‘How can companies formed and established during the analogue age (or even before that) respond and survive in the digital era?’ This was a question posed at FundForum International 2017 and was the starting point for a lively discussion around a sometimes-contentious subject, digital transformation.
The rate of which technology has been adopted into every aspect of modern life would seem to suggest that the digital transformation has already happened, but in most businesses, the process is very much in its infancy.
Adopting boardroom technology
Embracing change is a difficult concept and one that we’re not very good at. The age-old adage of ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ still is very much applicable to the boards of a lot of organisations, who maybe do not quite grasp the enormous task at hand when it comes to organising a board meeting, or at least, do not realise that there is a solution out there that can ease that burden.
Other organisations are further down the road toward digital transformation and have adopted a board portal to help organise and run their important board meetings, but is the solution they have chosen the right one? Does it go far enough in aiding in compliance and governance, and is it future proof?
Some of the technologies available to us now were unthinkable when a lot of current board members were starting their careers. But when talking to the generation at the beginning of their working lives, imagining a time where you couldn’t be on the internet at home and use the phone at the same time seems implausible. There will quickly come a time when this generation are in positions of power and authority and sitting on your board. Does it make sense then to simply replace your paper pack with a paper representation of the pack? What purpose does this truly solve and how is this improving your organisations compliance?
A lot of technology aimed at boards of organisations focuses on ‘paperless technology’. Whilst this is an important element that has to be considered both for its cost implications as well as going towards the organisations environmental responsibilities, this shouldn’t be the overriding factor when it comes to adopting new technologies. One of the issues with board meeting packs, whether in paper or pdf form, is that they are very cumbersome and difficult to navigate. If you’re replicating your paper pack onto a digital device, then you are just replicating the problem. The digital format offers so much more potential.
BoardPacks has been designed first and foremost to aid in good governance and compliance across all sectors. Our intuitive module based system allows you to get the most out of the platform in the minimum amount of time. The meetings module is essential to the efficient running of board meetings. Giving organisations the ability to improve the efficiency of their meetings by taking them onto a digital platform. When you then take into account the other modules, such as decisions, controls and knowledge, you have a complete all-in-one solution that brings the best out of your board members.
All of these modules can be accessed either via a web portal, or via apps available on all platforms. It is hard to believe that apps for mobile technology have been around for less than a decade, as they have been one of the biggest drivers of digital transformation. The ability to access information on the go, and provide an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use platform to do so is now so deeply engrained on all of us that children these days cannot see a screen without expecting it to react to their touch.
The future of board technology
The use of technology in business now is unrecognisable from what it was even 10 years ago. Facebook was created to allow university and college students a social platform to communicate, now it is one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet with a reach of nearly 2 billion active users available to be reached at the click of a button. Skype was created to allow you to keep in touch with friends and relatives in different countries, without incurring large phone bills. Now it is one of the most vital pieces of technology in any business. Even now, who can predict the implications that social platforms like SnapChat are going to have, which is just starting to spread its wings into the business sector.
Predicting what technology is needed and which will become part of everyday working life is impossible, but every piece of technology that you adopt in your organisation should be built with the future in mind, and importantly, with the needs of its users at its core. eShare regularly host user groups to give us the opportunity to showcase upcoming releases to our customers and get genuine feedback. We then take these comments back to our product development team so that we are constantly improving our products to better suit the people that use it.
The latest UI refresh happened in February 2017 and was based around the feedback that we had received on how to make using the app an even better experience for our users. Our clean and fresh interface has often been commented on as one of the main features that makes BoardPacks so easy to use, as it feels very intuitive and in line with a lot of other day-to-day apps. We aren’t trying to suggest that technology that businesses need can be designed in the same way as our personal and social apps, but if these have been so easily adopted into every aspect of our lives, then why do we need to limit the design of business solutions? It’s time to make adopting technology easier for everyone.
The conclusion reached at FundForum International 2017 was that the playbook for digital transformation hasn’t been written yet, and now is the time for organisations to begin their journey and implement what is right for them both now, and in the future. Whilst it may appear more comfortable to adopt a system that digitally mirrors your current methods, this may prove to be short sighted and see you going through the same process again just a few years down the line. By adopting technology that is built for the present but with the future of your organisation in mind, you are utilising technology in the right way and for the benefit of future success for your business.