Digital asset management (DAM) is a way of controlling various digital assets owned by your company. Some examples include images, audio, video and other proprietary files. The DAM database keeps everything in one place, and images can be automatically scaled and much more.
The versatility of a DAM is unquestionable. What's important is to understand the main criteria to look at when comparing different systems. Look at each of the main features to get a feel for what a particular product offers you.
5 Key Features of a Functional DAM
Below are five of the most important features to compare when looking for a quality DAM to support your enterprise's needs.
1. Method of Storage
Businesses are turning toward cloud-based DAMs over on-premise solutions. The advantages of cloud systems are vast. Some major benefits include: you avoid the initial software license cost, you don't need to meet certain server hardware requirements, and your IT team doesn't need to manage the software for you.
Only organizations with the most elite IT managers should consider on-premise DAM systems. A few arguing points for on-premise include the slightly greater security and to work around the inability to claim SaaS as a capital expenditure (the IRS sees it as an operating expense).
Overall, shoot for a cloud-based DAM for best results. You can also consider a hybrid model. A hybrid DAM uses the cloud to distribute the data while keeping other asset content off the cloud.
2. File Specifics
You must look at the size and volume of files that will distribute through your DAM system. Further, you must consider how long it will take to process large files through a cloud-based solution versus an on-premise model. For bigger organizations, you must also price out your options and ensure you are not paying a big markup for high-volume storage.
3. User Count
Every DAM will be different. Some will charge more for extra users by following a pay-per-seat pricing model. This feature could prove costly if many employees will need to work with your DAM system. You should also be sectioning your users based on the functionality they require -- and only provide them with access to the asset and file types they need to touch.
4. Search Controls
You need a high level of functionality when it comes to the search controls that your DAM offers. You want to be able to look up files according to file format, keyword, metadata, owner and many other variables. DAM solutions with modifiable directory structures are preferred, as they allow for a better user experience.
5. Database Compatibility
Whether your databases are powered by MySQL, Oracle, Sqlite or any other database engine, you want your DAM to be compatible. The best DAM solutions will be integratable with many different engines. Larger organizations often deal with multiple types of databases, and therefore this higher level of versatility is a necessity.
DAM Functionality Via PIM Systems
Some PIM systems (like Perfion) provide all the functionality that's commonplace in a traditional DAM system. At the same time, the benefits of PIM for e-commerce and other marketing channels are made available to you. Beyond the digital asset itself, your product data will also be stored and managed.
In some cases, the most beneficial strategy to follow is a DAM-integrated system which works dynamically with a PIM system. But most of the time a PIM system with DAM functionality will provide you with the controls and features necessary to handle all your digital assets.