In many ways, Canadian Crown corporations bring together the best strengths of the public and private sectors. Because they deal with major projects that have to do with the public good, they have a degree of accountability and are responsible for maintaining services like transportation that might not be provided in a country as large and sparsely populated as Canada if they were left to the private sector. Because they operate at arms-length from the government and are organized as businesses, they can operate with a degree of efficiency and stability that might not be possible if they were government departments.
At the same time, the unique status of Crown corporations means they face unique challenges. Because they are answerable to more than just their shareholders, Crown corporations are held to a higher standard than other corporate entities.
This public responsibility is especially acute when it comes to guaranteeing security of information. In addition to cyber crime, which is an acknowledged threat to businesses and organizations of all kinds, some Crown corporations also deal with issues that relate to national security. This is why a growing number of Crown corporations are considering the benefits of board management software to guarantee secure sharing of information at the highest organizational levels.
Board management software, also known as board portal software, is designed to help facilitate the sharing of confidential documents and data between board members, and to allow board members to easily access and discuss upcoming business outside of regular meetings. Portal software services like Vancouver’s Aprio provide intuitive, easy-to-use products that make it easier for directors to share ideas before the meeting, while also ensuring the highest degree of security.
Not only does portal software offer a more secure way for board members to view and discuss information, it also streamlines the whole process of board meetings in general. Instead of having to courier packages of documents out beforehand, portal software keeps all the data in one easily accessible electronic package that all board members have immediate access to. Instead of scrolling through countless email chains, board members can view the entire preparatory conversation in one place.
The software is also tablet friendly, so directors who are on the go can follow the conversation from their device and read the documents at their leisure rather than needing to carry reams of documents and stay abreast of several email threads. It also means directors don’t need to worry about bringing their documents on trips — with password authentication and around-the-clock service, portal software makes it hard for anyone not explicitly granted access to get into the portal.
Crown corporations are responsible for providing services that many Canadians rely on every day, and to maintain public trust, Crown corporation board members need to make sure they operate with the greatest possible security. While data breaches in the corporate world can have a devastating impact on the bottom line of a company, public institutions face a higher degree of scrutiny. Board management software is only one of the ways Crown corporations are working to guarantee that Canadians’ trust is not misplaced.
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