Boards are facing increasing pressure to understand and react faster to their ecosystem. As companies are being deluged with more and more information, including more rigorous levels of compliance requirements, chairpersons need to be much smarter and bring on the use of technology into the boardroom. But what type of technology? How should they leverage on the right technology?
These are the questions we explored and sought answers for at the lunch seminar we co-organized with the Chamber of Hong Kong Listed Companies (CHKLC). Held at the Hopewell Centre in Hong Kong on Sept. 10, the lunch seminar focused on the topic “Improving Board Performance with Technology — Myth and Reality” to give way to discussions of the key issues and opportunities in the adoption of technology in the boardroom.
Representatives of company secretaries and board chairpersons who attended the event shared valuable input which includes thoughtful questions and useful feedback. Board members in particular have asked the following:
- Does the technology really leverage effectiveness of meetings?
- Is technology worth the value?
- Can you prove that the information exchange is secure?
- Can the design of technology accommodate cultural differences?
This list points back to the primary concerns they have about technology, which include security at the top, followed by cost effectiveness, usability, sustainability, culture, and interactivity.
But regardless of these concerns, they have agreed that all tech-related issues go back to the common challenges faced by traditional board challenges. Ultimately, technology is only a tool and can’t change culture by itself. It’s also not a one-size-fits-all answer — different organizations have different needs best addressed by digital tools that can be customised accordingly.