Just last year, one out of five people in the world owned a smartphone, while one out of 17 owned a tablet. And it doesn’t stop there. You can expect the numbers to rise by the end of 2014 and by the start of 2015, especially for tablets which are showing faster adoption rates compared to smartphones.
It’s not a surprise that mobile devices have become necessary tools in the enterprise. They’ve become partners in productivity and efficiency for many people, from interns to CEOs. Thanks to the variety of apps in the market today, it seems there’s an ideal solution for just about any need at the workplace: There’s software for recruitment and resume management, for chart and presentation creation, for employee scheduling and
appointment, to name a few.
For board meeting management, there’s a board meeting application. Many organisations have chosen to adopt board meeting application because it facilitates and automates board meeting processes. However, there are still a lot of organisations that haven’t made the transition. Is your organisation one of them?
Switching from paper to tablets is understandably a huge jump which not all organisations are willing or ready to take, but there will come a point when the use of a board meeting application is more of a necessity and less of an option. You know you’ll need to adopt a board meeting application soon if you see these signs within your organisation:
1. Last-minute updates don’t reach directors in time
It happens sometimes — an error in the data is spotted just two hours before the board meeting, and directors need to be informed about it as soon as possible. Phone calls, text messages, and emails are adequate means for communication, but mobile devices can go unanswered or unchecked in time, especially if they are not going to be used in the board meeting.
What you need is a way that can reach all directors, without exception. But what will make all of them pick up their smartphones and tablets just before the board meeting? Board meeting application, of course. Once you’ve transitioned to the use of a board meeting application, directors are expected to access the app on their mobile devices and use it for the board meeting. Also, administrators can set real-time notifications to be sent to directors as soon as there’s an update or change.
2. Your administrative team is spending too much time and effort preparing for board meetings
For every board meeting, administrative staff spend days on collating the meeting materials, printing them out, and sending them to directors. This manual process is not only tedious for everyone involved, but expensive as well if you factor in the employees’ hourly wages.
To calculate how much money your organisation can save when it finally adopts board software for its board meetings, try out our Paperless Board Meeting ROI Calculator. With this tool, you’ll be able to compare the costs your organisation incurs with manual meeting processes compared to the savings it can make with automated meeting processes. You’ll see that board portal software saves money and time in the long run.
3. Your organisation stands to lose a lot if its documents fall on the wrong hands
There’s a reason why some board meeting are held as closed sessions. Sometimes, the issues and concerns directors need to talk about are too sensitive and confidential for outsiders to hear. It could be talks about an upcoming merger, or ideas for a new product line. Either way, if competitors get access to this kind of information, it may spell big trouble for your organisation.
Why put your organisation at risk? To protect private documents from unauthorised access, you need the enterprise-grade security features only a board meeting application can offer. As already mentioned before, printed board packs can be easily misplaced or stolen. Though the same can be said for tablets and smartphones, a board meeting application often has an auto-purge feature which remotely wipes out private data as soon as a device goes missing.
A more secure medium is a tablet or smartphone powered by a board meeting application. Enterprise-grade encryption protects sensitive data whether it’s in process or transmission, so there’s very little danger of unauthorised access. If the mobile device gets lost or misplaced, an auto-purge feature can be activated to remotely delete information. As for sustainability, the same mobile devices can be used for board meeting after board meeting, and all files are in digital form. There’s no wastage here, unlike with printed board packs.
4. The cost of meeting logistics are too high
To produce printed board packs for every board meeting, a portion of the meeting budget is allocated to paper, printing, and courier services. But because paper and ink are consumable resources, your organisation has to replenish supplies each time there’s a board meeting, so they’re not exactly sustainable in the long run.
Your organisation spends money on airfare, hotel accommodations, conference room bookings, and even food catering to get directors in one place for face-to-face meetings. And this doesn’t happen only once or twice — most boards meet an average of four times in a given year (one per quarter), so these expenses add up by the time December rolls around.
To cut back on these expenses, use a board meeting application that lets directors attend meetings from remote locations. Signing up for a subscription plan and deploying tablets are more practical and cost-effective in the long run compared to booking flights and hotel rooms. But even if your organisation has the budget to fund travel costs, it’s still advisable to lower carbon footprint by reducing the usage of airplanes, trains, private vehicles, and other modes of transportation. Organisations have the social responsibility to adopt sustainable solutions, and this is one way of fulfilling that obligation.
5. Most of your directors already have smartphones or tablets
Directors have been busy on their mobile devices that you’ve considered implementing a “no tablet/smartphone” policy in board meetings. Or maybe you’ve already implemented it in an attempt to discourage them from checking their mobile devices in the middle of important discussions.
But why beat them when you can join them? With the growing use of mobile devices, it’s going to be more challenging to stop people from using their smartphones and tablets, and a ban will feel oppressive instead of helpful. Instead, make mobile devices work to your organisation’s favor by adopting a board meeting application that directors can use during the board meeting. It discourages distraction while enhancing discussions.
6. Soft copies of meeting files are available, but they’re not stored and transmitted through email or personal storage repositories
Your organisation keeps soft copies of meeting files which directors can access whenever needed, but if they’re stored in work emails, personal emails, Google Docs, Box, Dropbox, and many other virtual storage spaces, then these files are all over the place, making it difficult for directors to look for what they need. Also, there’s no reliable access control to determine who gets access to which file.
Don’t go digital simply for the sake of going digital. If your organisation has to switch to a virtual solution, make sure that it is fully integrated for a convenient user experience, something like what a board meeting application offers. The goal of using technology is to make things easier for users, and not more confusing.
7. Board packs are printed out on paper and delivered via courier
Paper is an unsecured medium for confidential information; you’re putting your organisation at risk if sensitive data can be easily stolen or misplaced. A more secure medium is a tablet or smartphone powered by a board meeting application. Enterprise-grade encryption protects sensitive data whether it’s in process or transmission, so there’s very little danger of unauthorised access. If the mobile device gets lost or misplaced, an auto-purge feature can be activated to remotely delete information. As for sustainability, the same mobile devices can be used for board meeting after board meeting, and all files are in digital form. There’s no wastage here, unlike with printed board packs.
8. Setting board meetings is a challenge because it’s hard to make everyone agree on a schedule
When directors of your organisation’s board are too busy running their own companies and/or sitting on other boards, it’s difficult to pick a meeting schedule that’s amenable to the majority. And when you’re running a face-to-face meeting, you have to take into consideration their available time not only for the board meeting itself, but also for the travel time it takes to get to the venue.
But with a board meeting application, directors can attend a board meeting wherever they may be, so scheduling doesn’t have to be a source of disagreement. As long as directors have a mobile device connected to the Internet, they can join board meetings from remote locations, whether they’re a few miles outside the city or halfway around the world. Thus, no director — even with the busiest schedule — gets left behind. This inclusiveness enables directors to get to know each other and develop deeper professional relationships with one another.
Can you observe these signs in your organisation? Then take it as an indicator to see if the board meeting application fits your needs. Try out Convene, our highly efficient and secure board meeting application that works on iPads, Android and Windows devices. It streamlines and automates the whole board meeting process, enabling directors to focus on things that matters most, like decision-making and strategic thinking. But in spite of its comprehensive features, it remains easy to implement, learn, and use, making it the best option for busy directors.