Five Questions to Ask When Choosing Board Software
Technological solutions, when implemented correctly, do absolute wonders for an organization’s productivity and profits.
There’s one caveat to the above statement—that being the word “correctly.”
To implement solutions the right way necessitates choosing a technology that encapsulates the ideal fit for an organization.
Why? Because implementing tech that doesn’t fit will cost companies both time and money in excess.
Therefore, when a board of directors is considering a management solution, they must perform due diligence. This way, they’ll land upon board software that integrates seamlessly, keeps everyone organized, promotes efficiency, and increases productivity.
Read below and learn some fundamental questions boards should ask themselves before choosing a board management solution.
What Are the Boards Priorities and Needs?
Most board software is going to offer its own unique strengths as a product.
Some platforms will come with superior pricing options, others will offer premiere features, and then there are portals known for customizations, etc.
Really, it all depends on both what an organization needs now—and what’ll guide them into the future. Primarily, what matters is finding the balance and figuring out what will provide the most optimal ROI.
More specifically, if directors are looking for software that’s based on features, they must ensure that the price isn’t so much that it couldn’t possibly generate a return.
Alternatively, if pricing is the main sticking point, portal platforms still have to offer functionality that provides value. Sure, the available features might not be as vast as more expensive software, but the functions should be significant game-changers for meetings.
Does the Provider’s Unique Traits Align with the Board?
Generally, when purchasing board software, it’s not so much paying for a product/service, as it is a partnership with a vendor with their own story.
Meaning, each portal software comes from a company with its own values, ethics, mission, employees, leadership, and even a board of directors.
All those things together will dictate the unique manner of products and services a software provider brings to the table. Such traits often carve a path for the kinds of businesses with which these vendors establish partnerships.
Gaining this knowledge will help boards understand the kinds of industries and business-size (small, medium, or large) a given portal best fits.
Is the Product Still Being Developed?
While boards don’t necessarily want to saddle themselves with clunky prototype board software, a platform that’s still being developed can be a good thing.
For one thing, a board’s partnership with a vendor might mean their feedback can shape the direction of said development. Also, some companies never stop improving their products and adding features. They’re continually working to give more to their clients.
On the other hand, there is the need to be sure that the current version of the portal software isn’t too raw. Then too much time will be spent trying to fix discrepancies than on issues of board governance.
Is the Board Portal the Vendor’s Only Product?
If the board portal is the vendor’s only product, it’ll likely mean one of two things:
- They’re a young company with an incomplete product and won’t have the framework to offer boards what they need.
- They’re dedicated to one thing and one thing only, and that’s providing board software catered to streamlining the various processes involved in board meetings.
In many cases, reason number two rings true. However, it’s still necessary to research the company to see if they’re up to standards.
Not to say that a vendor can’t have many products and provide high-level portal platforms. Still, diversifying products can hint at a lack of specialization. Though, if the vendor offers other tools for boards of directors, that would be a promising sign.
How Are the Reviews Online?
Let the value of due diligence never go understated for even one second.
Boards won’t get the most honest representation of a product during the pitch or even a demo. They’re going to find out the most brutal truth through online reviews.
But be savvy when it comes to reviews. There are companies out there that pay for a positive spin. In fact, alarm bells should go off in one’s head when there are only 5-star reviews, especially if there are hundreds of these reviews.
A sound practice on this front is looking for the best reviews and worst reviews on a product, then decide if the good outweighs the bad.
Has your board asked themselves these essential questions? If not, it’s possible that you’re rushing into what might end up being the wrong solution.
Instead, take your time, ask the right questions, and pragmatically decide what’ll best fit your board’s needs. As a result, your technology will end up having the most net-positive impact on the organization.