Rather than investigating a forward-thinking board software product, many organizations attempt to create a “free” in-house workaround in hopes of saving on their bottom line. While this option doesn’t have a price tag directly attached to it, it does cost the organization in other ways—namely in efficiency, man-hours, and security. Oftentimes, companies direct their IT departments to set up an FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, network to act as a file sharing server for board members. These FTPs may accomplish the basic goal of delivering information, but they don’t do much in the way of bettering boardroom communication or decision-making.
Is it efficient?
Sharing information through an FTP may seem quick and easy, but is it really efficient for boardroom processes? For instance, board books usually get updated multiple times before in-person meetings. With an FTP site, you’ll have to repeatedly load new versions of the document and then alert board members to them. With a board software solution, you can simply amend the existing board book instantaneously. Not to mention, board members can view the latest version of the board book with or without Internet access—something an FTP site is intrinsically unable to support.
Does it help board members collaborate?
While it’s not the most efficient or secure way to share documents, an FTP site might get the job done, but it won’t help board members collaborate. With a board software solution, directors can annotate their board books digitally, vote on issues at hand, message one another, converse in committees easily, and much more. This profound collaborative value ultimately helps board members make better decisions for the organizations they serve.
How secure is it?
These days, IT departments are extremely aware of how dangerous information sharing can be. However, they don’t usually have the time or the expertise to hold to the highest levels of online security. Unfortunately, one breach can lead to disastrous effects for companies whose board documents have been exposed to the public.
What’s the real cost?
Sure, your company isn’t writing a check for its FTP, but it does pull IT personnel away from other projects. This inconvenience can inevitably lead to new expenditures, like needing to hire more employees or running into problems that require outside consultation or correction.