SPONSORED CONTENT: Minority of board meetings all in-person, research finds

Mar 16, 2017
<p><em>Corporate Secretary</em> releases findings of research into how corporate boards use technology</p>

A paper released this week by Corporate Secretary and sponsored by Diligent finds that just 31 percent of respondents say their board always meets with everyone in person. The research includes responses from more than 300 executives responsible for the preparation of board materials.

The findings on in-person attendance at meetings highlight the growing prevalence of technology in board activities. In recent years, many boards have found themselves increasingly involved in strategy matters beyond their traditional focus on governance issues.

The report states that this evolution of the board’s role leads directors to demand increased access to key information on a continuing basis in a convenient, easy-to-use and secure way. Board portal technology has developed to meet these needs.

Originally, such tools were designed to automate the secure preparation and distribution of board materials, enabling companies to move away from paper-based board preparation documents to an all-digital approach. Now, the report says, board portal software can offer features such as easy accessibility, note-taking and review functionality, and increased interactivity. Among other things, it can be used to enhance board effectiveness and enable remote participation.

According to the research, 32 percent of respondents say none of their board members now receive printed board materials, while 30 percent say all of their board members still receive printed materials at some point. The others are somewhere between the two extremes.

Among other things, the report states that:

  • Board portal software is the most widely adopted form of boardroom technology, ahead of file-sharing tools and secure messaging services
  • Board portal technology has been adopted by organizations of all sizes and by public sector, private sector and nonprofits in almost all industries
  • Security, board-member convenience and reduced cost are the most important benefits expected by companies that adopt a board portal platform. 
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