Ask the Board – August 22, 2016 | KIM DWYER


What are the criteria for picking a CMS amongst the myriad of options out there?

There are so many important factors worth considering. If I were forced to pick one feature to concentrate on, based on my experience, it would be flexibility. As our network of signs has grown over the years, the ability to reinvent and tweak our backend framework and organization of digital signs, in my opinion, has been invaluable. With each framework change, I try to move toward increased ease of use and organization—two things that are incredibly important as your network increases in size. A system that can grow with you can make all the difference. 
I reached out to our vendor for input on this, and he shared some great points to consider as well:

  1. Consider the size of the deployment
  2. How geographically spread out is the deployment?
  3. How many users are expected to be involved?
  4. Consider how the system will be managed
  5. Is the preferred approach to set it and forget it?
  6. Or will users make monthly/daily/hourly changes?
  7. Is the system going to get a dedicated human resource? 
  8. What are the goals of the digital signage system overall?
  9. Are there any hardware/OS limitations?

Like many things, there often isn’t any one CMS that is “the best.” Different options are designed with different target markets in mind, and therefore, they have different strengths and weaknesses. A CMS that has the most functionality will also be the most complex and difficult to learn. Then, there is the hardware aspect to consider. A lot of options are off the table just by virtue of the IT department being dedicated to PCs or Linux boxes. So, at the end of the day, choosing a CMS is all about the right fit for the particular system and its planned use.

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Internal Communications Manager
Nationwide Children’s Hospital

End User Council

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