vast majority have currently chosen the iPad as their preferred mobile device, we've seen peaked interest in a PC-tablet hybrid device, specifically, Windows 8 powered devices such as Surface. These hybrid tablets allow them to take advantage of all of the functionality they would have on their desktop PC fused with a truly mobile/touch experience for ultimate multi-tasking. Board portals of tomorrow need to be able to deliver information to directors and executives world-wide via any mobile device of their choosing. The experience on these mobile devices needs to be fast, seamless and above all secure.
The board administration landscape has evolved. Directors and executives have more responsibilities, less time and are increasingly mobile. Moreover, corporate secretaries and governance professionals who support the board and executives are expected to deliver relevant and timely information in a fully integrated and seamless environment. Board portals represent this bridge between the administrative staff and the board/executives. To be successful, board portals of tomorrow need to provide an intuitive yet robust set of tools and workflow solutions in both a web and mobile environment and have relevant and timely content that the directors and executives find critical to their daily workflows. Every organization should be considering implementing a board portal that serves their needs EVERYDAY and not the ones that have limited utility outside of quarterly board meetings.
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