Comparing Board Portals: Five Points of Difference

by Abby Portugal on October 20, 2017 and last updated on September 10, 2018

Choosing a board portal
After hours spent researching on software solutions, any responsible customer knows the headache of an information overload. Between technical jargon and sales talk, everything starts to look the same to exasperated customers. This applies to the board portal market as well, as board portals can vary on several different fronts.
In order to identify which one works best for them, customers need to take note of the differences that truly matter when it comes to meeting their company’s needs. We’ve selected five initial points of comparison to guide the board portal selection process:

PRICING

When comparing, the most glaring difference you will find among board portals is in the price. From the top-of-the-line to the very basic, there are meeting solutions available at varying degrees of affordability. After all, for most organizations, the solution of choice will still have to fit within their allotted budget. For example, well-known brands such as Diligent and BoardVantage may seem like an obvious choice for most, but they are simply too expensive for some nonprofits and small companies.

FEATURES

Beyond the basic features such as event scheduling and online board books, board portals can differ in other aspects such as the availability of tools for document management, reporting, presentations, or collaboration. For instance, Azeus Convene has features for live synchronization of annotations and pages while others do not. Will the nature of your meetings require complex permission and privacy settings? Multiple presenter roles? As each board portal will have its strengths over others, consider whether these strengths are in the areas that are most critical to your company’s needs.

INTERFACE

Another aspect to take into consideration is the user interface of the board portal. This is particularly important if your company has executives and board directors who are not so tech-savvy and may have difficulty adapting to a digital solution. Before any savings or productivity gains are made, the board portal’s design should first and foremost be intuitive enough to make navigating around easy for users. Each board portal has its own unique design, so take note of the ease of setup and the time it takes for new users to familiarize themselves with the system.

PLATFORM FLEXIBILITY

As your organization grows and changes, so will its requirements. However, not all board portals will have the capacity to accommodate additional specifications you may have. Some will work on offering support for a wider variety of devices and platforms, while others will have more integration options. Look into which of your shortlisted board portals work best given the devices and other tools you use.

SECURITY MODEL

Each board portal will have its own approach to securing data. Study the security safeguards that each board portal utilizes, and find the one that you are most comfortable with. Evaluate whether their security measures and data storage practices are compliant with your organization’s standards. For example, if your company deals with sensitive information and does not want to risk storing data on cloud, you should consider on-premise hosting. However, not all board portals can provide you with that option.

While the selection process may involve a lot of research and reading, choosing the right software solution for your organization is one of the best investment decisions you can make. With these pointers in mind, start your board portal review with a clear idea of what you need and which aspects you should pay particular attention to.

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