What is Cloud-Based Digital Signage and What are the Benefits?

Companies around the world are taking advantage of technologies that simplify their workflow and increase sales. Once businesses fully understand how the predominant technologies utilized within their company work, they will know how they benefit them and their bottom line. One of these technologies that is often misunderstood and unappreciated is cloud-based digital signage.

Cloud-Based digital signage is a network of servers that allows companies to safely store their digital signage content while saving both time and money. Here's what to know about the cloud, and how companies are using it to their benefit.

What is Cloud-Based Digital Signage?

A recent survey revealed that only 16% of Americans think the word cloud refers to a technology, and yet 95% of those surveyed use it on a regular basis. Clearly, the cloud is capitalized by the majority of the population, but few understand its capabilities, or what it entails. So, what is the cloud, exactly, and how does it work? The cloud is simply a network of servers that hold data and deliver services to its users. The purpose behind a cloud-based storage system is to virtually preserve data in the event that the host, like a smartphone or computer, are destroyed or damaged.

Cloud-based digital signage software is a platform that strictly manages and stores digital signage content. Companies who utilize digital signs use the cloud to store and backup their content and data. Cloud-based digital signage software can also be referred to as a content management system (CMS), interface, and dashboard. Companies can then log into their dashboard, or content management system, and manage their content. Digital signage content can also be controlled anywhere, at any time, as long as the user remains connected to the internet.

Cloud-Based Signage vs. On-Premise Digital Signage

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There are a few alternatives to cloud based digital signage, but none of them offer the same standard of quality or security. One of these alternatives is on-premise digital signage, which is a do it yourself option. Businesses can house and maintain the servers that host their digital signage content. Other options include using a USB drive or streaming media options.

While it may be intriguing to take an internal approach, there are more advantages provided from hosting data and content externally through the cloud, such as

  • Set up is Easier
There's no need to have any technical knowledge or IT experience when setting up cloud-based software. The process simply involves plugging a digital signage player, or a player that connects to digital displays, into the digital display itself. Users can then get started by connecting their player to the dashboard and managing their content accordingly.

On-premise solutions require better technical expertise and equipment because the companies will have to set up their own servers. This process can also be more time consuming since most businesses don't have this level of expertise available to them.

  • Simple Maintenance
Self-serve solutions require constant maintenance and an IT department that is on hand at all times. Also, these types of servers require a specific type of cooler environment for storage, and updates must be made manually.

Cloud-based digital signage offers automatic updates without the need for constant maintenance. This lowers the overhead cost while also saving time and resources.

  • Manage Content Remotely
One of the best advantages of cloud-based digital signage is that content can be managed remotely. With internal solutions, the data can only be managed at one specific location, and content cannot be updated remotely.

If a larger chain has multiple displays with different content, then it's imperative that data can be managed remotely. It also allows businesses to vary their interactive content in real-time, letting them experiment and figure out what works best for them.

  • Cost-Friendly
Servers and IT assistance cost money, and on-premise digital solutions require both. Cloud-based digital signage doesn't require IT assistance or a separate server, so the expenditures will be much less. Furthermore, digital signage software doesn't necessitate the same maintenance or electricity, and the updates made to it are free.

Digital Signage Solutions

There are several reasons why cloud-based digital signage is a more effective and rational choice for businesses than on-premise software. Here are 3 of the most important reasons why it's better to make a switch to an external cloud-based software.

1. Ability to Add More Dynamic Content
Cloud-based digital signage can manage content regardless of its size because of its auto scaling capabilities. In turn, companies can add more screens and content without worrying about an impending crash. On-premise solutions don't offer this advantage.

2. Better Customer Service
Good server providers offer free updates that download automatically to the digital signage network. Also, cloud providers are always available by phone or email any time a technical issue arises.

3. More Secure
Most providers can guarantee a higher level of security than on-premise solutions can. Data is always encrypted and protected when not moving, while data is all located in one single place. In turn, there will be less need for security testing among multiple locations.