There is no question, in 2018, that we are living in an age of disruption. Over the past decade, smartphones with unprecedented connective power have re-written the rules for entire sectors of the economy. This in turn has led to the rise of a set of powerful new business models even as it has consigned once-thriving companies to the annals of corporate history. 

The real disruption may be only beginning, however: just as Uber upended the taxi business overnight and Amazon has made major book store chains a thing of the past, other tech entrepreneurs have their sights set on the financial services industry. 

This is perhaps unsurprising: as more and more North Americans opt to do their banking online and new technologies make it possible to live a largely cash-free existence, major financial institutions are struggling to keep up with start-ups. Physical branches are a huge sunk cost that larger institutions need to maintain, while smaller, more nimble competitors can focus on providing the majority of their services via app. 

In this climate, competition has been particularly fierce among smaller financial concerns like regional banks and credit unions, many of whom have seen an opportunity to attract new customers. Credit unions, in particular, are leveraging their distinctives to appeal to those who want a more community-oriented banking model, and their smaller size allows them a degree of flexibility their larger counterparts lack. 

One of the key areas of innovation has been internal communications. As many experts have noted, disruptive business models are most effective when they are able to cut out middlemen by offering more direct lines of contact between service providers and customers. 

For this reason, businesses that want to survive disruption need to find ways to adopt more flexible and more affordable internal communication tools to ensure that they are cutting costs and reducing information bottlenecks. 

This has led many forward-thinking credit union boards to learn about the latest board management software and how it can help them reduce costs and improve communications. While many credit union boards of directors already use some form of portal software, some are finding that new options from providers like Aprio are able to offer better features and a more collaborative experience. 

Board portal software that allows directors to access board information and collaborate and network with fellow directors anywhere, at anytime, save credit unions money while making the directors themselves more plugged-in and effective. 

As credit unions work to attract new clients and jockey for more space and leverage in financial sector, many are turning to innovative solutions that allow them to meet customer needs with as little friction as possible. By making it easier for credit unions to manage internal communications, tools like board portal software are playing a key role in making credit unions more competitive and resilient in the face of a changing financial world.