Determining the criteria for technology
Past digital-signage programs were heavy and expensive. Today’s digital-signage programs are nimble, affordable, and extremely efficient, allowing for immediate installation. All industries need to get started and the first step to identifying a business’ specific needs are asking questions when it comes to hardware and software – see figure 3. For instance:
How many screens will be needed?
How many locations are being managed?
What is the project timeline?
What is the budget?
What is the content strategy?
What solution will the IT department be comfortable with—cloud-based, on-premise, etc.?
The system put in place must be managed and applied in a very smart and strategic manner as the possibilities to turn a profit are endless. Businesses can choose an on-premises solution that relies less on outside services (e.g. hosting, internet providers) and allows for more control over the system. On-premises systems will not incur annual cloud-hosting fees but may have higher up-front costs.
If the cloud-based route is chosen, up-front costs are lower and the data is stored elsewhere; therefore, on-site servers aren’t needed. The software will always be up-to-date and when it comes to security—there’s access to the vendor’s security infrastructure, so it could be even more secure than on-premises.
Overall, when determining what solution to use, it’s best to decide based on up-front costs versus monthly costs and support and flexibility versus maintenance. Another important consideration is noise. When using digital-signage technology, fanless technology ensures silence and long-lasting power for displays—something to think about depending how it’s used.