What is a board portal?

Light bulb

Thomas Edison was famous for his life changing inventions and was quoted for saying “there is always a better way”. His revolutionary ideas where more along the lines of the important invention of the light bulb, but we like to think that Edison would have backed the adoption of new technology like a board portal as a ‘better way’ of doing things too.

Before Apple’s popular iPad became a common tool in businesses, the boardroom and its administrators relied heavily on printed paper for their board packs. With the uptake of iPad use at board level, the ‘board portal’ was created to build on the basic advantages of just using an iPad as a PDF reader. With the board portal, the boardroom not only had the ability to just be paperless – but to actually have a tool that could be used to help their governance

What is a board portal?

A board portal is a software application that is used to control various aspects of a boardroom meeting and handling boardroom tasks on a digital platform. Think of it like going from using a TV guide magazine to  progressing to the TV planner on Sky. That transition was about more than just moving away from printed magazine for a better way to find the shows we want– we also got features such as recording, reminders, pause etc.

The board portal is used on a number of devices such as tablet and mobiles so that it can be readily available at any time. It is a central point for the boardroom to find all the information they need for their boardroom meetings and a way for the administrators to easily distribute and manage the information, which could be boardroom documents, agendas or polls. No more printing, paper or couriers.

Like the upgrade to the digital TV planner, by using a board portal it is more than just about just switching to paperless meetings – it is a tool that offers a selection of features that actually improves the boardroom’s governance practises. Can you imagine going back to a weekly magazine to plan your weekend TV viewings? Many board members are saying the same thing about the days when they didn’t use board portals…

We could list the many benefits and features, but here is a video of the BoardPacks board portal to see for yourself.

How can it be used to improve governance?

Most board portals were created to just simply provide paperless meetings. As we have a governance focus at BoardPacks, our board portal was developed as a solution that incorporates a list of useful features aimed at actually helping overall governance.

Software can have an important role to play in supporting the information sharing, decision making and risk management that comes with good governance.

The board portal should provide a method for managing board and committee meetings, risk, decision making and other governance related activities. By providing an overview of governance throughout the organisation it will help identify issues and drive organisational improvement.

In a previous blog, we covered the issue of how board portal software can improve governance in more detail.

How much does a board portal cost?

Printed board packs are bulky and costly to produce and their uptake takes time. A board portal can significantly reduce the cost and time associated with printing, collating and couriering the board’s documents.

Pricing for board portals depend on the package you choose and the amount of users you have, but the important point is that you can actually save money by using software.

Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust told us, after they adopted BoardPacks, that they saved £175,000 per annum on their board packs and boardroom meetings. Even a smaller organisation such as Exeter college estimated, in a case study, that printing and postage costs were costing around £5,000 – £6,000 each year which was saved when they adopted a board portal.

Introducing software to your boardroom

Like most technology products, if you think of something you want to be able to do, but don’t quite know how, the answer may be easier than you think.

If you want to know more about how our board portal works, we’d would be more than happy to arrange a demonstration. In the meantime, you can find out more about BoardPacks governance software on our website.