10 Benefits of Using Cloud-Based Digital Signage Software
The cloud has become invaluable in our personal and business lives. Gone are the days when a lost phone meant losing your memorable photos and important files. Now, most smartphones automatically back up files to iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, and other cloud services. Companies are also increasingly adopting cloud applications. Currently, 94% of enterprises make use of cloud services from providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
Businesses use cloud computing for various uses, such as data backup, file storage, software testing & development, and communication. But, did you know that technology has implications for digital signage? Read on to discover the benefits of cloud-based digital signage software.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the provision of IT resources like servers, applications, data storage, analytics, and software over the internet. For a long time, companies have stored data and applications in in-house servers and hard drives. Since then, cloud computing has emerged as a more cost-effective and convenient way to deploy IT resources.
Cloud computing can either be private, public, or hybrid. Private cloud services are the domain of a single business, while public cloud providers offer IT services to numerous companies at a fee. Hybrid cloud services allow applications and data to move between private and public clouds.
The cloud computing system has three primary services. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a distribution model that provides applications over the internet. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) grants access to IT infrastructures like servers, operating systems, networking connections, and cloud storage on a subscription basis. Finally, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provides tools for developers to design applications and services.
What Is Cloud-Based Digital Software?
A digital signage system consists of hardware like display screens and mounts and software in the form of media players and a content management system (CMS). When selecting digital signage software, you can opt for on-premise or cloud-based digital signage software.
On-premise digital signage platform is the traditional solution, where you manage and store all data and software in in-house servers and manage the hardware on your own. In most cases, businesses reserve the digital signage software on hard drives rather than accessing it over the internet.
A cloud-based software eliminates the need to store the data and software in-house. Instead, you access the software on remote servers, which you access over the internet. In practice, you will only host the media players and physical screens on your premises.
Benefits of Cloud-Based Software
Cloud-based digital signage software has many advantages, such as:
1. Ease of Installation
Deploying digital signage solutions takes up a lot of money and time. If you install an on-premises solution, you need the technical know-how and IT infrastructure to install and manage your servers.
In contrast, your cloud service provider handles setup and implementation so you can deploy your digital signage system in the shortest time possible. You only have to connect a media player to your account’s dashboards and start displaying content on digital signs. What’s more, most cloud-based software comes preloaded with content apps that simplify content creation.
2. Affordable Pricing
Cost savings are among the major benefits of cloud-based digital signage software. On-premise solutions require a significant upfront payment that can discourage startups and small businesses from deploying digital signage.
In contrast, cloud service providers bill software in monthly or yearly increments that businesses find more manageable. With a software-as-a-service (SaaS), you pay for the services you use and enjoy long-term cost savings.
Small-to-medium-sized firms with changing digital signage needs will benefit from the scalability of a cloud-based platform. In other words, you can add or scale back subscriptions as needed, based on your company’s growth. Scaling capabilities like storage space and bandwidth are fairly easy in a cloud environment, usually with little downtime. In contrast, the process takes weeks with an on-premise solution as your team has to set up physical hardware.
4. Remote Control
Your digital signage content needs to be fresh and up-to-date to gain a competitive edge over your competitors. With an on-premises solution, your IT team can only manage the system from a specific location with limitations on remote access.
The fourth benefit of cloud-based digital signage software is access being allowed from anywhere via an internet connection. If there is any problem, your content creation team can quickly log onto the company account on laptops or mobile phones and troubleshoot the signage.
5. No Need for Servers
Data centers are not only expensive, but they need special facilities to keep them cool and secure. Moreover, servers are like any other IT equipment, which means they are prone to breakage and eventually get outdated. With cloud technology, you don’t incur the cost of setting up in-house data servers. Also, you can purchase cloud-based software for a lifetime without worrying about manual updates.
6. Quick Content Changes
The ability to make real-time changes is among the top reasons businesses replace paper signage with digital signage. But, managing content delivery can be a hassle for companies with multiple locations or large premises.
Fortunately, cloud-based software makes it easy to update multiple digital signs from numerous locations. For instance, if you run a restaurant, you can instantly promote deals, highlight daily specials, and recommend food and drink pairings on digital menu boards. Even better, you can remove listed items when they run out of stock, update prices, and correct errors in real-time.
Similarly, school administrators can display varying messages on different screens to inform and educate everyone on campus. Ultimately, your digital signage content stays relevant and exciting.
7. Disaster Recovery
Recovery efforts after an equipment failure, power outages, and natural disasters are time-consuming and costly on on-premises digital signage software. Typically, traditional disaster recovery involves a lot of manual processes that overwhelm employees.
With cloud-based software, your sensitive information automatically backups to the cloud, and you don’t need a secondary server for data backups. Cloud services prevent data loss in numerous ways, such as via multiple servers across different regions or a robust backup system. Indeed, 38% of companies invest in cloud-based systems for better disaster recovery.
8. Automatic Updates
With on-premises digital signage software, you regularly buy, download, and install new software versions and keep track of each critical update. This extra attention increases employee workloads.
Another benefit of cloud-based software is the platform grants automatic software updates without manual installation. New features are added automatically to your media players so you can display dynamic content to your audience. Most digital signage providers offer automatic upgrades with their subscriptions, so you don’t incur extra costs to stay up to date.
9. Enhanced Data Security
The threat of cybercrime is ever-present in the digital age, and businesses need robust security systems to protect sensitive data. In 2021, cybercriminals orchestrated 1,862 data breaches that exposed more than 18.5 million records. Cloud-based digital signage software is an excellent investment to boost data security since providers offer advanced security features.
Cloud security is particularly ideal for small and mid-sized companies without large IT security budgets. In this case, your provider encrypts uplinks and downlinks, maintains data servers regularly, and enforces multi-factor authentication. Also, the centralized management platform on a cloud-based platform reduces the risk of leaks as your cloud data lives in one place.
10. Full-Time Support
An on-premises solution needs an IT team to manage and troubleshoot your digital signage system. However, hiring and sustaining this IT department only increases your business expenses. In contrast, a subscription to cloud-based digital signage software grants you access to a team of experts via email, live chat, or phone.
When you choose a cloud software provider, look for your desired availability and personalized support that helps your company make the most use of the digital signage platform. Other providers offer live demonstrations, instruction videos, and FAQs with each subscription.
Make the Switch to Cloud-Based Digital Signage
The benefits of cloud-based software include increased security, easy access, quick installation, disaster recovery, and automatic updates. Unlike on-premises solutions, you don’t have to install and maintain internal servers or hire an IT team to manage software and hardware with cloud-based digital signage. Ultimately, a cloud solution lets you focus on creating dynamic digital signage content to excite your audience.