So many files for so many different aspects of company governance and so many types of business processes. It can be hard to manage it all. And everybody seems to have their own system, effective or not, for staying organized, granting people access, and ensuring that everything advances as it ought to.
In order to ensure that your business adheres to best practices for governance, risk and compliance (GRC), you need to reign in the chaos. Even if we zoom in for a moment and try to look at only the corporate documents needed for the governance of your organization, dizziness starts to set in. These may include your company’s bylaws, shareholder agreements, government-issued certificate of incorporation, descriptions of voting rights, or anything else that spells out the company’s equity arrangements, founding or management structures.
What’s more, the company’s day-to-day activities require a healthy amount of unified structure. Contracts need to be reviewed, edited and signed by multiple stakeholders with multiple parties. Meetings need to be planned, scheduled, documented, recapped and followed up on. Relevant information needs to be made available to the right people, from the right devices, and at the right moments for due diligence situations like audits, partnerships, or mergers and acquisitions. And you have to do it all in a way that is compliant with the demands of ever-changing regulations from lawmakers and trade groups.
It makes sense that so many people are convinced nowadays that each digital governance use case needs to have its own software and work environment. But really, the opposite is true.
As the pace of business rises, businesses that silo different document management use cases into separate platforms or apps will fall behind. Today, if you can’t move fast, your business will miss out on too many opportunities.
In a nutshell, this is why the burning issue of digital governance requires organizations to use a single, versatile system of record. Your board portals, contract management, and due diligence data rooms deserve to live within a single, integrated, flexible solution that allows your team to respond instantly to every use case, whether that’s securely storing static documents or enabling fast collaboration and review for new contracts.
Enabling both compliance and performance
Good digital governance encompasses the full gamut of activity, from line-of-business team members, departments, boards of directors, legal departments, entire businesses, and external stakeholders alike. When done effectively, governance needs to facilitate both compliance and performance.
Compliance, of course, includes situations like audits, vetting other organizations for proposed partnerships (and, likewise, making it easy for them to vet your organization), checking the scope of projects, and generally ensuring that your enterprise meets all relevant privacy and security control standards, both those adopted internally and those imposed externally.
Performance, on the other hand, speaks to your team’s ability to take action. Colored by your organizational culture’s attitude towards risk, it includes your ability to spot opportunities or threats on the horizon and reacting before the situation becomes critical. But it also includes your team’s day-to-day ability to deliver value, and in a way that supports your long-term business strategy.
In a challenging business market, enterprises are held to high performance levels that maximize shareholder wealth. However, all too many businesses and boards miss the forest for the trees, losing sight of their entrepreneurial missions out of fear of compliance mistakes.
This misapprehension is only reinforced by the types of tech solutions offered in the market, which all too often address corporate governance use cases while missing opportunities for enhancing performance.
The best solutions will be those that can provide secure, static storage for due diligence documents, while also delivering powerful search and e-signature tools for contracts that are still under review, for example.
All too often, what they get are platforms which treat all documents as equal, without optimizing different functionalities for different types of documents, which only makes performance a bigger challenge. To support success in business, governance solutions need to address both compliance and performance.
The benefits of a holistic governance approach
When businesses use optimized governance solutions, the benefits are felt across the organization.
Here are three of the ways that a multi-faceted digital document management solution, with a dual emphasis on both compliance and performance, can improve workflows across every use case and department.
1. Speeding up due diligence
Always be prepared with the right files, so that you can respond swiftly to compliance audits and act fast when a business opportunity appears. Supported by accurate information, you can make the best possible business decisions in the long term and short term, to increase wealth while reducing risk.
This requires a highly secure virtual data room with powerful, easy to use permissions controls, rich meta data tags for improved indexing and the easy creation of purpose-specific collections, so that you can keep all your sensitive documents safe, yet find and share them at the drop of a hat.
2. Keeping in control of contract management
Keep contracts and project agreements close at hand. You want to be able to renegotiate or cancel contracts you no longer need before the renewal date arrives, and notice a project creeping out of scope before it reaches crisis point.
When you have excellent tools like e-signature integrations, automated reminders, and advanced OCR full-text search capabilities to keep your “house” in order, you’ll be better placed to request the background information, contracts, and other data you need from third parties so that you can vet them fully before entering any type of agreement, thereby improving your ability to make informed decisions about proposed partnerships.
3. Raising the bar for meeting management
The right meeting management software should enable you to leave a better audit trail from meetings to strengthen compliance, as well as improving your board’s ability to follow up on assigned tasks and collaborate on vital documents. Your meetings are more successful when you can tap into a single source of truth, with all the information you need to spot risks and opportunities early on, assess them effectively, and learn from previous mistakes.
Features like a collaborative agenda, smart minute-taking, and a personal notepad space join with scheduling and post-meeting task assignment tools to provide boards and other business meetings with all the capabilities they need to ensure both compliance and performance.
An all-in-one solution closes the circle of digital governance
A single all in one solution like ContractZen empowers businesses to address enterprise governance holistically, without neglecting performance for the sake of compliance. Virtual data rooms, contract management, and board portals are all strengthened by being under one roof. Keeping all of your financial corporate documents in one place that’s easy to access, agile and secure just makes good sense.
When you’re exempt from the need to keep switching contexts for different document-related tasks, you get more done. Working within a single, integrated environment obviates the risk of overlooking something as you move back and forth between platforms.
At the same time, accessing a single source of truth brings greater integrity and stability to all your business decisions. At ContractZen, our mission is to help companies become more agile, more trustworthy and more valuable. This way, you’re able to pursue strong long-term business strategies that increase shareholder wealth, react to threats and opportunities quickly, and get more done.
ContractZen is a Finnish cloud technology company founded in 2014. Its all-in-one SaaS solution includes metadata-driven contract management, all-digital board portal, virtual data rooms (VDR), secure e-signatures, and more. Secure and easy to use on any device, ContractZen improves corporate governance and business operations by reducing costs, accelerating processes, and minimizing risks.