If you represent a digital signage software company, implementing a software as a service approach to your offerings can be very beneficial. Utilizing “the cloud” hosted approach in any business scenario can be an excellent source for recurring and residual revenue. Interestingly, such an approach also holds other benefits as well, including overall cost reduction, easy scalability, opportunity for innovation increases, easier case-by-case implementation, greater capacity, and better security,
Simply put, cloud computing is paid in increments in an as-you-use fashion. As a result, the need for up-front cash to purchase expensive servers is eliminated. For most digital signage networks, “the cloud” method has some overwhelming advantages. Using a SaaS (software as a service) model for digital signage simply allows for lower information technology costs, increased economies of scale, and payment is required on an as-used basis only.
In the absence of a SaaS solution, you and you alone are responsible for purchasing and maintaining servers, housing them securely, and installing and maintaining the software. This alone would often require the full-time efforts of reliable IT personnel–a cost that most would rather expend on the “core competencies” of their business. In addition, when service fees are charged on a metered basis, it means you only pay for what you use, saving you valuable resources in the long run. Finally, cloud computing means you benefit from multi-tenancy. Multi-tenancy is the use of many different applications from multiple clients being used on the same unit of software. Accordingly, efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to cloud computing.
Capacity and Scalability
Similarly, cloud computing allows for scalable network growth. For instance, as your network grows your space on “the cloud” can grow accordingly. Scalable network growth can be crucial for smaller advertising networks to grow on an as-needed basis. For smaller “bootstrap” digital sign networks, a SaaS solution is often crucial for slow growth. As hardware is incrementally added to the cloud, the server usage can be readily enlarged so that throughput under an increased load does not slow or otherwise decrease server efficiency.
Signage companies can store and schedule much more data on “the cloud” than most individual server networks could otherwise. This may seem somewhat obvious, but is vastly important when we start talking copious (I love that word) amounts of HD video that could be housed for deployment to your network. With helpful tools such as file-recognition software and role-based administration, you can also more easily ensure that redundant data is avoided. This again increases efficiency and even more server capacity.
Increase in Innovation
When server updates are not a chief concern of network operations personnel, innovation in other areas can become a primary focus. It’s a simple issue of core competency focus that applies to Adam Smith’s theory of the “Invisible Hand”: “If I focus my time on my core competencies and you focus your time on those things you do best, the community as a whole benefits.” No longer does the organization have to spend time working on a server, scrambling for updates and working on maintenance. That is taken care of by the cloud managers, allowing for more innovation within your own organization. Keep in mind, this not only applies to innovation, but also to the other workings of your enterprise. Freeing time otherwise spent on digital sign server maintenance to focus on what you do best, will increase your productivity and profits across the board.
Ease of Implementation
Without the need to purchase hardware, software licences or implementation services, a company can get its cloud-computing arrangement off the ground in record time — and for a fraction of the cost of an on-premise solution. A majority of the cost of digital signage servers is the initial purchase and implementation fees. Such fees can often be substantial. Servers, cabling, and implementation of a large server
It may be even more obvious to go over how general security of a network is important in digital signage. However, it may be very important to point out how SaaS can be beneficial in such an instance. For starters, having all the information on the cloud reduces the need for annoying redundant security testing at multiple sites, cutting the overall cost of security testing for passwords, and cracking substantially. Second, having all your data in one central location reduces data leaks and losses. Instead of caching data on various smaller devices, where data control and disk encryption standards often aren’t enough, you can rest more easily with the data on the cloud. Boy, does that sound “big brother” or what? But, in reality, it’s very true.
Redundant server farms for hosting large and small digital signage networks, complete with role-based administrative access will truly provide ease of use for huge and minuscule networks alike, giving more opportunities for growth and expansion for others wishing to start their own digital signage advertising network. Otherwise, they will be consigned to purchasing, managing, and monitoring their own servers–a task that can take time away from other important matters, like expanding the size of the network in general. Who wants to be blamed for slowing network expansion?