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Move over paper - Technology is entering into the Boardroom

Cutting-edge technology has never really been part of boardroom activity. Instead photocopies have been actively working outside the boardroom where documents have been compiled and distributed by post for decades. However there is now a growing trend to use tablet technology in the boardroom because of its ease of use, cost effectiveness and with the right protocols better security of board information.

For boards using tablet technology, information access has been extended and made more accessible. The IPad and its user friendly and intuitive software options is making itself a valuable boardroom accessory.

Only a few years ago Laptop and PC screens were disallowed in boardrooms as they were viewed as forming a barrier to open communication and security was seen as a concern. However the IPad now allows for easier reading of the material on-line and the marking of papers in readiness for discussion whenever and wherever you have the time.

For every upside there is usually a downside. Access to the right information quickly is great and given that you can read the material whenever you are travelling, makes for better time management. So here is the BUT - when sitting in a board meeting I have seen people responding to their incoming emails or searching the Web on non-boardroom topics. This turns their attention towards the IPad screen and therefore away from the matter being tabled or considered. However, there could be occasions when information from the Web can add to the debate.

This continuing shift to tablet technology effectively gives the Chair an additional task - to ensure that a policy governing the use is developed and that board members abide by it.

From a personal point of view tablet technology has been enormously helpful, enabling us to access information and papers from my IPad when I have the space and time to read them. The days of carrying around great volumes of paper are for many, including us, becoming a thing of the past.