Technology now permeates virtually all business practices, and yet new research shows that most corporate boards still rely on more traditional methods of communication, such as hard copies of board books and documents.
The study, conducted by Thomson Reuters Governance, Risk & Compliance, found that:
The average corporation surveyed prepares and disseminates nearly 6,000 pages of sensitive material to its board every year. As remarkable as it sounds, some companies produce more than 200 board packs per year! This significant volume of highly sensitive and confidential material is required to be distributed to board members, and a majority of corporations (61 percent) still send those documents via traditional courier.
Even though an overwhelming majority (73 percent) of respondents said they send documents to board members via private, non-commercial email addresses, three-quarters reported they also print and carry those sensitive documents.
Traditional methods of communication can present considerable compliance risks, and they can also expose your company to loss or theft. What's more, as Kevin Ritchey, senior vice president, Governance, Transactions & Legal Risk for Thomson Reuters, points out, companies that refuse to update their processes are also missing out on valuable opportunities to improve both efficiencies and response times.
"Many boards still operate in the traditional sense by providing hard copies of documents to their members via post," he said. "Embracing technology and using it to your advantage can alleviate numerous risks, improve communication and efficiencies, and maintain a secure, centralized archive of records. In a time when corporations should be relying on secure, instant communications to make decisions against rapidly changing global markets, board communications often remain mired in slow, unsecured, inefficient traditional means of communications."
A detailed report of the survey's findings involving board-level information is available at accelus.thomsonreuters.com.