Are you considering digital signage software options? Good for you! Digital signage is a powerful tool that is proven to help companies increase communication and maximize engagement with your targeted audience.
Every significant investment of company resources should require a thorough examination of the product or service being purchased. Digital signage software is no different. Will it perform as you need it to? Do you have the manpower to implement it and keep up with it consistently? Is the investment going to help your organization reach its goals, whatever they may be? When weighing your digital signage options, there are some key considerations to keep in mind to ensure you make the decision that’s right for your organization.
Who Is Your Audience?
It’s vital to think about the people you will be targeting with your message. Will the displays be customer facing, internal employee communications, or both? For example, hospital patients and manufacturing employees will require different information and your software choice needs to be able to meet these needs. Dig into how your audience will interact with the signage, and then use this understanding and choose the features you can’t live without. Take into account how technologically savvy your audience is, and gear your digital signage toward serving them well. How about interactive/touch screen capabilities? After all, today’s generation may think the screen is broken if they touch it and nothing happens! On the other end of the spectrum, if your audience is made up primarily of older people, the system needs to be easier to understand and less interactive. Clearly defining your audience and the way they want to communicate, and need the digital signage to function, is the first step in your decision-making process.
Once your audience is identified and examined, think about…
…What Types of Content Will You be Sharing?
Content is an important aspect of digital signage software and how successful it will be for your organization. Knowing the types on content you’d like to display will help you determine the must-have capabilities for your digital signage software. Are you planning to use charts and graphs, or video, or animation? Will you be using any third-party data sources? Social Media? SQL, SharePoint, Active Directory, Office 365 and others? If you want to use digital signage for wayfinding, for example, you might need a different solution than if you’re using it for company announcements. Taking your content into consideration is a crucial step. Otherwise, you may end up with a package that doesn’t perform as well as expected.
What About the Hardware?
This is a simple part of the decision. Start, as recommended above, by determining the types of content you want to display and back them into the solution. Make sure you’re selecting hardware that can support your content requirements. Choose one that is scalable to allow for company growth. Don’t be concerned if the digital signage player is not included. Many providers package their systems with all the needed components. However, that doesn’t mean you’re getting the best digital signage solution to fit your needs.
Another key consideration is deciding…
Should You Choose Web-Based or On-Premise?
The current trend is choosing a cloud-based system. There are several reasons why more companies are opting for this over the on-premise solutions. Hardware, software licensing, and less staff needed for repairing breakdowns. However, the final decision is up to your organization and security requirements. Systems using a cloud-based deployment model deliver web-based software. This means that the system is hosted remotely on the vendor’s or service provider’s own servers. It is then accessed by users through any device that is both compatible with the system and has an internet connection. Users can use the software anytime, in any location.
An on-premise deployment, on the other hand, means that the software is hosted on the user’s own servers. All data and applications are housed and run locally, and users may or may not be able to access the system remotely (depending on whether the system is compatible with mobile devices and remote computers). Decision makers need to think carefully about this aspect and make certain that the selected software has the capabilities you need regardless of being installed in the cloud, or on-premise.
What Is Your Budget?
It is always tempting to choose the solution that offers the least expensive price tag, but that’s not a smart decision in many cases. Fight this inclination or you could end up with a decision that’s a mistake. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for Regardless if the digital signage software is free, $20, or more per month, be prepared for it to function in relation to the price. Even if the price is low, or free, there may be costs down the road that are more expensive than purchasing a quality system in the first place. If the digital signage software requires IT staff and resources to maintain the software and content, the hidden cost could end up being huge.
Taking steps to increase the effectiveness of your communication, whether internal or external, is a smart business move that can have positive consequences. Digital signage can be an integral purchase to help this endeavor. Once you decide to invest in digital signage software the project isn’t over. It’s only beginning! Smart decision makers will know that their upfront research and planning are essential in making a decision that is best for the company. These questions can help guide your way when choosing the right digital signage system.
ConnectedSign can assist you in finding the perfect digital signage software for your organization’s needs. We thrive on creating customized solutions to maximize your ROI. Let us help you by contacting us today.