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Why it's time to bring your own device to the boardroom

Traditionally, board members have been reliant on paper documents, however in an era of rapid global business with short lived opportunities and the need for immediate problem resolution, just how effective is this model today?

Today’s fast paced business environment demands that board and meeting members have the technology they need to effectively deal with the task in hand says Alister Esam, CEO, BoardPacks.

Furthermore, by encouraging members of your board to make use of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, you are making adoption of technology simpler, enabling them to use a device they are already familiar with and comfortable using – be it an iPad, Android or Windows.

While Apple may have been the first manufacturer to bring the tablet to the forefront of the market, their iOS software no longer holds the crown in the world of smartphones and tablet devices.

Likewise, in 2013, Microsoft's tablet volumes improved but share of the market has remained small. On the other hand, initially founded in 2007, the Android operating system is now the most widely used Smartphone and Tablet Operating System, holding a massive 61 per cent market share of worldwide tablet sales made in 2013.

It therefore comes as no surprise that BYOD is making significant inroads in the business world, with around 75 per cent of employees in high growth markets such as Brazil and Russia and 44 per cent in developed markets, already using their own technology at work.

So what does this does this mean for organisations? This increase in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) particularly within the board and meeting environment is likely to present a new set of opportunities for those looking to harness the capabilities of technology here.

Indeed, it is worth pausing on the context in which the board operates. More often than not, the whole point of having a board is to draw on external expertise, which may not exist within the company and its employees.

Board members are typically in an external role to the company and therefore may not conform to a House IT policy. In order to recruit the best board members their own personal preferences have to be accommodated. This makes BYOD arguably more relevant for board members than employees.

With board members able to harness new technologies, via their individually preferred device, they can get continuous real time access to information. This in turn allows them to be constantly engaged with the business, taking decisions throughout the quarter, not just at meetings.

Those organisations that take the step away from paper and look to actively implement a BYOD policy will transform both the speed and effectiveness of decision making at every level.

Alister Esam
Alister Esam, CEO, eShare - established in 2004, eShare's online board portal BoardPacks is used by hundreds of organisations over the world to improve corporate governance and make meetings smarter.