Cloud-Based vs. On-Premise Digital Signage Software

Digital signage has really redefined how organizations and businesses communicate with their customers and employees. The digital sign is no longer just a static billboard or display but an interactive tool that can convey information in real-time. Thanks to this technology, companies can engage more effectively with their audience by providing them with the right messages at the appropriate times.

Digital signs have been around for years, but primarily displayed static images. With the advent of cloud-based signage software, these displays now also include the ability to play video and other dynamic content. And you know what the beauty of digital signage is? Going cloud isn’t the only option. You can also opt for an on-premise digital signage system, especially if you want to pay a one-time fee for the software.

In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the primary differences of each type of solution. We’ll also explain why one might be better suited than the other for your business or organizational needs. So let’s get started. 

The Differences Between Cloud-Based and On-Premise 

Both cloud-based and on-premise digital signage solutions come with excellent perks and features that may benefit your specific needs. However, they differ slightly in cost, ease of use, and overall functionality. Let’s look at some of the key differences between the two. 

Costs & Financial Considerations

When choosing between cloud-based and on-premise digital signage software, one of the first things you should consider is whether you’re looking to spend money upfront or over time. If you decide to go with an on-premise solution, you will need to purchase digital display hardware (such as screens), install and maintain the software, plus other infrastructures. That means you’ll incur additional costs both upfront and ongoing, as well as the maintenance.

Organizations leaning on a cloud-based digital signage solution will incur less physical costs for hardware and infrastructure. You will still need to purchase the actual signage hardware but you will manage, monitor and update your signage network remotely via a cloud-based CMS.


Another critical factor to consider when deciding the best solution for your organization is how much flexibility you need from the digital signage software. For example, does your company require a highly customizable solution that allows you to create custom graphics and videos? Or would you prefer something simpler that lets you quickly upload pre-made templates?

A cloud-based solution offers you greater flexibility in terms of customization. But if you’re looking for a simple solution that is managed locally, then an on-premise solution could be the perfect fit for your needs. 

Ease of Use

You may find it easier to work with a cloud-based CMS platform if you’re new to digital signage. After all, it’s not hard to figure out how to log into a website and manage your account information. But if you’ve used similar technology before, you may feel more comfortable working with an on-premise solution. 

As you can probably tell from the differences, a cloud-based digital signage solution has the upper hand, as it’s more cost-efficient and easier to use. It also offers superb flexibility, as you can effortlessly scale up and down on need without incurring any significant financial penalties. But that’s not to throw the on-premise platform under the bus. On-premise management also has strong points that can serve your organization’s unique needs. For instance, it gives you complete control over your content management system and provides you with the ability to customize everything from fonts to colors. 

Benefits of Cloud-Based Solutions

There are many reasons why cloud-based solutions are better than their on-premise counterparts. Here are just some of them:

Cloud-Based Options Allow You To Update Your Signs from Anywhere

When you sign up for a cloud-based service, you get access to the same updates and improvements that other users receive. Corporate offices can update digital signage and approve content from regional offices from anywhere. With a cloud-based solution there is no need to be onsite to implement content updates. 

Troubleshoot Your Signage Remotely

If something goes wrong with your digital signage, you won’t have to travel back to your office to fix it. Instead, you can remotely troubleshoot the problem from anywhere via your computer or smartphone.

Who Can Benefit from Cloud-Based Signage Solutions

At its core, any purpose-driven business or organization that wants to take advantage of the latest technological advancements can benefit from cloud-based digital signage solutions. Here are a few:

Multi-Location Retailers

A multi-location retailer operates in multiple cities, states, or countries. Thus, it makes sense to deploy a single digital signage solution across these locations. And a cloud-based solution like EnGage cloud-based CMS allows you to do this quickly and efficiently.


Digital signage is an excellent way to promote your hotel. By displaying images and videos about your property, you can attract new guests and keep existing customers coming back again and again. Besides, a cloud-based solution makes it easier to create custom messages and display them on your screens.

Multi-Location, QSR Restaurant Chains

QSR restaurants (quick service restaurants) are popular all around the world. These eateries typically operate 24/7, though managing multiple locations can be challenging. Thankfully, a cloud-based solution allows you to manage your stores centrally.

Healthcare Practices

Healthcare providers also use digital signage to help patients understand their conditions. For example, doctors may want to show patients before and after photos of their body parts so they can see how much weight they’ve lost over time. In addition, healthcare professionals can use cloud-based signage to educate patients about their diseases.

Enterprise-Level Corporations

Large companies often need to manage many different types of devices. For instance, some organizations might have computers, smartphones, tablets, printers, and more. A cloud-based system lets you centrally control all of these devices from one place.

Start Using a Secure, Cloud-Based Digital Signage Solution

The benefits of using secure, cloud-based digital signage software are numerous. You can save money by avoiding the cost of buying and maintaining your servers. Plus, you can quickly scale up or down as needed. With a cloud-based solution, you don’t have to worry about downtime because your data always gets backed up. Finally, you can access your content from any device at any time, no matter where you are.

For over two decades, ComQi has been helping reputable brands design, build, manage digital signage systems. Our cloud-based digital signage platforms are tailor-made to enhance customer experiences and drive growth and revenue. But that’s not all; we also provide ongoing support to ensure that you maximize the value of your investment.For more information on how you can benefit and get started, we invite you to learn more about ComQi’s cloud-based signage. Also, feel free to check out our digital signage case studies for a clearer picture of what we mean when we say we can drive your organization’s revenues and growth.