SC Spheres

Taking Stock of 2023

Step 2

SC Spheres was built in the latter half of 2017 and we invited the first board to join in February of the following year. There are now some 60 boards and their sub-committees that are active users of the platform that represent a community of some 1443 users. The platform acts as a repository for just over 50000 documents that are all encrypted and securely stored on our servers in London.

From the outset, SC Spheres was built around the needs of our clients. At the start, it was the founders experience with early attempts to share meeting packs electronically that shaped the design. The privacy laws and the need to ensure that documents were properly secured resulted in an early rewrite of the platform. It is now the needs of our community of users that shapes the ongoing development of SC Spheres.

We are committed to the continual development of the platform but at the same time are careful about what features we include and how they are incorporated. The platform must be both functional and intuitive, and often a compromise must be sought between these two objectives. All new developments are immediately available to all our users and must not then clutter their experience of the platform.

One of the more extensive platform developments was the merging of an administrator and ordinary user view. By merging these two views, we were able to allow administration rights to be conferred on ordinary users. So, the chair of a committee could be allowed to create and manage meetings on the platform without the need for special training. This has greatly simplified the management of the platform for even the professional administrators.

One of the hurdles with most of our boards is the transition from paper to electronic meeting packs. A large part of the platform development to date has been to allow the professional administrators to create meeting pack templates that are as close to the original paper packs as possible. This eases the transition to an electronic platform by allowing users to print off a paper pack from the platform if they wish. As board members become comfortable with an electronic pack and older board members are replaced by newer ones, we see the need for the paper pack option becoming obsolete.

While physical and virtual meetings are still the norm for most boards and sub-committees, some decisions are more effectively taken by round robin discussions via email. We built a feature into SC Spheres to host these discussions on the platform. This is particularly useful where the discussions involve confidential material and where an extensive record of the discussion and decision is required.

Along with the discussion feature, we integrated the electronic signing of documents into SC Spheres. The electronic signing software used by some of our boards still required confidential documents to be shared over email and this was a concern especially when email encryption software was not being used. This problem was solved by integrating a tamper-proof electronic signature feature into SC Spheres.

As our electronic worlds become more invasive, we remain committed to keeping up with the needs of our community of users, and keeping their documents and decision making safe from leaks and attack.

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