A board of directors reviews and discusses some of the most sensitive information that any organization has, whether it’s loan approvals, Merger & Acquisition plans, or reviews of the executives. However, as some of the most senior members of the organization, they are busy juggling multiple responsibilities and many are either too busy to worry excessively about issues like security or assume that they can rely on the IT department to guarantee the confidentiality of sensitive documents. Unfortunately, security doesn’t quite work that way; breaches are often the result of human error, such as opening email attachments on public WiFi or downloading them directly to a device, mistakes that IT can’t prevent or be held accountable for.
Board software is at once the most secure way to distribute sensitive materials and the most convenient, requiring little effort on the part of directors to make sure that the materials remain confidential. With so much on their agendas already, directors will not take extraordinary lengths for security, which can seriously compromise email and free file sharing methods. Busy people have the instinct to find the path of least resistance when it comes to getting work done; board software is the easy path and it still uses better security measures than any other file sharing method.
When it comes to security and confidentiality, directors require several features from their software, not just ISO 27001 ISO security certifications or user authentication. It’s important to keep documents out of the hands of outside sources, but the nature of their work means that sometimes information needs to be kept confidential from other members as well, especially in cases that involve a conflict of interest, a CEO review, or In Camera sessions. One solution found in solutions like Aprio board software is group-based access to materials, ideal for separating documents based on committees, but which can also be used to create private sub-groups. The administrator, not privy to In Camera sessions, can designate a sub-administrator (the chair or someone who does have a seat in the session) and then remove themselves from the group.
The right technology doesn’t just make security a priority, it also makes board work easier, giving directors an incentive to adopt the new technology. Security may be the driving force sending more organizations to find board software vendors, but the technology should also make the entire process easier. A portal like Aprio allows administrators to easily schedule and reschedule meetings, including managing invitations, distribute documents fairly and instantly, and track director expense claims live. Directors, meanwhile, can work securely offline, make public or private annotations to material to prepare for meetings, and even vote through the portal thanks to electronic signatures.
Customer support and training also play a major role in making sure that directors want to use the software and that they can do so comfortably and efficiently. Software vendors often differ on the levels of customer support and training they provide; companies like Aprio offer white glove customer support at all hours of the day and night, in addition to 1-to-1 and ongoing training. Before adopting board software, make sure that your vendor offers the kind of customer support and training that will give you a smooth transition.