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Global Governance Advisors

What Does Technology Mean for Your Board?

Posted by Camron Siskey on Sep 30, 2019 9:00:00 AM
Camron Siskey
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In 2017, a Deloitte study found that “high-performing S&P 500 companies were more likely (31 percent) to have a tech-savvy board director than other companies (17 percent).” Khalid Kark, Tonie Leatherberry and Debbie McCormack, Deloitte LLP, Technology and the Boardroom: A CIO’s Guide to Engaging the Board

It’s 2019 and the world has come a long way from Y2K. Technology has taken over. There are self-driving cars, self-check-in kiosks and you don’t even need currency (cash or card) anymore to make a purchase. All you need is WiFi and a cell phone. This same cell phone now allows you to hold the entirety of the world’s knowledge in the palm of your hand. 20 years ago, you would have had to physically enter a library and even then, you might not have found the information you were looking for.

This emergence of technology doesn’t only affect your personal life, it also impacts your work life, specifically your responsibilities on your board. It is no longer okay to brush technology off, state that your board is “old school” and refuse to use anything other than paper binders. Technology represents knowledge and power and as a member of your board of directors, it is your responsibility to leverage that power in your board meeting. The world has evolved and the greater attachment and demand for increased technology has created an undeniable shift in the boardroom.

Workplace Productivity Platform

Workplace Productivity Platforms (WPPs) are the future of productivity and one essential way that your board can embrace the technological revolution, while simultaneously revolutionizing the boardroom. Full stop. WPPs are a one stop shop for solving a variety of potential issues in organizations. The age of the workplace productivity platform has come and if your organization does not embrace this change it will soon feel the pain from being left behind.

Enter emPower. The perfect WPP for your organizational issues - from your boardroom to HR to investor relations. emPower resolves these issues efficiently and creates an environment for employees and executives to thrive and increase their effectiveness. You can leverage the following three modules to transform your organization and make it as productive as it can be.

emPowerBoards® - A revolutionary cloud-based software aimed at making board meetings more efficient and effective. Board members have a plethora of issues and no feasible way to solve them with current board portals. But emPowerBoards® solves all of these issues. With solutions such as an entirely cloud-based software, emPowerBoards® mitigates the potential security issue that traditional board portals, board binders, and email all have as the data within emPowerBoards® never resides on someone’s device. A workplace productivity platform that makes its home in the cloud has no threat of being hacked or stolen since it does not reside on any one hard drive, but rather secured by Google and hosted by Microsoft Azure.

emPowerBoards® also provides boards with the ability to have direct access to built-in video conferencing, at the click of a button, which gives users the ability to record meetings and gain access to meeting transcripts, thereby saving the Corporate Secretary and/or meeting minute taker time when finalizing the meeting minutes for each meeting. Pre-populated board effectiveness and D&O questionnaires, with market-leading questions that every board should be asking around its performance, provide organizations with a head start when looking to improve upon their board’s effectiveness to add value to the organization as opposed to having to start from scratch.

emPowerHCM® - A data analytics application that provides current peer compensation data and scorecards to develop effective senior management incentive plans. emPowerHCM® users have access to compensation data, from over 13,000 organizations, to benchmark the competitiveness of their compensation, as well as a scorecard feature to help determine their senior management compensation/incentive plans on an annual basis. Organizations can set the performance measures that they want to track, weight each performance measure and outline the performance expectations along with potential payout outcomes. At the end of the year, entering in the actual level of performance achieved results in an automatic payout calculation and removes the risk of calculation errors through the historical use of Excel spreadsheets or calculators. This module is not offered in a traditional board portal.

emPowerIR® - Satisfying stakeholders is among one of an organization’s top priorities. Whether that be shareholders of a publicly traded company or members of a not-for-profit or public pension fund. They aid in the organization’s growth and well-being and without a happy and committed stakeholder base, an organization’s future is in jeopardy. But with so many stakeholders, how does one combat misinformation and the potential for unhappiness amongst the base? emPowerIR® seeks to bridge the communication gap with your stakeholders and aids in the spread of information in an effective manner.

With features such as e-Campaigns (that allow you to communicate with targeted groups and analyze their engagement data) and geographic reporting (to show where the highest density of stakeholders are located for better attended town halls or roadshows) it is no surprise that emPowerIR® is truly a force to be reckoned with. Not only this, but the ability to poll stakeholders as part of Annual General Meetings, Special Meetings or on important issues facing your organization is enhanced through access to an automated proxy/survey tabulator allowing an organization to gain access to the views of its stakeholders literally at the click of a button. Why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars collecting paper ballots from a smaller number of stakeholders when you can collect information from many more stakeholders by leveraging technology at a reduced cost? 

Closing Thoughts

Technology is here and it is commanding the attention of organizations. Without technology your organization will fall behind and lose touch with your board, staff, and your various other stakeholders. Having the right technology to help you is the difference between a thriving organization and one that is failing. By leveraging technology to improve your board governance, human capital management and stakeholder relations, you can set your organization up for success in the digital age.


Topics: board of directors, Board Software, technology