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Businesses create a variety of media assets for internal use, marketing, and branding purposes. Often, these assets are not stored or shared properly, resulting in wasted time and effort searching for them or recreating them.
Digital asset management (DAM) software can help organize your digital assets more effectively, saving you thousands of dollars. In this buyers guide, we discuss things you need to know to decide on the right DAM tool for your business. This is what we’ll cover:
Digital asset management (DAM) software is a tool to organize, store, and share data and media assets, such as images, videos, animations, and audio files. With a DAM tool you can define the ownership and access rights to media assets.
DAM solutions are a part of the broader enterprise asset management software solutions.
As with most other software solutions, DAM software may be deployed on the cloud or on-premise. In this section, we look at the different deployment options in detail.
Cloud-based: Cloud-based DAM software is hosted on vendors’ data centers, and you don’t have to invest in any storage or server hardware. The upfront costs involved with such Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models are low. You can simply sign-up for the SaaS subscription and get started in a few minutes. SaaS solutions can be accessed from anywhere using the Internet, and the vendor takes care of all maintenance and updates.
On-premise: On-premise DAM solutions provide you more control over your digital assets as they’ll be stored locally at your own data centers. But you need to have a dedicated IT team to manage and run the software and hardware. On-premise solutions allow you to choose and work on your specific software upgrades or customization needs. They also help meet some stringent data regulations and policies that require on-site data storage.
Hybrid: Hybrid models allow you to reap the benefits of both cloud-based and on-premise software. You can store sensitive media assets on-site and use cloud deployment options to gain benefits of scalability and access from anywhere.
Key questions to ask a vendor: Are there any data storage limits if I opt for the cloud-based or hybrid deployment options? Do you have a mobile app for your tool?
Choosing DAM software that is reasonably priced yet offers all the necessary features to manage your digital assets can be challenging. Here we list some of the key features to look out for in DAM software.
Asset library: It’s a central repository or storage location for all your digital assets. You can upload assets, set access permissions, and share them from the asset library.
Asset library in Bynder
Search: This functionality helps you to quickly locate required files by typing in keywords or meta tags in the search bar. The tool also allows you to apply search filters, such as author, date, or file type.
Search functionality in Widen Collective
Metadata management: Metadata tags allow you to add descriptions and keywords to your asset files, making it easier to index and search them. The feature also helps define file hierarchies and organize files into folders and subfolders.
Metadata management in Canto DAM
Security: Security features in DAM solutions include encryption, access controls to view or edit files, and data classification mechanisms such as watermarks and authentication. The software also supports Secure Socket layer (SSL) security protocols for file transfers.
Access controls in MediaValet
Collaboration: This feature allows users to share or distribute files directly from the software or via emails as attachments or custom links. Some DAM solutions can integrate with project management and collaboration tools such as Slack or Trello.
Asset sharing options in Brandfolder
Version control: The feature helps keep a record of all the iterations or changes made to digital assets. Users can also view, access, and work on previous versions of the asset.
Reporting and analytics: Asset analytics and reporting provides an overview of all assets and asset types stored in the DAM platform. It also helps track asset metrics such as the number of uploads or downloads and asset usage.
Reporting and analytics feature in MediaValet
Key questions to ask a vendor: Are there any limitations to the functionalities that you offer? How do the features vary across the different versions of your product?
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations; they’ve been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.