Blog / May 22, 2020

3 Ways a Secure Board Portal Benefits Your Boardroom

Secure board portals have revolutionized the board room and opened streams of communication for directors who need to respond quickly and efficiently on behalf of their organizations. Designed for effective board meetings, a board portal grants your board of directors secure access to board materials and other confidential information from the convenience of homes, offices or other remote locations.

Whether you are a seasoned veteran, dabbler or newcomer to board portal usage, further integration and understanding can help you enhance your current board experience. So, here are three key areas in which effective use of a board portal can benefit your boardroom and accelerate the productivity you already have.

Why Use an Online Board Portal?

Primarily, posting board materials on portals give directors plenty of time to thoroughly digest the information and make sound business decisions. And if a past discussion item is brought up, they can quickly search for related terms to find all past references in the portal’s archives. Otherwise, board meetings held via portal proceed much the same as always, with the addition of such greater advantages as allowing members who can’t be physically present to see the same materials and information as those who are.

Further, communicating with board members through an online portal is an efficient, cost-effective and, most importantly, highly secure means to keep them abreast of all aspects of their proceedings. Directors can view all current and historical materials the moment they’re posted, and receive alerts when new content becomes available. Online board portals also safeguard online voting and discussion threads, and lets you assign permissions to ensure documents reach only their intended audience.

And, directors can monitor such critical information as the status of troubled assets, liquidity, capital ratios and net income—information that changes daily.

But facilitating a safe, paperless boardroom is truly just the tip of the iceberg for secure portal technologies. Employee intranets and loan committee portals also provide an effective alternative for securely managing a variety of sensitive data and applications enterprisewide. These online Web portals require all the same safeguards as do board portals, including login and password verification, to ensure all materials remain protected.

Board Portals Provide Easy-to-Use Accessibility

Travel, illness—and currently, a global pandemic—affect everyone. An effective board portal enables you to conduct business despite these obstacles. As such, board contributions become as mobile as board members. Mobile apps available for Apple and Android allow board members to access documents, meetings and more on any device. Some helpful tools to make your important decisions seamless and instant include:

  • Hosted board meeting solutions to conduct board meetings remotely, in real time
  • Online voting, a comments section and other collaborative tools that empower your board members’ remote productivity
  • Touchscreen capabilities to ease navigation and enhance notetaking
  • Annotations and recorded minutes to store and archive essential discussions and developments
  • Related terms searches to streamline the review of conferences for critical details
  • Document archives to share and review essential documentation quickly and efficiently

Board Portals Maximize Efficiency

Collaboration between board members can be hectic, given the many roles and responsibilities each member carries out daily. Meanwhile time is precious, and you likely want yours spent as productively as possible. A unique portal, tailor-made to your organization, counters the chaos by centralizing communication. With ease of access and communication, secure board portals streamline the process of planning, meeting and collaboration. Portals and their affiliated apps also reduce operational expenses by way of saving time and eliminating certain expenditures. To maximize efficiency, you can:

  • Use hosted board meeting solutions to conduct meetings and save time
  • Share calendars for strategic planning of meetings and availability
  • Go paperless and eliminate needless printing and binders
  • Share documents instantly, including confidential materials
  • Vote online for instantaneous results and action plans
  • Archive notes and documents for later review

Board Portal Security and Compliance

A critical point to remember is that, when collaborating with a board portal provider, you must perform due diligence on your vendor’s security controls, including compiling related proof, because examiners will ask for it.

That said, web-based portals offer several advantages from a compliance standpoint. Directors gain access to the most up-to-date, clickable regulatory changes, as well as convenient online compliance training. After all, no single entity is more accountable for, or deeply affected by, a compliance slip.

Board portals also add stronger compliance and efficiency to policy management, since they allow you to post and archive financials, bylaws, training documents and manuals, disaster recovery plans and more—and compel both directors and employees to accept or deny them, when necessary, with a simple click.

Efficiency and accessibility don’t mean a decrease in safety or security. On the contrary, board portal access and affiliated apps offer you a robust security infrastructure that meets or exceeds institution examiner requirements. Complete with login and password verification, boards can monitor critical or sensitive information safely, and even strengthen compliance efforts. Eliminating the need to print or ship sensitive information just scratches the surface. Additionally:

  • Directors can assign users different permissions, ensuring documents reach only intended eyes
  • Board members can view confidential items from the privacy of home or office
  • Boards can monitor such critical information as assets, liquidity, capital ratios and net income
  • Secure sign in and verification safeguard all shared calendars and other tools
  • Boards can review and improve business continuity plans, preparing their organization for any emergencies that might arise

Learn More About Secure Board Portals

Altogether, a secure board portal broadens board access and enhances productivity. During times of crisis, when you are forced to move the board out of the room, it can make the difference between rocky and smooth transitions. Check out this board portal video to take a closer look to see what some of this would look like in practice.

Christy Rikel serves as CSI’s web solutions product manager.

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