How tech will disrupt board governance
(Sponsored article) By now, you’re almost certainly sick of hearing that 2020 was an exceptional year. But along with the lessons learned, the silver linings are starting to take shape.
Many boards and company leaders are still weary from the distress of losing staff and revenue – and understandably so. Yet on the other hand, a new playing field is emerging. Technologies have successfully bridged the gap where physical interaction hasn’t been possible. Organisations have been forced to adapt and as a result, are far more agile than they were just one year ago.
This fresh outlook is generating momentum with respect to boards and governance. While ‘survival’ is still a very real concern for some, others have weathered the storm and are ready to take on what’s next – and what’s newly possible – in a supercharged digital economy.
New innovative technology – purpose-built to meet these challenges – has a central role to play in supporting governance objectives.
Greater governance is the answer to agile working
With greater governance comes the ability to make quick, informed decisions to drive stronger outcomes.
“A board that has good governance practices generally has increased business performance, better risk management procedures and mitigants (and less need to use them), longevity and buy-in from staff and management,” Emerson Cosec Executive Director, Marika White said.
“It also maintains their good reputation which, in turn, increases shareholder value and interest.”
The boards and companies that were able to survive – and even thrive – amid the pandemic are the ones who quickly turned their attention to reviewing operations, capital and debt in order to act fast and protect themselves.
Current governance trends point to tech as the solution
Besides disruption (both COVID-related and technological), current trends include the proliferation of data, a fast-changing regulatory scene, and a firm focus on ESG.
Learn more about board governance trends in our ‘five governance trends for boards to watch’ report here.
Spurred on by COVID, the social focus has exploded. More than ever, boards need to be able to evidence their efforts when it comes to social justice, equality and inclusion. However, the ESG factor is just one element in an abundance of business information.
The key challenge for boards in this digital-first environment lies in governing this volume of data, getting visibility over it, and putting the insights learned toward decisive action, whether it relates to business performance or compliance requirements. There is a struggle to keep up with new regulatory requirements.
“Quite often, by the time a legislative authority identifies a gap, then legislates and applies, the technology has moved on yet again to some significant degree,” Ansarada Senior Legal Risk & Compliance Specialist, Chris Bullock said.
Technology – especially AI technologies – will play a vital role in analysing and interpreting volumes of data to reduce risk and inefficiencies. This can only happen when data is stored and managed in a single, centralized location.
Bringing information from all the disparate systems a company uses into a single source of truth makes it possible to set up a risk management framework and monitor both compliance and performance with confidence.
Keeping pace with requirements
COVID has brought a lot of attention to technology in a governance sense, highlighting how quickly technology is moving and the business world is evolving. But it has also highlighted the need for more effective and agile governance solutions that can keep pace.
“Governance has always gotten a bad rap and it’s not ‘sexy’. The less informed look at it and consider it a blocker. However, any experienced director will agree that best-practice board governance is actually an enabler for a board to get the outcomes they desire at the quality, speed and structure they need. The necessary technology systems and processes in place will make governance less cumbersome, including the distribution of materials and all reference materials in one repository,” Ms White said.
Information governance platforms are enabling boards to work with efficiency, transparency, accountability, security and confidence in decision-making. These technologies improve the flow of information to the board – starting with the right framework in place and embedding a robust governance, risk and compliance system across the entire organisation.
Ansarada is a global tech company facilitating the execution of transactions and corporate governance programs. For more information click here.