What Boardroom Technology Should Your Board Use?

Nicholas J Price
Advancements in technology are drastically changing the way corporations do business. Advanced technology has also come a long way toward enhancing the way that boards of directors communicate and work together. Electronic tools, hardware and software products streamline many board processes inside and outside the boardroom, creating efficiency and cost-effectiveness like never before.

Within any industry, there are basic things you need to conduct your business. And then, there's always the wish list ' the list of things you'd get 'someday' if you could only afford them. Today's corporate world requires boards to invest enough in technology to conduct their board work efficiently and securely. Often, boards realize cost savings after investing in technology that allows them to reinvest in some of the things on their wish lists.

Excellence in Governance Demands Board Management Software Systems for Boards

Competition in the marketplace is fiercer than ever before, which means boards of directors need to be at the top of their game and work to stay there. Increased regulatory requirements and pressure on board directors to be accountable will quickly make investing in a board management system a necessity.

Only a fully integrated board management software system provides the technical tools and resources for the full range of governance needed to govern at the highest level to deliver long-term success and sustainability. Diligent is the only provider of software solutions for total Enterprise Governance Management.

An Enterprise Governance Management system is more than a board portal. For Diligent, it's a suite of governance software solutions called Governance Cloud to help board directors fulfill their responsibilities accurately and efficiently. Diligent has designed solutions that are right for today and that will be the cornerstone for future solutions. The following software solutions are part of the Governance Cloud ecosystem and should be a staple in every boardroom.

Diligent Boards

Diligent Boards is a board portal that allows board directors to annotate and share documents securely online. They can manage notes and comments and get real-time notifications any time someone makes a change. This software allows boards to enter virtual meeting spaces from any location to collaborate on projects or for committee work. However, Diligent Boards does much more. Board administrators can build board books quickly, manage meetings and schedules, and set user permissions for the tightest possible security.

Diligent Messenger

Diligent Messenger is a secure messaging app that allows board directors to communicate in real time without risking issues that are common with personal and business email platforms. Diligent Messenger integrates seamlessly with the other software solutions that comprise the Governance Cloud ecosystem.

Diligent Minutes

Diligent Minutes takes all of the pain points out of taking meeting minutes. Corporate secretaries have the option of creating minutes from scratch or pulling information directly from the board book in Diligent Boards. Board directors can add, assign and follow up on action items using automatic notifications. Board directors can easily export the minutes to a Microsoft Word document and bring them back into the meeting for discussion. Boards can also use the integrated Voting & Resolutions tool for votes on approving the minutes and have them fully approved before the next meeting.

D&O Questionnaires

D&O Questionnaires by Diligent streamline the process of director and officer compliance reporting. Board directors can complete the questionnaires online and return them in record time. Board administrators can set up the questions so that board directors and officers only see the ones they need to answer. The program can easily be set up with true/false, multiple choice or open-ended responses.

Board Assessments

Diligent also offers a board self assessment tool with various user-tested question types for board self-evaluations. The program lets boards view results with custom reports that incorporate visual graphs for easy review. Boards can also set parameters to download custom reports. All of the solutions in Governance Cloud are mobile-friendly, and board directors can access and use them on any device anywhere in the world.

Virtual Data Rooms

Boards have multiple needs for virtual data rooms, and Diligent doesn't disappoint. Diligent's virtual data rooms accommodate participants in different offices so that they can collaborate in online meetings. Meetings can start and stop on time, regardless of location or time zone. Governance Cloud offers the highest levels of security in all of its products so that board directors can conduct business without worry of hacking or data breaches. Diligent has been an industry leader in governance since the beginning and is committed to continued innovation in software for governance.

Boardroom Technology for the 'Someday' Wish List

Video and teleconferencing equipment still works well for many corporations. However, wireless connectivity for board meetings is starting to replace outdated technologies, such as conference room intercoms.

Many companies are finding that, when it's time to renovate offices and boardrooms, it's time to upgrade to more sophisticated boardroom technology. Front walls of conference rooms are being replaced by giant video walls where board chairs can easily pull up multiple windows of content using a simple electronic tablet to look at details in high resolution. Boards can share presentations in crisp HD resolution even when the sun is beaming into the conference room.

Another popular new feature is rear-projection technology that cuts down on noise and heat in the boardroom. Rear-projection technology also eliminates distracting on-screen shadows. Boards may enhance rear-projection technology with dual projectors so there's always a backup available.

Sound technology is improving by leaps and bounds. New boardroom designs are acoustically friendly so that all participants can hear speakers clearly. Microphones, sound bar speakers and lighting are designed for the optimal meeting experience, free from echoes and other distractions.

Wide-angle cameras are a popular feature for boardrooms that allow everyone in the room to see who came to the meeting, even those who sit near the screen.

Corporations that have big budgets can even get a board table that's pre-wired with electronic tablets at every table setting. With the flip of a switch, flaps open and tablets rise in front of meeting participants, much like a hidden television electronically rises from a credenza or other piece of furniture; it can be hidden away just as easily when not in use.

We are likely on the tipping point of what boardroom technology may offer in the near future. At a minimum, it's time for corporate boards to invest in a fully integrated Enterprise Governance Management system like the one provided by Diligent Corporation ' a company that is fully dedicated to excellence and innovation. By streamlining board processes and making them more efficient and cost-effective, boards may be able to invest in some of the boardroom technology devices that will wow their meeting attendees.
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Nicholas J. Price
Nicholas J. Price is a former Manager at Diligent. He has worked extensively in the governance space, particularly on the key governance technologies that can support leadership with the visibility, data and operating capabilities for more effective decision-making.