Are you thinking about buying a digital signage system? How about upgrading your old system? If so, you have likely encountered some snark when it comes to software-as-a-service versus on-premises software. Which is best for you is totally determined by your needs and if it works for your budget. Object lesson: cheaper is not always cheaper in the long run.
Some digital signage companies like Keywest Technology have developed both SaaS and on-premises software based on Android, Linux and Windows. Since developing and launching our newest platform in the Cloud, we sometimes hear unjustified reasons for rejecting cloud signage. Here are some typical comments and questions (or objections) to cloud-based software vs. on-premises software.
DIGITAL SIGNAGE BUYER: I’m afraid my data won’t be secure in the Cloud.
KEYWEST TECH: Find a digital signage SaaS provider who uses HTTPS for all data transfers. This layers the HTTP protocol on top of the SSL/TLS protocol, thereby adding military-grade encryption for both the up/down transfers. This is the same level of security that the World Wide Web uses everyday for millions of financial and other secured transactions. Additionally, any reputable cloud-storage company provides storage secured with encryption and other techniques. For these reasons industry experts report that such schemes are more secure than most corporate networks.
Additionally, more advanced cloud
signage uses a technique called “cloud files” that actually keeps clients’
data, media, account and billing information in separate locations. This
greatly reduces the likelihood of a successful hack.
DIGITAL SIGNAGE BUYER: Digital signage in the cloud is a bandwidth hog!
KEYWEST TECH: This statement used to be somewhat true back in the “video streaming” days, but most modern SaaS systems today use pull technology, which caches the playlist on the media player and therefore uses bandwidth only for the original download and future updates. This is similar to the bandwidth of on-premises software that stores the playlists on local hard drives--except the cloud systems may have the advantage of using web-optimized media encoders that reduce the file size using more efficient H.264 technology among others.
DIGITAL SIGNAGE BUYER: If you lose the Internet connection to a cloud media player, the screen will go dark.
KEYWEST TECH: If the cloud player is
designed to cache the playlist, the lost connection should not affect the
pre-loaded playlist, which continues to play "as is" with no loss of
picture or content. When the connection is restored, new content gets updated
seamlessly and automatically.
DIGITAL SIGNAGE BUYER: Will I lose the ability to change my content on the fly with a cloud digital signage system?
KEYWEST TECH: No, you can change the content on the fly with SaaS digital signage just like with on-premises software. It may be true that the download takes a bit longer than an on-premises system, but we are measuring seconds and minutes at most here, not hours, assuming you have a typical broadband connection. Plus, with a cloud system, you can easily schedule downloads to occur at a time that is best for your network. This is not so easy with on-premises software unless you have a local server, which adds greatly to the cost of ownership and system complex