Boards must embrace digital governance or fall behind: Forrester

  • A global survey targeting governance professionals across 11 countries reveals multiple areas of vulnerability and technology misuse.
  • The majority of board members use personal email to communicate about board matters putting them at risk of falling prey to cybercriminals.
  • Few organisations have adopted the end-to-end governance technologies that would allow them to understand risk and gain insights into their organisation’s overall performance.

Outline of skull constructed from computer code on screen

The stakes have never been higher for professionals to manage critical issues like cyber risk, regulation, culture and ethics, as well as the constant pressure to drive business performance.

In 2018, Diligent Corporation commissioned a study by Forrester Consulting to evaluate the technology used for board governance. The picture it painted was decidedly mixed: boards are adopting specialised software, communication tools and online storage, but are not taking full advantage of the digital capabilities on offer. The key findings included:

  • Personal email is being used for sensitive communications: More than half (56 per cent) of board members use personal email to communicate about board matters. This practice is highly insecure and elevates the organisation’s risk of falling prey to cybercriminals.
  • Boards aren’t using technology to generate insights: Few organisations have adopted the end-to-end governance technologies that would allow them to understand risk, view governance scorecards and gain insights into their organisation’s overall performance.
  • Current technologies hinder rather than help in a crisis: Boards reported that their current board management software was at best no help and at worst a hindrance for communicating and responding quickly during a crisis.

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