Boardroom Technology

The Current Technology Problem in Boardrooms

Modern Governance Tools for improved board performance

As boards of directors in Australia and New Zealand face increasing pressure to improve performance, the need for Modern Governance tools available in high quality board management software becomes critical.

“I am a decision-maker, not a tech geek.” That statement, according to Australian Institute of Company Directors expert Kath Walters, sums up everything that is wrong with the attitude of many Australian directors regarding technology in the boardroom. “This kind of technology requires little or no training,” she insists.

Walters cites effective communication as one of the key reasons for directors to use high quality board management software, for active discussion among board members. “This software offers faster ways to share information, as well as a means to keep that information up to date.”

Security is the other key reason for using modern board portals, Walters continues. “Text messaging and emails are not secure technologies. Both are open to hacking and snooping. Ditto when it comes to inviting virtual attendance of some board members. Without the right security services, some platforms for beaming in a virtual board member long distance leave board security in peril,” she warns.

Institutional Investors pressure board performance

In 2015, a group of institutional investors and major funds formed the New Zealand Corporate Governance Forum, a group intended to provide a governance framework for corporate boards as part of an overall stewardship code.

Similarly, in Australia, in 2018, the Australian Council for Superannuation Investors launched a Stewardship Code, that calls for “increased engagement with corporate boards,” and details governance issues on which companies will be evaluated.

Boards must respond to continuing pressures like these from institutional investors and activists for improved performance, as a study by Russell Reynolds shows.

“Activist investors will continue to influence the board decision-making, process, and composition. Expect an increased level of scrutiny of an individual director’s track record of value creation and industry expertise. Boards that fight with activists will face intense scrutiny of the value-creation history of each director, both in their executive and board careers,” the study shows.

Board Management Software empowers boards to succeed

Most boards in Australia and New Zealand recognise that they need Modern Governance tools to succeed, but they risk choosing the wrong ones without some understanding of the technology.

Unless a high-quality system is chosen, setting up and managing the system may take up too much time and make excessive demands on resources. Integrating a low-quality management system may prove difficult or impossible for lack of compatibility. Security may not be assured on the new system, creating vulnerabilities. Even the choice of accessory equipment like video can be risky, as cyber criminals have been known to hack into boardroom cameras.

In both Australia and New Zealand, directors’ duties have broadened to include responsibility for managing these new risks and to include having policies in place that deal with cybersecurity.

Directors should understand that this includes advanced and comprehensive cyber security for the board’s operations as well.

These duties apply to all organisations, regardless of structure. The Australian Institute of Company Directors has pointed out that, in exercising these duties organisations should, where possible, acquire expertise in IT and that policies should be comprehensive and provide the ability for an efficient response to a data breach.

Similarly, the New Zealand Institute of Company Directors calls for directors to “put cybersecurity on the agenda, before it become the agenda.”

Diligent Governance Cloud offers the most advanced board management software

Modern governance demands one system where board directors can access all board processes using one fully integrated board platform where technology is strongly aligned to the company’s specific governance needs. The solution that today’s boards need is Governance Cloud by Diligent Corporation.

The Governance Cloud, the only integrated enterprise governance management solution that enables organisations to achieve best-in-class governance, is an ecosystem of software tools that digitises the various activities and tasks for the board of directors. As organisations grow more complex and regulations more stringent, the scope of governance responsibilities evolves. The Governance Cloud allows boards of directors to meet the demands in the boardroom and beyond with the ability to select the products they need that help them perform their best and work within their allotted budgets.

Governance Cloud is a fully integrated suite of modern governance tools that address all board processes and systems within one highly secure electronic platform. Diligent Messenger is a secure electronic communication tool that far surpasses the security of any personal or business email platform. Messenger prevents accidental emails and disclosures.

Diligent Boards is a board portal platform that gives board directors access to all board information at any time of day or night and every day of the year. The days of waiting for information are gone forever because directors can get real-time access to information.

Technology helps board directors work on a fully mobile basis regardless of how busy they are. With Governance Cloud, directors can grab any electronic device to bring information at their fingertips within seconds.

The products within Governance Cloud all have state-of-the-art security. Since all the products are fully integrated, there’s no risk of transferring viruses or malware between software solutions and electronic devices. Board administrators have the ability to set up granular controls so that only approved users can access the parts of the system they need. As legal and compliance regulations increase, the secure portal protects board directors from liability concerns.

Governance Cloud offers unlimited cloud-based storage that’s accessible for board directors at any time. As an industry leader, Governance Cloud was designed to be adaptable to frequent and extensive changes to keep up with the current and future demands of business and governance. Governance Cloud is an modern governance system that supports a full range of governance activities. Most importantly, it’s intuitive and easy to use, even for directors who find technology challenging.


Board Portal Buyer’s Guide

With the right Board Portal software, a board can improve corporate governance and efficiency while collaborating in a secure environment. With lots of board portal vendors to choose from, the whitepaper contains the most important questions to ask during your search, divided into five essential categories.

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