The Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators (ICSA) is predicting that board meetings at the UK’s largest companies will be completely paper-free by 2014, after the launch of a second generation Apple-approved application from ICSA Software, a specialist business software company owned by the Institute.
Blueprint BoardPad 2 was unveiled in June and is available now. With three quarters of FTSE 100 companies already ICSA Software customers, the new iPad application will be quickly adopted in UK boardrooms.
A number of FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and blue-chip companies already manage board meetings using a previous version of Blueprint BoardPad software, which was launched last year. Customers include Wolseley plc, Carillion plc and Co-operative Group PLC.
With a more refined, intuitive interface, many more new features for directors and administrators alike, plus the additional security measures offered by version two, many other large organisations are sure to follow suit.
“There has been a move towards paperless board meetings in recent years, but Blueprint BoardPad 2 will rapidly speed up that change,” said ICSA Software Group CEO, Mike Evans, in the press release. “No other application can guarantee the same security of data and offer so many features that save time, reduce waste and cut the huge cost of board meetings for large companies. In the future, every large company will move to a system like this one but, currently, Blueprint BoardPad 2 is far and away the most advanced.”
The original Blueprint BoardPad, enabled organisations to do away with time-consuming, inefficient and expensive paper-based systems and change the way board meetings run. Board packs could be digitally compiled and sent to directors in a fraction of the time taken previously, drastically reducing the amount of paper used in the process.
Complete packs and even late changes to documents could be circulated without the need for expensive couriers or unnecessary print costs. Directors could have access to a whole library of board documents and historic information via a single touchscreen device.
Blueprint BoardPad 2 has been approved by Apple for use on the iPad and offers significant advances on the original technology.
In particular, Blueprint BoardPad 2 allows directors to access every aspect of every board meeting using just their fingertips, offers the most powerful annotation functionality available on the market and addresses any concerns some companies may have over the security of an IT-enabled system when dealing with commercially sensitive information.
Crucially, all annotations of board packs can be deleted instantly to ensure that companies remain compliant with Discovery and Disclosure laws.
Security features include automatic and remote wiping of information after a set time, enforced online sign in after a designated period and automatic data segregation between company profiles. This is particularly useful when non-executive directors serve as board members for many different organisations.
Significantly, all of the functionality is contained in one application that can be run from an organisation’s own network, which can be a fundamental requirement for some major corporates. There is also an option to have the system hosted on ICSA Software’s network.
The software ensures directors are always working with the latest versions of company documents. When a user signs in, the software automatically detects new versions of documents that need to be downloaded and deletes old documents that are no longer required.