Evaluating a software purchase for something as important as your board portal involves doing thorough research. This article will share some of our favorite tips for assessing your future board portal.
Software evaluation basics
When evaluating new software, the first consideration is always the organization’s business needs. Every organization is unique, so before you dive deeper into your evaluation of board portals, ensure that you know what features you need now. Be mindful of your organization’s possible future needs as it grows as well as the future opportunities technology could bring to your board portal experience. Of course, future technology is hard to predict and plan for. But, the software is a years-long investment, and anticipating technological advancements—and the vendors that plan to utilize them—will extend a product’s lifespan and make upgrades less frequent. Ensure that you are partnering with a software company with a strong research and development team, as well as a commitment to enhancing their platform. This will ensure that you continue to experience the best possible board portal experience as technology advances.
Tools and Resources for Evaluation
As you evaluate possible board portal software, the following resources will prove to be indispensable for forming a researched and comprehensive understanding of your options.
External reviews are a great source of information to help you understand how current and past users felt about their experience with the software. Reviews allow you a look at the company, their product, and their support offerings without the lens of their marketing team. You can go right to your vendor connection and request reviews of current customers. As part of the sales process, account managers can often connect you to an existing customer for an in-depth review conversation. This can take time to set up and is not always an entirely comprehensive picture. Leveraging review sites, such as Gartner’s Capterra, that aggregate more reviews can help build a better-detailed representation of how customers feel about the software.
Industry Reports and Grids
In-depth reviews of software options can often lead people to search for industry reports for a full look at who the top players in a particular software category are. Industry reports can be an excellent resource for potential software buyers but can be challenging to digest. They can be chock full of industry jargon, numbers, and terms that are foreign to the reader, limiting their usefulness in forming an opinion. It is also possible to run into reports and industry grids that are biased or based on incomplete information. Beware of organizations that build their grids solely on the number of reviews their particular site captures for the software vendors. This is often not providing an accurate picture of the full scope of the industry.
Third-Party Content Evaluation
When shopping around for a board portal software, users are often wary of only consuming content and information directly from the software’s marketing website. That is why sites like Featured Customer exist. They provide a third-party review of content shared by the software vendor. They’ve gathered content, case studies, and testimonials to simplify your board portal search. This allows customers to form a more trustworthy opinion about the vendor and create transparency in the buying process.
Most Direct and Informative: Product Demonstrations
The most direct source for information about your particular use case is going to come directly from a demonstration of the product. A good sales and support team will walk you through a customized demo of what your specific use case of the portal could be. This can include how your board, management, committees, and other users will interact with the platform as well as the interface with the admin.
Building a rapport with your account manager also creates the opportunity for conversations about plans for future features and the more specific content or references geared towards your industry.
Pro Tip: Go into your demonstration with plenty of questions to fully understand the board portal’s scope. Check out this guide for the top 10 questions to ask.
BoardBookit Board Portal Software
BoardBookit understands that the process of finding the right board portal software for your organization can be daunting. We’ve engineered our buying process to be as informative and smooth as possible. With countless resources available, and free customized demonstrations, BoardBookit equips you with all of the information you need to make the best board portal software decision for your board.
Start a conversation today to set up your personalized demonstration.
Ready to get started?
Schedule a live demo and discover the BoardBookit Difference.
Interested in Learning More?
Read the latest board governance resources from our blog.