Deciding on a Board Portal Solution - Key Questions

Deciding on a Board Portal Solution - Key Questions

Today’s boards – whether serving public, private, or non-profit organizations – are tasked with enormous responsibilities. Online workspaces that allow boards and their committees to effectively collaborate, manage responsibilities, and enhance focus on important strategic issues have become a necessary tool and resource for high performing boards.

Here are some key questions that organizations should consider in both their initial choice to use a board portal solution and as part of a continual assessment of their board portal experience:


SET GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: 

  • What are the goals and objectives a board portal solution needs to satisfy – operational, compliance, strategic?

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  • Have you discussed internally with your organization to develop these?

SCOPE OF ACCESS/USAGE: 

  • Who in your organization will need access?

  • What level of access may be needed by different users - are there any specific needs of certain user groups, sub-boards, or committees to take into consideration?

VENDOR DUE DILIGENCE: 

  • Have you researched features of various board portal vendors and understand how such features may align with your goals and objectives?

  • Who will be assisting you in the buying journey - have you received testimonials from users beyond discussions with the salesperson?

DECISION-MAKERS:

  • Who needs to be involved in the overall decision - IT, C-suite, general counsel/corporate secretary, full board and/or committees of the board?

COST CONSIDERATIONS:

  • What is the cost/benefit of moving to a new board portal solution?

  • What is your budget?

IMPLEMENTATION: 

  • Who will take ownership of systems integration and data security?

  • Who will manage processes for getting individual board members up and running?

  • Who will design protocols and procedures around use?

MAINTENANCE:

  • Who will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the portal going forward – shared, single point of contact, role of the vendor in terms of upgrades and training, etc.?

ONBOARDING AND CONTINUED SUPPORT:

  • How and who will train your board members – pre-packaged or custom training?

  • Who will provide continued support when questions arise – internal or third party solution provider?

DRIVING ENGAGEMENT AND ROI: 

  • What metrics can you capture to assess board portal engagement and enhancements to board performance and measure returns  on investment?

BEST PRACTICES:

  • How will you and your board continue to educate yourselves on best practices – leverage counsel of directors who serve other boards, consult vendor blogs, reference comparison portal solution guides, ask questions of other advisors as to what they see at their clients?