Out with the old, in with the new!

Updating your digital signage CMS software regularly is important.

Here’s why…

Digital Signage Failure

From Commercial Integrator website: http://www.commercialintegrator.com/

Not keeping your software updated can bring a false sense of savings, and it’s not worth the trouble. Need convincing? Google “digital signage failure photos” or visit this website.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Security exploits are constantly being released on the internet, and there is no end in sight. Professional CMS software publishers counter these activities by releasing periodic updates with bug fixes and security enhancements.
  • Content formats evolve all the time. New formats become tomorrow’s “standards”, while older technologies fall out of favor and become obsolete. Take for example Adobe Flash which was ubiquitous a few years ago, and is now being replaced by HTML5. While there are still lots of folks cranking out Flash SWF content, the numbers are dropping dramatically and will continue to do so until Adobe shuts down Flash permanently, in a year or two.
  • The best CMS software products regularly introduce new features and enhancements that can shave hours off your work. Workflow improvements can make your team more efficient and save you money.
  • You may think you can postpone updates indefinitely, but don’t really have a choice. At some point you have to update your software just to remain competitive and effective.
  • Most CMS software products work in a server/player configuration. Some have other intermediary apps in between. Be sure to update every component as required by your software vendor. In many cases, you can’t run mis-matched software so be ready to apply all the software patches and follow your vendor’s instructions.
  • Always backup everything before patching your software. I know it sounds silly but some folks don’t think twice about updating software without backing up their existing setup.

I usually tell customers they have to lock-down their software and disable all forms of updates and patches… but you still need to keep your technology up-to-date. I find it’s best to disable automatic operating system updates on media players as long as they are running a firewall and there is no end-user software installed (email clients, for example). Disable every background service that isn’t needed for digital signage content playback to remove potential weaknesses.

However, your digital signage player software should always be updated according to your vendor’s recommendations. That is one piece of advice I think everyone should follow.

Remember these suggestions are aimed at folks who operate their own CMS server. This is not intended for people using cloud based CMS solutions as these products are usually updated by the software provider.  If your cloud based CMS vendor requires you to update your media players individually, then be sure to follow their instructions. I have found most professional cloud CMS products update their media players automatically so you don’t have anything to do. It’s up to you to make sure you follow all of their guidelines.

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