How to convince your board to adopt paperless software for meetings

Paperless software for meetings, such as board portals, can offer many benefits to company secretaries, meeting administrators and directors. However, as with any change, whether implementing completely new software or changing software providers, it can be difficult to convince those in authority.

Here are a few key tips to help convince your board to adopt paperless software for meetings.


Show don’t tell

Any good board portal provider will happily demonstrate to you and your board the features and benefits of paperless meeting software. For example, rather than asking your directors if they’d like to go paperless, it’s possible to show them board papers in the app. Before they realise, directors will be flipping through the pages and digitally annotating.


Find a champion

To really make an impact, find an advocate who can convince the rest of the board about the benefits of using a board portal. Many boards now use board portals and potentially one of your non-executive directors may already use a paperless solution. A positive recommendation can be helpful in convincing other directors.


Highlight the benefits to the directors

Board portals are designed to make the life of a director easier; so when building the business case, be sure to focus on how the software will benefit them. For example, by eliminating heavy paper packs, directors no longer have to carry around cumbersome documents.


Equally, looking for the right section or specific information in a paper pack can be time-consuming. However, with a board portal, search and filter options and document libraries can help to increase a director’s efficiency.  Even in cases where there may be last minute updates to board materials, directors can instantly receive updated information on their portable device.


Good board portals also sync between multiple devices so directors can switch between platforms and receive the same information. For example, a director may wish to review documents and make annotations on their desktop computer and then take their tablet to the board meeting and still access all their notes and annotations.


Clearly for non-executive directors or directors who sit on multiple boards and committees, the ability to access multiple meeting packs on a single platform proves a huge benefit and value.


Stress the current problems

The traditional process of board meetings involves managing and collating volumes of documentation. This can be complicated and logistically difficult when directors are located around the country or even the globe. Board portals remove this issue completely by giving meeting administrators the tools to deliver meeting packs to directors instantly. Once documents are downloaded, directors can access them offline so they can review, prepare and make notes, from anywhere.


As a result, the adoption of board portals can deliver significant improvements for an organisation, and simplify collaboration between both meeting organisers and directors.


Demonstrate the ROI

Board portals have been proven to enable significant savings on direct costs associated with meeting packs such as printing, couriers, logistics and even the shredding of old board packs. In some cases, an organisation could save up to £25,000 annually, and that’s just the start. Many board portal adopters also save significantly on resource costs as a result of the increased efficiency and productivity of the administration team. With more streamlined processes, administrators can focus on strategic tasks and help drive the organisation forward.

A good paperless meeting provider will be able to help you quantify the monetary and time savings of implementing a board portal, which you can then provide in a business case to the board. Typically, this case will include a financial model that will show how your organisation could save money. This way you can demonstrate a powerful tool that will encourage the board to go paperless.


Provide evidence

Many board portal providers will have client case studies, which you can use to reinforce your case. There are many different industries using paperless meeting solutions to reach specific goals and targets. Whether your goal is to maximise your resources or track information, you will find examples to strengthen your argument.


Convincing a board to adopt a new technology can be a very difficult thing to do and as with any change, it can often be met with some resistance. However, providing the board with the right information can make a difference when they are considering a paperless meeting solution. A good board portal provider will help you every step of the way, from conducting demos with the directors, to providing ROI analysis. They will also help put together a business case for you to present, ensuring that your board can go paperless.