November 13, 2017

Results of a Survey by Diligent & the Chartered Secretaries Institute of Singapore

83% of respondents ranked security as an important benefit when adopting a board portal. This was revealed by a recent board portal market survey of 105 Singapore executives (of which more than half are Corporate Secretaries), which was jointly conducted by Diligent Corporation (Diligent) and the Chartered Secretaries Institute of Singapore (CSIS). Diligent Corporation is the leading provider of secure board collaboration solutions to over 4,700 organisations in more than 75 countries. 

A board portal is a software that allows board directors and corporate secretaries to securely access board documents in order to electronically collaborate and communicate with each other, as well as perform important tasks expected of a governing body. By adopting these digital solutions, companies can reduce costs, secure sensitive data, and improve governance.

The information shared among board directors is often highly sensitive and confidential in nature; however, 75% of the respondents choose to distribute board materials via email, rather than a board portal. More than 90% surveyed also used email to communicate about board business at least some of the time. While a convenient way to distribute information, email remains a popular attack vector for criminals and creates risks for boards that choose to communicate this way.

Additionally, half of respondents said “100% of our board receives printed paper materials at some point” and only 25% surveyed identified themselves as truly “paperless.” Overall, 75% of those surveyed said that a “simpler distribution process” is “very important.” Paper board packs present a myriad of challenges, including the time and expense needed to print and ship these materials. In addition, paper board packs represent information that is static.  When last-minute updates are required, the paper board pack must be revised and reprinted.

Mr Brian Stafford, CEO of Diligent, said: “As the survey findings show, security is rightfully top of mind for companies when it comes to board communication. Using a board portal, like Diligent, can provide superior security and controls to email, while still through a simple, easy to use platform.”

Ms Grace Tan, Chief Executive of CSIS said, “In this digital age, a simple and secure way of distributing board papers using board portal technology is of great importance for effective communication.  Board members and corporate secretaries will have no hesitation in adopting this technology once they know that the information sent to them is secure and easy to use.”

Board portal technology is enabling many organisations to communicate and collaborate efficiently, effectively and securely. The findings of this survey show common trends among corporate secretaries and executives surveyed in Asia. Globally, many organisations also share these same concerns and considerations when adopting a board portal solution.