How does a layperson know if digital signage can work in their environment?”
From a business case perspective, the first and most important thing to know in any proposed digital signage deployment is whether or not it would advance the goals of the business in a measurable way. That is the most important question that any business manager should be asking before investing in a major technology deployment. Digital signage serves a wide range of applications, so in some cases, this is a fairly easy question to answer, especially in retail and marketing segments where we are presenting information that consumers will use to make buying decisions. Those are applications where effectiveness can be measured based on sales and consumer purchasing trends. Likewise, in wayfinding applications, when users are given clear directions in an approachable interactive format, the network operator can be confident that a deployment will improve user experience and efficiency while reducing congestion and delays.
But measurement is not so easy in the corporate space, where the goals for digital signage may be more difficult to define and measure. Suppose a client wants to improve employee engagement and promote employee benefits extended by the employer. Awareness is a difficult thing to measure, and it may not be clear that technology investments will result in the intended business goals. The benefits to the business support team will certainly be tangible in their ability to update information in a more timely manner and to push targeted content to specific user groups. The network operator could have confidence that such a deployment would reduce support costs, result in a better user experience and deliver relevant content. But would it actually result in better employee engagement and awareness? A look at case studies for how deployments have helped other organizations would be useful, but ultimately, an operator will need to decide how to measure success in each instance.
Regardless of application, engaging with a systems integration and/or professional services organization who can help advise, design, deploy and manage an end to end digital signage system is critical to success from any planned deployment. Professional integrators who have worked with a number of businesses and are familiar with a variety of applications can help guide customers toward solutions that have proven successful in the past. They can also advise and guide customers on the content development, which is absolutely critical to any application’s success. As a layperson looking at the potential of digital signage, engaging with an experienced professional is the best path to success.