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If you’re like 64% of the Americans over the age of 18 carrying a smartphone, you are very familiar with those notification alerts for a pending app and system update all too well. Updates present cool new features and improvements, but they require time to update and learn about the new features – time that seems to allude us more and more in this fast paced world. However, if you don’t take the time to update your apps and operating system, you sacrifice a smooth and efficient user experience.

Your digital signage software is no different. Though the outward appearance of your digital sign may not change, the backend software support can receive a substantial boost in speed, stability and added operational features when updated.

Digital Signage Software Alerts

There are three critical reasons why you need keep your digital signage software up-to-date.

Speed and Stability
Digital signs spread across your network communicate with each other over the internet and pull their data from your point of access through a series of application program interfaces or APIs. You never even notice the interaction because it doesn’t require operator input and the requests typically only take a few milliseconds. As your network grows and the digital signage becomes more intelligent, more data is transferred, sacrificing responsiveness and slowing the system down. In a worst case scenario, the digital sign could become unresponsive and unable to update the content when the API call doesn’t return the information in a timely manner.

An update to your digital signage software ensures that you have the most up-to-date and efficient software backbone for your digital signs, enabling you to combat communications slowdowns between your clients and servers. As new features are added to the platform over time, periodic tweaks to the code can combine several functions into a single process, called refactoring, improving the efficiency of the overall application.

The same goes for security. As new exploits are uncovered and patched, it is of utmost importance that improvements be implemented so you don’t leave your network and investment vulnerable.

Third-Party Applications
Digital signage is a versatile platform through which you can educate and inform staff or customers, and there is a host of third-party developers who service digital signs with third-party applications. These applications can improve the quality of your digital signs by diversifying the content you provide.

For example, a large financial enterprise may wish to engage employees through internal communications by displaying local, regional and national performance metrics from a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform, recognizing employees from an HR database containing birthdays and anniversaries, as well as streaming training videos and CEO town hall meetings to their bank branches’ back offices. However, the financial institution’s lobby signage needs to capture customer and guest attention with current product offerings and new promotions from a marketing content management system aimed at customers and augmented with local news and weather.

Utilizing and aggregating your companies’ existing investment in these third-party data sources is what often makes the digital signage medium more valuable than any other method of communication. Data is made more meaningful and available for target audiences to see in real time to influence and motivate behavior.

Updates to your digital signage software expand the number of third-party applications with which your digital signs are compatible. Developers usually target the latest versions of the most popular operating software. If you are several versions behind, you may discover that you can’t integrate the features or achieve the desired compatibility.

User Interface
Digital signage software developers pour over feedback from end users detailing UX (user experience) issues and strive to create software improvements that make the experience seamless and easy to use. Changes to the interface may include streamlining menu commands, shortcuts to the most used editing tools or tools to help organize a custom layout. Sometimes minor changes to the UX can have a significant impact on the time spent executing monotonous daily tasks.

Just like a car or air conditioner, your digital signage needs periodic tune-ups in order to perform efficiently and unleash the full potential of your content. Be sure to make updating your digital signage software part of your yearly maintenance plan.

RMG NetworksTM software maintenance program includes access to software updates as soon as they are released at no additional cost, so you always have the latest version to keep your digital signage system running efficiently and effectively

Learn why leaders in nearly every industry, including 70 of the Fortune 100, trust RMG with their digital signage networks. To learn more about how you can update your digital signage software, visit our website or contact us today.

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About the Author
Eric Oliver is a Product Manager for RMG Networks. Having built enterprise digital signage networks for over 10 years, he is an expert in digital signage software and media player performance
. Connect with Eric on LinkedIn.

© 2015 RMG Networks Holding Corporation. All rights reserved. RMG Networks and its logo are trademarks and/or service marks of RMG Networks Holding Corporation. Other trademarks are owned by their respective owners.

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