Several new Board meeting trends have emerged in recent years against a backdrop of digital transformation, the threat of cyber attacks and hybrid ways of working with all three phenomena now considered essential tools for any organisation! In this article, we deep dive into the challenges and impacts of these three phenomena.
Mainstreaming hybrid meetings
The health crisis fostered the development of hybrid ways of working. In parallel, this sensitive period also helped to accelerate hybrid Board meetings, which benefitted from a legal environment that is conducive to the digitalisation of strategic meetings (Annual General Meetings, Board meetings, Compensation Committees, etc.) since France’s Decree No. 2020-321 of 25 March, 2020.
What’s more, the maturity of online collaboration tools and widespread remote working have facilitated the emergence of solutions dedicated to hybrid Board meetings. Features such as the Minimum Viable Product or “MVP” are essential to the solution and allow for tool categorisation. Examples include an integrated videoconferencing and ultra-secure chat tool and a “multi-device” tool (whether online or offline), not to mention strengthened access security and data confidentiality.
Increasing security through “zero paper” practices
On top of the environmental challenges arising from dematerialisation solutions, the “zero paper” strategy is one trend not to be missed!
The use of paper-based printing is a major security vulnerability for many organisations. In particular, this applies to documents containing confidential information disclosed at Board meetings. With this in mind, advanced online Board meeting solutions are distinguished by their essential security features. The latter include the following: more restrictive printing options based on user and document profile—viewing, annotation and printing rights and a document traceability system—tracked changes with a notification system; optional watermark printing; and stricter requirements to securely store documents and appendices used at meetings.
“Instead of printing out hundreds of sheets of paper for every meeting, Orange Belgium stores its documentation in a single and easily accessible online location. This means Board members can readily access all documentation as and when they need.” Jelle Jacquet, Deputy Chief People Officer, Orange Belgium
Integrating tools compatible with company ecosystems
The integration of interconnected Board meeting solutions with other applications used in an organisation is a trend from the SaaS model. The most mature collaborative tools will integrate seamlessly via APIs or otherwise with an organisation’s existing business ecosystem. And processes will remain uninterrupted. For instance, a typical Board meeting tool that can be used to plan a secure conference is Microsoft Teams.
Cloud interfaces may also be integrated into an organisational ecosystem (SSO access via a company internal portal or Intranet, etc.). When it comes to the Cloud, it’s worth remembering that a fast-developing trend is the decision to run sovereign partner applications or rather the decision to operate within a European legal framework.
As such, several technical trends—which are tied to society in general—have an impact on Board meetings. They directly affect online Board meeting solutions, making it possible for decision-makers to select the most mature offerings.