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6 Misconceptions About Board Portals

6 Misconceptions Your Board of Directors Might Have About Board Portals

by Abby Portugal on and last update on May 28, 2020

While the growing popularity of board portals and remote board meetings can’t be disputed, a few misconceptions have risen together with the increasing demand for this type of software. Let’s explore the 6 common misconceptions and lift the fog of confusion.

1. Board Portals Aren’t Safe

Because of the nature of operations that take place in board portals, the biggest misconception concerns the safety of data and communication held within the board portal.

The truth is, reputable board portal vendors approach the matter of security very meticulously. By employing a multi-layer strategy and battle-tested tools, board portals ensure the data is secure and encrypted at all times.

But high-level security doesn’t come by default. Essential security features every board portal should therefore have are:

  • Encryption (preferably multi-tier)
  • Auto-purge option for stolen or lost devices
  • Permission-based access control
  • Strong authentication measures

One other aspect that determines security is the type of hosting—a board portal solution can be implemented in the cloud or on-premise. The on-premise implementation further strengthens security by giving the businesses sole ownership and control of data.

2. Board Portals Aren’t a Good Fit for Nonprofits

Even if they are dedicated to different causes, nonprofit boards share similar responsibilities to boards of for-profit organizations. Because of the similarities, nonprofit boards can benefit from board portal software just like any other type of board.

Nonprofits usually operate under limited funds. Every expense needs to be justified and fill the purpose of helping nonprofits in their fundraising activities.

Board portals promote paperless systems, which greatly reduces expenses on paper, printing, and distribution of board packs. By automating multiple administrative tasks, board portals free nonprofit boards to focus their attention or crucial operations. Because digital board meetings can be held entirely online, nonprofits don’t incur travel spending.

Another area where board portals help nonprofit boards is compliance. Boards can use a board portal as a convenient and secure repository for critical documentation, making the data organized and readily available for external and internal audits.

3. Board Portals Are Complicated

Board portals should have a gentle learning curve, which is characterized by a 30-minute onboarding time. The digital workspace in a board portal should be intuitive and based on familiar user interface elements.

There’s also another angle to consider when addressing the complexity of board portals. Boards usually consist of directors with varying levels of technical knowledge and skill. It’s thus not uncommon for board members to be reluctant to adopt new software, especially if it introduces new solutions to established processes. This reluctance to change, however, can be easily conquered.

By organizing training sessions, you give board members a chance to explore the software and become comfortable with it. Solutions that run on multiple platforms and devices further aid in adoption. A free trial period helps board members adopt the software gradually. Look for board portal vendors that offer a free trial period with onboarding support.

4. Implementation Takes Too Long

Times when implementing new software solutions took weeks are long gone. Currently, the transition takes hours instead of weeks. However, on-premise solutions will take longer to implement, depending on your server infrastructure.

5. Board Portals Are Costly

Opting for paperless meetings can actually decrease long-term spending. Paper meetings can generate hundreds of thousands of paper sheets annually, whereas paperless board meetings eliminate the need to use paper, collate the documents, and deliver them to attendees. Going paperless can reduce paper expenses by tens of thousands of dollars a year. .

Other expenses generated by in-person board meetings:

  • Travel spending
  • Venue renting

The exact price of a board portal and the long-term costs depend on three variables:

  • Number of users
  • Hosting type (on-premise or cloud-based)
  • Number of features

To calculate return on investment, therefore, analyze projected expenses for in-person meetings vs. board portal software over the course of a few years. When choosing on-premise hosting, you also have to account for expenses connected with running your own infrastructure.

6. Data Migration Is Cumbersome When Transitioning to a Board Portal

Seamless data migration is a key aspect of business operations which depend on data to perform effectively. High-rated board portal vendors offer support in transferring your assets into the board portal and helping board members synchronize their essential applications with the board portal.

How to Make an Informed Decision to Employ a Board Portal?

To make an informed decision to employ board meeting software, consider the following:

Cross-Analyze Features with Company Needs

Investing in a solution with multiple features is not the best idea if your board needs only a handful. Analyze the features of a board portal solution and check for alignment with board needs.

Consult with Other Board Members

Adopting a new software solution can be a challenge to some. Make sure to consult with other board members about the mutual goals expected to be achieved by using board portal software, as well as possible adoption fears.

Test the Board Portal Extensively

Thorough testing of the platform will help you decide if it’s the solution you’re comfortable using in the long term. Availing of a trial will help clear any misconceptions you may have about using board portals.  If there’s anything that is causing persistent issues or difficulties during the trial period, opt for another, more intuitive and reliable software.


Convene’s award-winning board portal has helped users efficiently streamline their board operation while cutting down administrative costs. Equipped with the latest security features and an easy-to-use interface, Convene has proven itself to be a valuable governance and collaboration tool across various organizations in over 100 countries.

Ready to shatter misconceptions about board portals? Sign up for your free trial today.

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