6 Reasons Why Team Collaboration Software Can’t Replace a Board Portal

  • Praxonomy
  • Published: January 12, 2022
  • Updated: January 17, 2021
6 Reasons Why Team Collaboration Software Can’t Replace a Board Portal

….Board portals will ultimately become mainstream collaboration and workflow solution tools for boards worldwide, and we forecast global spend to surge from USD 1.1 billion in 2018 to USD 10.9 billion in 2024.” 

Quinlan and Associates Research Report: Get On Board

Board management software, also known as board portals, are here to stay. They will continue to transform the way modern boards work and govern. 

But despite the many advantages of using a board portal, some organisations still opt to use “mass market” collaboration software such as Google Workspace, Microsoft SharePoint and/or Teams, etc. to manage board activities. The reality is that comparing a board portal to team collaboration software would be akin to comparing a bespoke application to that of a one-size-fits-all system.

The latter may just “do the job” in many workflows, but it’s not a solution optimised for the way boards work and function. Inefficiencies stemming from utilising these collaboration and cloud storage options come at a steep cost, from process training challenges to disengaged board members.

Let’s explore some reasons why team collaboration software cannot replace board management software:

#1: TEAM COLLABORATION PLATFORMS ARE OFTEN INEFFECTIVE AS A CENTRALISED PORTAL FOR THE BOARD’S NEEDS

Team collaboration platforms are not nearly as effective as a central hub to manage the entirety of the board meeting process.

IMPLICATIONS:

a. The need arises for a separate suite of products to support the board meeting process.

Many of these collaboration tools require a suite of separate products to support the board meeting process. From scheduling and calendar apps (e.g. Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar in Google Workspace) to task management tools, shifting from one application to another can translate to a tremendous amount of time spent navigating a process for getting simple board work done.

b. There is a learning curve required to learn different tools.

Consider, too, the learning curve required for each suite of products, a factor often overlooked until there is a need to get new administrators or directors up-to-speed with board processes.

THE BOARD MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE EXPERIENCE:

Do away with a suite of products. Log-in to one central hub to support meeting workflows from beginning to end. Whether you’re scheduling a meeting or archiving meeting documents for reference, there is no need to use, learn or switch across different apps or software to accomplish different tasks.

Boardlogic, Praxonomy’s board portal, has an interface that is easy-to-use and highly intuitive, making it easy for board members to find and access information that they need, when they need it. Unlike mass team collaboration tools, board portals like Boardlogic are designed with boards in mind—no matter their technical level. They simplify the administrative and technological aspect of board work, so boards can spend their time on what matters.

#2:  THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT FEATURES GAP THAT EXISTS FOR BOARD GOVERNANCE TASKS

Retlated to the first point raised above, team collaboration software does not support integrated features that make it easier and safer for boards to execute their governance tasks.

IMPLICATIONS:

a. Regulators and investors continue to demand more stringent corporate governance for companies. Mass collaboration software is not built to meet and address board governance tasks and activities.

The absence of features specific to corporate governance tasks in mass collaboration tools—such as e-signatures, voting, meeting minutes tracking, attendance reporting, etc.—makes it difficult for company administrators and board members alike to function efficiently, effectively and securely from within one centralised platform. 

In many instances, company secretaries have to get creative and be even more resourceful so as to be able to customise and tweak the generic features of team collaboration software for the board. 

Board members, on the other hand, often need to contend with “band-aid,” clunky solutions for executing their governance responsibilities.

BOARD MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE EXPERIENCE:

Execute your governance duties in a streamlined, compliant, and effective fashion. The board portal becomes a one-stop shop for your corporate governance activities. Cast votes, affix e-signatures, approve meeting minutes from one central solution. If you’re serving on multiple boards, you have access to the same suite of governance features, enabling you to conduct your board responsibilities efficiently. Board governance features are seamlessly incorporated in the secure platform.

Company secretaries can save time and resources with board portals. No more half-baked digital solutions for the board. Create digital board packs, track meeting minutes, set-up voting options,  archive meeting records in minutes.  With board portals, you can shift your focus towards high-impact tasks that deliver greater value.

#3: SECURITY RISKS

Many boards utilise the same team collaboration platforms as the rest of the organisation. While most team collaboration software applications are built on secure cloud infrastructure, they are still prone to (and are targets of) internal and external data breaches, cyber-incidents and cyberattacks. 

IMPLICATIONS: 

a. A data breach or cyberattack on these platforms will impact the ability of the board to govern as well.

It’s important to protect and safeguard an organisation’s information assets by not placing them all in one integrated system and platform. Doing so presents significant risk. If the organisation’s collaboration platform is breached or attacked, the board’s platform will be, too. This can eventually compromise the board’s ability to lead in the most crucial of times.

THE BOARD MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE EXPERIENCE:

Continue to operate and function in the event of a cyberattack or data breach with Boardlogic, a standalone, highly secure platform for the board, independent from the rest of the organisation.

For example, Boardlogic’s infrastructure has built-in high availability, consisting of failover and redundancy mechanisms in the event of hardware and component failures. On top of this, the system is backed up at regular intervals daily to ensure reliability and data integrity.

Unlike most team collaboration software, all data and documents held in board portals are protected at all times by multi-layer encryption. This means that even in the unlikely instance of a data breach, your data remains unreadable by third parties without the unique decryption keys. This aspect is extremely important as companies are increasingly susceptible to attacks by cyber criminals and state-sponsored hackers.

