Published in 20/20, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) magazine.
A recent Deloitte study indicates technology is getting more and more popular in boardrooms. For a long time, directors were resistant to changes
If, nowadays, laptops and tablets are commonly used by directors in many companies, the major change is really the emergence of board portals. It’s more than a “tech trend’’ — it’s about governance.
Among the tough new regulations that have appeared in recent years, the Sarbanes-Oxley regulation started a new era for companies (public or private), governmental agencies, and even non-profit organizations. Their directors now all face the same challenge and have to perform their duties in a productive and safe environment. Forget time and distance, they have to be available and up-to-date with the organization’s documentation to make accurate decisions when needed, and sometimes — most of the time — fast. They are advisors and also decision-makers.
To address this new paradigm, board portals have recently appeared in the boardrooms of companies among the Fortune 500. A few American competitors actually share their same “sweet-pot’’ — the international financial centers like New York, London and Singapore — but ignore the balance of the market.
Leading Boards, a Canadian company based in Montreal, provides a powerful, easy-to-use and secure board portal to meet the needs of an untapped market in Canada and abroad, especially in emerging countries. Leading Boards realized that not only the Fortune 500 but also medium-sized companies and junior public companies were in need of tools like board portals to better equip their boards and committees.
Leading Boards designed a priced multi-language unique board portal to address that market. And the demand is growing with companies always looking to be one step ahead.
“It’s more an investment than a cost,” says CEO Jean-Marc Felio. “With the introduction of the iPad version, directors are browsing in archives with the keyword search tool. They are a lot more efficient for the benefit of all.”
Argex Titanium has recently decided to have their audit committee and board of directors work with a board portal, and chose Leading Boards.
“At Argex, we have directors and committee members in different cities and even different countries,” explains Robert Guilbault, chairman of Argex Titanium. “Leading Boards helps them work, collaborate, and prepare their meetings wherever they are, anytime they want. It’s easy-to-use, available on iPad, and bilingual. Leading Boards was a natural answer to our needs, and comes with great training and support service.’’
The board portal also makes life easier to newly appointed directors who can, at their leisure, have access to the “memory” of the company and become familiar with past issues, decisions, and documents, and be well prepared to take decisions on current situations.
Last but not least, Leading Boards brings a “paperless’’ solution to boards and committees which helps control their financial impact as well as their ecological impact. A green solution turns out to be an investment that will carry its own returns.
After a year of commercialization and several hundred users later, Leading Boards entered into a partnership with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and now equips the CME board of directors and its audit committee as well.
“This partnership enables CME to provide our members preferred prices with Canada’s best software for the management of boards and committees,” says CME President & CEO, Jayson Myers.
To learn more about Leading Boards or to ask for a live demo, call 1-855-404 5377
or visit its website: www.leadingboards.com