Most digital signage CMS software on the market is marketed in cloud and on premise versions.  Each type has its pros and cons.  Here are some tips on picking the right one for you.

cloud based software

Cloud based CMS

Cloud based CMS software has been popular for a while now, and it seems there are new entries in this space every month.  The reason’s simple.  It’s an affordable way to get a digital signage network launched and it requires a minimum amount of effort.  You don’t need to know anything about servers, backups or DNS hosting.  You just concentrate on creating content and deploying screens.

Those who don’t want to get their hands dirty can even outsource entire hardware installation, so the barrier to entry is very low.

Cloud based CMS gets you…

Who benefits the most of cloud based CMS?

On Premise CMS

There will always be a market for on premise CMS software.  While Cloud CMS products tend to get a lot of press, on premise products remain popular for the following reasons:

On premise CMS software can be run on physical servers, or on company managed virtual machines in any location.

So what are the downsides of on premise CMS products?


The verdict?

Digital signage isn’t a “one size fits all” proposition.

As a rule, cloud CMS offerings cost less to launch but there are recurring monthly fees – in perpetuity.  You can scale up or down, but there will be a monthly fee for as long as you operate your screens.  A lot of the complexity is removed because a third party is managing it for you.

On premise offerings cost more to set-up initially and there are no monthly fees.  There may be an annual maintenance and support fee but for the most part, you buy the software and that’s it.  Installing and maintaining your on premise CMS software is a more involved proposition but you have total control over your environment.

Regardless of the option you choose, pick your CMS vendor / partner wisely.  Chances are, you’ll be dealing with them for a long, long time.


One Response

  1. Hi Maurice,
    You wrote a fairly balanced article concerning the two sides of digital signage. My company has worked on some digital signage projects, and I have some experience with both approaches. On paper, cloud vs on-premises software appear similar. However, in actual use, there are other potential advantages to a cloud-based system if you are interested in what I would call content aggregation. This may not be important for some digital signage systems, but if it is, cloud-based widgets (think apps) can do about anything with content that one can imagine. These apps are extremely empowering, enabling data sourcing and integration in very clever ways without too much red tape. This is the part of cloud digital signage that really sets it apart from premise software in my opinion.

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