The History of Board Management: From Paper to Pixels

The market economy is a stimulus for progress. Successful companies constantly seek new areas to develop and improve their production or management processes. It’s no wonder that businesses are constantly looking for effective technologies that make engineering or management more convenient. Throughout a market economy, professional employees and high-quality communication have been the key to success. Board management evolution has a huge impact on a company’s progress.

In ancient times, many orders and recommendations were given orally. This approach is ineffective because the quality of information may suffer, be distorted, or lost when the order is relayed. With the advent of writing and until recently, management actively used paper-based systems. This is a more convenient and high-quality option because information is difficult to distort. But today, this is an ineffective way because information from one director to another will take too long.

The era of modern technology has given us an excellent solution that allows us to solve the problem of distances and ensure the most effective communication. We are talking about board software and the Internet. However, such progress took many decades, and it is interesting to know how technology came to such solutions. In our review, we want to talk about board software history and important eras of this path.

The Age of Paper: Analog Boardrooms

Imagine a classic board meeting with traditional boardrooms. Each participant is in the meeting room with all the necessary documents, pens, folders, etc., with him.

Moreover, there is also a large board in the room with markers, markers, paper clips, and other office supplies. The speaker should convey information to each member of the board of directors using various layouts and graphs, and he will draw them on the board or present them in the manual documentation. Today, this approach looks archaic because it has many inconveniences.

  • Classic directors’ meetings require all participants to be in one place. Managers on business trips cannot influence strategic and tactical decisions.
  • Some participants may not hear the information, and the lack of video recording prevents the presentation from being seen again.
  • A huge number of paper challenges also mean problems with storing and archiving documents. Moreover, quick access to them is very difficult.
  • Security is also low because physical documents can be stolen or destroyed.

Progress does not stand still, so companies began to pay attention to providers offering interactive software for meetings.

Early Digital Transitions: The Pioneers of Board Software

The computer era has given additional tools to improve their business. Teams of professional programmers decided to create suitable software and sell it to corporations.

US-based Nasdaq (4300 Bohannon Drive, Suite 110, Menlo Park, CA 94025) has been one of the industry’s pioneers. The company began operating in 2000 and focused on developing user-friendly software for boards and leadership. The product under the name Boardvantage appeared already in 2002 and offered excellent functionality. This board portal began to be actively used and appeared in thousands of companies. However, it was an alpha version that was most useful to top managers who could quickly access important documents. Digital board evolution moved on, and in 2005, a full version with wide functionality appeared, allowing for corporate online meetings.

Also, at this time (2000), other players appeared. Many providers saw the prospects of this segment, so programs such as Convene or BoardPad entered the market. It was convenient (at that time) software for holding online meetings, collaborating on documents, and the ability to host them on local hosting. This program offered a long trial period and was actively used until 2017. After that, the developers stopped offering it because newer and more functional solutions appeared.

The Era of Integration: Comprehensive Board Portals Emerge

It’s amazing how progress is accelerating, and those programs considered advanced ten years ago are giving way to new, more advanced, and convenient ones. Software virtual boards like Boardvantage or BoardPad are no longer acceptable for use because there are improved options.

  • Diligent was founded in 1994, but today is one of the leaders offering a variety of tools for conducting online board meetings. Diligent Boards is one of the most successful products used by thousands of businesses worldwide. The program has wide functionality and allows you to store documents on a remote server with a high degree of protection. According to statistics, the company’s profit for 2022 exceeded $600 million.
  • Also, OnBoard is a modern solution for board meetings. The main advantages of the program are a user-friendly interface, the ability to get shared access to viewing and editing documents, video recording of meetings, and extensive cloud storage.
  • BoardEffect is another program with excellent functionality and is actively used in commercial and non-profit organizations. Today, the software is used by more than 200,000 clients, and its distinguishing features are round-the-clock support, a convenient scheduler, a large archive, and reliable hacking protection.

This is just one stage of progress, and the process will continue. Each provider tries to improve the product and develop new programs.

Predicting the Future of Board Management Software

The path to excellence continues every minute, and board management software goes through various stages of digital transformation. Segment leaders try to predict trends and create a product that meets the requirements of future business. Today, several next-generation trends are worth paying attention to.

  • VR board meetings. The spread of VR technologies and the availability of virtual reality helmets is attracting interest from potential clients. The next generation of software will be compatible with these headsets and allow participants to attend a meeting virtually. Also, the controls will be redesigned and adapted to the user’s gestures.
  • AI integration. Today, everyone discusses AI in board management, which can make meetings more convenient and productive. Artificial intelligence will prepare all the necessary documents, make presentations, draw graphs, etc. The user only needs to configure the necessary parameters and give an order. Also, the administrator will be able to specify the level of access and AI capabilities for each task.

Thanks to our review, you learned a lot of useful and interesting information about board software and the transformation process. The world is changing every minute, and soon, we will see the board software future with our own eyes.

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