Global Governance Advisors

How to Choose your Board Software

Posted by Linaeya Horn-Muller on Dec 31, 2018 9:00:00 AM
Linaeya Horn-Muller
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We’ve all been there. The moment of sweat-inducing truth when all of your board software demos are over, and you need to decide. It’s not too life altering of a decision, deciding on board software, but years of ordering items online and never quite receiving what was advertised has made you slightly paranoid. But change is on the horizon, which means that you must wipe the dampness from the corner of your brow and power forward. It’s time to create a board management software comparison so that you can identify the all-encompassing enterprise solution that best fits your organization’s needs.

There are 4 key considerations when developing your board management software comparison:

  • Pricing
  • Security
  • Testimonials
  • On-boarding/Customer Service

Pricing

First things first, pricing. The fiscally responsible side of you has budgeted for the changing times - for the tools that are needed to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the boardroom. When analyzing pricing, it’s important to factor in affordability – but, that shouldn’t be the only defining variable. The most successful board software decision makers will be able to discover the best quality solution for the best price. Pay close attention to what is offered at each price point and don’t be fooled by low prices with wordy fine print. Be wary of the long-winded sentences that colorfully dance around the fact that even though the price is low, and the trial is free, you only receive the bare minimum features. Inclusion is key – you want to find the trustworthy board software vendor that is offering you all of the game-changing features at one affordable price.

Security

There is a false assumption circulating the board software space that states that all companies offer the same level of security when it comes to protecting our data. That simply isn’t true. A majority of board software solutions will enlist third-party physical data centers, who typically focus on carrying a significant share of security responsibility. 

There are four key tiers of protection that can fall within a shared security responsibility:

  1. On-Premise - The first tier of protection is On-Premise. On-premise protection is the level of protection that leaves your company feeling the most vulnerable. Every aspect of security fall under your organization’s responsibility – data governance & rights management, client endpoints, account & access management, identity & directory infrastructure, application, network controls, operating system, physical hosts, physical network, and the physical data center. Every ounce of liability is yours and yours alone.
  1. Infrastructure as a Service (“IaaS”) - The second tier of protection is IaaS. IaaS is a step up from On-Premise, but your organization is still fully responsible for data governance & rights management, client endpoints, account & access management, identity & directory infrastructure, application, network controls, operating system.
  1. Platform as a Service (“PaaS”) - The third destination is PaaS. PaaS is the tier of protection that outsources most of the responsibility to a third-party physical data center, like Microsoft Azure. You’ll be fully responsible for data governance & rights management, client endpoints, account & access management and partially responsible for identity & directory infrastructure, application and network controls.
  1. Software as a Service (“SaaS”) - Your organization has the least amount of security responsibility when you are working with a third-party data center under SaaS - the fourth tier of protection. This tier of protection soaks up most, if not all, of the responsibility for data security.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you’re an “IaaS” or a “SaaS” type of organization. What matters is that you choose a board software solution with efficacious data security, which will cater to the shared responsibility needs of your organization.

Testimonials

It’s not only about what you know, it’s about who you know. This saying applies to selecting your board software because you should never ignore what current and past clients feel. Explore a little. Visit the company's site, find out who is using the services, what are they using it for, and why they picked that company.  Choosing a board software is similar to choosing a life partner. You must be as informed as possible in order to manifest a lifetime of happiness.

On-boarding/Customer Service

A top of the line board software solution will include on-boarding, training, implementation and support - at no extra cost. I know what you’re thinking – does such a software even exist? Yes, it does. You just have to know where to look.  

Closing Thoughts

Don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors surrounding a million-dollar marketing campaign. Allow yourself to make the best decision possible by reading between the lines and fully analyzing all of your board software options.

Feel free to browse through the rest of our blog (how about checking out How to Chair a Board Meeting) for more.

Topics: GGA, Board Software, Best Practices