Finally, there is no need to be concerned about the risk of internal data breaches or leakage of confidential information by IT staff who have system administration rights. You can configure your board portal so that only designated individuals have access to mission critical content. The platform maintains the integrity and confidentiality of your assets at all times.

#4: DATA PRIVACY CONCERNS

Many of the team collaboration tools in the market today are secure, but there are questions around the issue of data privacy and data governance. 

IMPLICATIONS:

a. Availing of these tools requires the disclosure of personal information.

To set-up and use team collaboration software, individual accounts or sign-ups require the disclosure of personal information.

While it is important to state that most of these tools handle data responsibly, their data privacy policies are always worth a second look, especially when it comes to data collection, tracking, transparency, third party access and exactly how personal information can be used.

THE BOARD MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE EXPERIENCE:

The most secure board portals adhere to a strict Data Privacy Policy

Praxonomy is a member of the VeraSafe Privacy Program, meaning that with respect to personal data processed within the application, VeraSafe has assessed Praxonomy’s data governance and data security for compliance with the VeraSafe Privacy Program Certification Criteria

The certification requires that participants maintain a high standard for data privacy and implement specific best practices pertaining to notice, onward transfer, choice, access, data security, data quality, recourse and enforcement.

Further to this, all client data resides in our secure data centres in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This strategic choice means that your data is protected by GDPR, and any notices served on Praxonomy for the production of data are subject to Dutch law.

The most secure of board portals ensures your information not only stays safe, but also remains private.

#5: INFORMATION IS DIFFICULT TO ORGANISE AND STRUCTURE FOR THE BOARD

Putting together a board pack and the subsequent process of sharing this for the board’s review can be long, frustrating and time consuming. It may compromise the level of engagement needed from the board.

IMPLICATIONS:

a.  Lack of a seamless, time-efficient process for securing, searching for, and reviewing board papers or documents.

To upload files to a collaboration platform requires that the be uploaded to a specific folder and then customised for security permissions. From a high-level perspective, this presents challenges including:

  • Setting file-security permissions for board members requires manually entering or selecting directors’ email addresses from a list. This is done for every single folder or file that is shared, which is risky in and of itself:
    • Entering the wrong email address can compromise sensitive information.
    •  It’s also challenging when you require greater confidentiality such as redacting documents for specific meeting attendees, e.g. due to conflicts of interest. Separate file folders may need to be created and maintained to achieve these outcomes, which is not ideal.
  • Monitoring updates, revisions, or new file versions are difficult to track
  • Files in these tools are not shown in sequence for the meeting
  • Most collaboration platforms lack dedicated readers that allow for private annotations and individual mark-ups

THE BOARD MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE EXPERIENCE:

Share board files securely. Setting security permissions involves selecting from an already pre-set, vetted list of board members. No need to manually enter, track, or select email addresses with board management software. Minimise the risk of inadvertently sharing confidential files with the wrong recipients. Fine-grain permissions can be set on a per-file and per-user basis in the same board pack.

You can also present board documents in a standard, uniform manner at all times: Replicate the experience of a paper board book with the board portal’s digital board pack builder

Instead of being a folder of files, the digital board packs presents the full list of meeting documents in one reader. Files are grouped by their related meeting agenda items, which makes the review more contextual. 

Finally, you can do more than just read: markup and annotate directly on document pages while reviewing the digital board pack. Share your comments and thoughts with other participants, as required. Annotations and markups can remain private.

#6: LACK OF 24/7, FIRST-CLASS CUSTOMER SUPPORT FOR USERS OF TEAM COLLABORATION SOFTWARE

Mass collaboration and cloud storage/syncing tools simply do not have the resources to have dedicated account managers to assist you with your every concern.

IMPLICATIONS:

a. The board’s time is important. Not having access to customer support when they run into technical issues or functional/feature-related concerns can have a significant impact on their work.

And more often than not, the in-app Help Guides provided by these solutions fall short of providing them with the answers they need.

THE BOARD MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE EXPERIENCE:

It is important to work with a provider who will be there to support the board from beginning to end of the board meeting process. At Praxonomy, we offer unparalleled customer service and support for users of Boardlogic. From free, unlimited, virtual one-to-one training sessions to 24/7 email or phone support, our Client Success and Product Support teams are focused on ensuring our clients derive value from their investment.

A caveat: not all board management software providers have the same commitment to customer service. In fact, some may tack on additional charges for client support. It is important to do your research before engaging with any board portal solution provider. (We have a free, comprehensive buyer’s guide to support you in your vetting process. Download it here.)

CONCLUSION

The board is not your typical project team

Team collaboration software is not inherently designed with the board in mind. Managing board work with these mass team collaboration tools requires more time, conscientious effort and training for directors, board administrators and senior leadership. 

Board portals were made for the unique work of boards. They simplify the way board members work and eliminate the confusing, tedious processes that get in the way of board engagement and strategic governance.

Board portals like Boardlogic help maximise the board’s potential—empowering members to focus on leading the organisation to transformational success.

—————————

For a head-to-head comparison of Boardlogic vs. Team Collaboration Software, download the table here. To complement this, our whitepaper tackles this topic in-depth.