On-Premises vs. Cloud-Based Digital Signage Software: Which One to Choose for Your Retail Store 

by 2022-07-28

Retail Store
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You must take into account a variety of factors in order to choose the right digital signage software. Here are some factors to guide you in making the best choice. Digital signage software has revolutionized how companies interact with their customers.

Every time a company wants to use a digital signage software system, they must decide which one to choose and whether to use an on-premises or cloud-based system. However, we must be aware of the specifics of the digital signage systems before moving further with the selection process.

What is a Digital Signage Software System?

A truly flexible and customizable communication tool is digital signage. This tool enables the user to present a message in a very compelling manner to any prospect, employee, or other person. You can use this tool to display a wide variety of material, including greetings, meeting schedules, streaming videos, advertisements, and corporate branding.

This tool also gives you the flexibility to make internal announcements, live stream, or display RSS feeds. With a digital signage system, you can manage thousands of screens on multiple sites with one screen. Moreover, based on the target audience, messaging can be changed in real-time.

Corporate digital signage software solutions allow you to engage people across your corporate environment. With this kind of digital signage, you can boost morale, reinforce culture, and increase effectiveness. It doesn’t matter if they are working from home or an office.

The level of employee involvement directly impacts a company’s production. Therefore, as a business, you need to strategize employee engagement. You can manage these things easily with corporate digital signage software. This software is incredibly user-friendly and ideal for all forms of corporate communication. It is specifically built for HR announcements, leadership boards, news sections, and KPI dashboards.

Interactive Digital Signage System

Interactive digital signage provides a user-friendly experience as it contains a touch screen. It also enables the integration of QR codes and SMS text messages for content marketing purposes. This kind of digital signage system is helpful for navigation and mapping purposes in big corporations. Employees can find the information that is relevant to them.

On-Premises Digital Signage

Prior to the introduction of SaaS-based signage, on-premises digital signage software was the preferred option. This type of signage is known as an on-premises or on-site system. On-premises digital signage works on a client-server infrastructure. This signage system requires an investment in software maintenance services and installation costs. In addition, you need additional skilled personnel to make sure the system is handled.

The best part about on-premises digital signage is that you have total control over it. This signage allows you to have complete ownership and management of the software. But this system comes with the consistent cost of software and requires constant monitoring. As a result, most businesses end up hiring vendors to keep on-premises digital signage systems updated, which raises costs.

On-premises digital signage is the antithesis of cloud-based digital signage software. The content management in cloud-based digital signage systems is managed online. You don’t need to be concerned about management or control in a cloud-based software solution. The internet browser controls every feature, including the scheduling of displays or media content storage. You don’t need to install anything on your site in this case.

No installation on-site means fewer expenses and minimal hassle. Even if the servers work remotely, they can operate and display content on display players efficiently. When the server is in the hands of an expert, you can relax. Cloud service experts manage cloud-based signage software.

This mental peace allows you to concentrate on other aspects of your business and work in top cloud-based signage software systems. Even in this system, you don’t have to invest money in training your employees to manage the system. You don’t have to hire an additional team to keep a system updated.

How to Choose the Perfect Digital Signage Software for Your Company

You must consider a variety of factors while selecting the right digital signage software for your company.

You can use the following key factors to that will help you make your decision:

  • Business Size

    If you own a small retail store, investing in on-premises digital signage software is not a good idea because it is more expensive and requires more maintenance. On the other hand, if you plan for a few screens and a small network, choose the cloud-based system, as cloud software provides flexibility and complete remote management. Once your business grows, you can choose to expand or increase the number of screens without too much extra cost. Try to consider the nature of your business when you want to go for cloud-based solutions. Sometimes you may lose control over the network as it relies on the internet to communicate with the web interface, so your digital signage network will be unreachable if the network is interrupted.

  • Check Availability of IT Resources

    You need a specialized management and maintenance team to oversee the on-premises signage system, which will increase your costs. Aside from that, you need to understand how the system functions and how to manage it. You must employ a qualified technical expert to accomplish this. Software for on-premises signage is both expensive and complex; any mistake increases costs.

    At the same time, cloud-based software is managed by cloud service providers, which means no hassle for you. There is no requirement to hire an expert. Cloud set-up is easy and can be done even in the absence of an IT resource. So, the cloud is a perfect choice if you don’t have IT resources.

  • Software Ownership

    Using on-premises digital signage systems, you can obtain total software ownership if your business requires it. You can have ownership with on-premises digital signage software without having to pay continuing expenses. In addition, you have to pay extra for software updates and training.

    Cloud-based digital signage is the ideal option if you want to avoid paying any of these charges. You don’t get full ownership of the solution when using cloud software. In this case, you have to pay for the usage, and it will save a lot of extra costs like hiring an expert resource or training the IT staff.

  • Understand the Intent of Use

    To decide on the perfect solution, you need to analyze your goals. For example, if you intend to run a display ad campaign, then a cloud-based solution is the best choice. Though on-premises-based digital signage also gives you the same flexibility, if you are looking for a cost-effective solution, you should think about cloud-based digital signage.

    Cloud-based digital software gives you a more flexible and reliable environment, and it is more adaptable to specific campaign requirements. Cloud-based SaaS can be helpful if you have plans for expansion in the coming years. The cloud-based system is not that expensive as compared to the on-premises digital signage systems.

  • Think About Security

    Environmental security is a crucial component of every business. On-premises software is the best option in this case because data stays within the company network. Hackers struggle to easily extract data from on-premises signage software solutions. On the other hand, in cloud signage software systems, data is stored on the servers, and hackers may target the data, leading to a serious issue for your company. It doesn’t mean that all the cloud service providers are unreliable; you can check the service provider’s back and then opt for the service. In addition, most cloud service providers give you additional security features to protect your data from hackers.

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Final Verdict

If we have to decide between an on-premises digital signage system and a cloud-based digital signage system, then undoubtedly, cloud-based digital signage is the winner. Other than monetary benefits, cloud-based signage gives you complete peace of mind, and experts can resolve any issue without causing you any pain. Though on-premises digital signage has its benefits, the extra cost makes it a little avoidable. But on the other hand, this is safe and malware-free as you get complete ownership of the software. Cloud-based digital signage software helps you to save time so that you can stay focused on other things. In addition, you can get the optimum flexibility and display any specific content as per your business needs.

Evaluate the privacy policy and ensure the confidentiality of your data is safe with the third-party vendor. Also, understand the data availability strategy of the selected vendor and check the quality of their customer information. Safety can be a point to check, but this issue might be resolved if you use an authorized service provider. If you plan to expand the network, then cloud-based software gives you that extension.

So next time you plan to buy a digital signage system, review your requirements and budget. Both cloud-based SaaS and on-premises digital signage have their pros and cons. You can select one by keeping your needs in mind.

FTx Solutions was formed out of a need that Darren and I had as retailers to find solutions that would work for our business. When we couldn't find the right solutions, we ended up building our own, which enabled us to help our fellow retailers and wholesalers as well as ourselves.

Douglas Nolan