Board management software (BMS) adoption is crucial for any business strategy.
This article will help you navigate how to make a compelling business case for board management software. The goal here is for you to walk away informed and know that your entire company workflow would be strengthened by having board management software on your side.
Before you identify the right vendor, you need to be confident in making this business case to stakeholders by explaining why board management software is essential.
What is board management software?
Board management software (BMS) provides a streamlined workspace for board members, chief executives, and other leaders to organize information, make timely decisions, and plan business progress.
Knowing where to start with board management technology can be overwhelming, but you're in quite a bit of luck. Since the software has so many benefits and touches on nearly every aspect of an organization, it can easily fit into any IT project portfolio.
Board management software procurement
No matter your main objective, board management software easily fits into every IT procurement strategy, so it’s easy to make a compelling business case.
The outline of the case looks similar to a business plan:
- The Executive Summary & Objectives opens with what you’re trying to accomplish and why.
- Benefits & Limitations is a straightforward qualitative analysis of how and why board software will prove compelling.
- The Financial Analysis examines the quantitative implications – your investment's hard dollars and cents.
- The Risk Assessment looks at possible pitfalls and shortcomings.
- The Option Identification finally provides your stakeholders with an analysis of the statuesque and alternative solutions.
BMS is transactional and provides administrators and directors the flexibility to work from anywhere. It enhances governance, centralizes communications, and bolsters security. A transactional project like board software asks that you improve efficiency and productivity while reducing risk.
Additionally, it’s infrastructural, reducing labor costs and reducing waste. Board software increases productivity by minimizing time spent on everyday tasks and eliminates paper waste. Who can argue with productivity gains, saved money, and a lower carbon footprint?
On top of that, it’s informational through the timely distribution of information with fewer errors, these projects close information asymmetries. Indeed, Information accuracy and reliability are top of mind for directors. It should be easy to make the case that this project bridges an information gap and improves the directors' capability to lead the organization's strategic growth.
Lastly, it’s strategic.
By contributing to your organization’s competitive advantage, it’s easy to make the case that board software equips your directors to consider your long-term strategy better. As the stewards of your organization’s strategy, it helps them remain engaged with your organization, collaborate, and contribute with better information at their fingertips.
Benefits and limitations of board management software
In this section, we will discuss the benefits and limitations of board management software.
Benefits of board management tools
When making a clear business case, not all benefits are created equal. Here's what should be top of mind when making your case.
Board software ensures directors are better informed to make smart decisions. Streamlined governance tools that improve information reliability. When materials are distributed far in advance and directors are invested in reviewing materials on their own terms, meetings become collaborative efforts – a place to make important decisions and think about the organization's long-term health.
It proves to stakeholders you take managing environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) responsibilities seriously. Because of the information improvements, it means directors can vibrantly debate strategy and make decisions focused on the long-term.
Lowers business costs
It’s simple to measure the cost reductions during a financial analysis. It’s easy to overlook because it’s the way it’s always been done, but the costs of printing your board materials invariably run higher than most board software. Consider everything involved: paper, binders, printers, toner, shipping, and reprints. People typically find that just the basic materials end up costing more.
We’ve found board software typically reduces the time required to create your board books in half. Consider the time saved in making last-minute changes and addendums, and you have clear quantitative labor savings.
Decreases security risks
Your risk assessment will survey potential pitfalls, consequences, and strategies for avoiding those threats. Yet, with the right vendor, these risks are significantly curtailed.
- Cybersecurity: Consider whether paper and email put you at risk of unauthorized release of confidential board information that can instantly impact your organization’s financial position and brand and increase the risk of cyber attacks.
- Board adoption: Note that there’s a risk that the software you select will not be designed for your director’s demographic, causing a lack of adoption that will result in a wasted investment.
- Continued innovation and support: BMS consolidation poses a risk of selecting a provider who no longer actively supports their product
Limitations of board management platforms
No technology is perfect.
- Lack of personalization: Board management solutions currently lack a development platform to personalize the software, implying that most software on the market has standardized functionalities.
- Have few integrations: The tools are not easy to integrate with other collaboration and productivity software due to security concerns.
What you should look for in a board management vendor
When presenting to the stakeholders, you will be asked for a status quo and vendor analysis. Your status quo analysis should include the waste and burden of paper, and the security risks of email and may include a cost account of creating your own in-house board software.
Things to consider when picking a software vendor
- Is a free trial available?
- What are customers saying?
- What is the product's release history?
- What are the main features of the software?
Evaluate board management buyer guides to make decisions based on specific lines of inquiry to check who is still in service and not an out-of-commission subsidiary. This is important because when a firm is merely looking for an exit plan, they are eager to be bought and left as a subsidiary causing resources to be diverted from development, support, and technology.
Evaluate the vendor's values
If you’ve ever been to the DMV, you know what it’s like to feel like a number, not a person. When selecting a vendor, you can rely on for work done by your board, selecting someone who shares your values is crucial for long-term success.
If your team cares about the community, look for a vendor with programs to give back profit and time to its community. Make a list of the people and the culture of the people you work with and cross-reference it with the vendor's culture.
A board management vendor who sees you as a person who puts their community first and appreciates their employees is a vendor who will care about you. And that ultimately leads to an enduring partnership built on trust.
Streamlined board, stronger business
Luckily for anyone considering a board management software project, the case is easy to make. With clear benefits, few limitations, a clear financial upside, and limited risk, your stakeholders will find the case compelling. So compelling, you’ll soon be tasked with selecting a vendor.
Investing in a BMS is a great step toward business success, but it doesn't have to end there. Invest in business continuity measures to help key organizational leaders prepare for emergencies.