Having access to up to date company information is critical for directors responsible for determining strategic direction and managing day-to-day operations. If only there was a way to organise board papers in a manner that was engaging and secure whilst being functional and easy to use?
Advances in technology over the past decade have removed the need for directors to sift through monochrome reams of paper ahead of board meetings and instead present an alternative where the iPad reigns supreme. Board meetings tend to be content heavy, with conversations focused on reports and figures. However, enabling directors to digest and make comment on material before meetings, unsurprisingly promotes more fluid and effective board discussions.
Although change can be difficult to swallow and some traditionalists will undoubtedly favour a bible of documents color-coded for each topic arising, Aztec Group has witnessed a drive towards the use of hand held devices. Individual directors may need to be incentivised to transition from paper to screen, but this can be achieved through enhancing the user experience of board paper review and making it work around a director’s schedule.
Here are some of the benefits that portals are bringing to the boardroom:
Secure: iPads can be configured so that users can only access the data with fingerprint recognition and a password sent directly to the user’s mobile phone. With the more advanced systems, data is encrypted in ‘transit’ and at ‘rest’, providing the upmost secure operating environment
Training: available from service providers 24/7 in different languages.
Accessible: wifi and remote access can be used to access software.
Visually stimulating: directors can customise their dashboards to make their experience more personal.
Efficient: directors can review documents, approve resolutions using e-signatures and send secure emails.
Collaborative: directors can engage with each other using ‘chat rooms’ and comment and amend documents.
Paperless: environmentally friendly and easy to transport.
To make informed decisions, boards must have a robust understanding of technology, encourage innovation, focus on delivering a solution effective for their organisation and be aware of the opportunities and risks they present. Accordingly, adopting a technological solution should be treated as a business-improvement initiative and evaluated as a long term continuous project.
Although information stored electronically can be more secure than hard copy documents, appropriate security processes and procedures need to be adopted, monitored and updated so that company data remains secure and solely accessible by those with authorised access.
Some might say that having iPads in the boardroom diverts the attention of participants to emails, market news and the weekend weather. However, with clear usage policies and a recognised and workable code of etiquette, these conflicts can be managed.
There are, with any wholesome solution, preliminary and ongoing costs involved in setting up an effective solution that will undoubtedly absorb management time in the short term but given the pace of technological advancements, wouldn’t you rather be ahead of the curve?
Change is coming and the time for discussing boardroom technology is now. How boards acclimatise to the challenges and opportunities before them will differentiate those moving forward from those stagnating. Why not add ‘technology’ to your boardroom agenda and see where it leads…
If you would like to discuss outsourcing to the Aztec Group or are considering migrating a fund or SPV, please call James Duffield, Head of Business Development, on +44 20 3818 0250.
Aztec Group Guernsey
Aztec Financial Services (Guernsey) Limited
PO Box 656, East Wing, Trafalgar Court
Les Banques, St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 3PP
Telephone: +44 1481 749700
Facsimile: +44 1481 749749
Aztec Group Jersey
Aztec Financial Services (Jersey) Limited
Aztec Group House, PO Box 730
11-15 Seaton Place, St Helier, Jersey, JE4 0QH
Telephone: +44 1534 833000
Facsimile: +44 1534 833033
Aztec Group UK - London
Aztec Financial Services (UK) Limited
2 Throgmorton Avenue
Telephone: +44 20 3818 0250
Aztec Group Luxembourg
Aztec Financial Services (Luxembourg) S.A.
8, rue Lou Hemmer, L-1748, Luxembourg – Findel
Grand-Duché de Luxembourg
Telephone:+352 246 160 6000
Facsimile: +352 246 160 6016
Aztec Group The Netherlands
Aztec Financial Services (Netherlands) BV
Spaces Zuidas, Barbara Strozzilaan 201
1083 HN Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Telephone: +31 20 794 4820
Facsimile: +31 20 794 4821
Aztec Group UK - Southampton
Aztec Financial Services (UK) Limited
Forum 3, Solent Business Park
Parkway South, Whiteley, Fareham, PO15 7FH
Telephone: +44 238 202 2300
Facsimile: +44 238 202 2309