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Digital Asset Management in the Cloud – What is it?

Digital asset management has come a long way in recent years. Rewind to a decade ago – organisations would dedicate time and resources to the setup, installation, implementation and maintenance of on-premises DAM systems. IT departments were in charge of server configuration, customising security levels and building the infrastructure to house and manage digital assets. As technology advances, industries are now facing a digital transformation in the way teams collaborate with company assets, content, documents and files.  

Now, everything is run from the Cloud – with good reason. From any department, agency or external team, Cloud platforms give organisations the freedom to collaborate from any device at any time. From access to distribution, Cloud DAM systems provide a solution to how organisations manage, store and share digital assets. 

Cloud digital asset management systems cater for the evolving digital transformation in a way on-premises systems can’t. They can cater towards rapid growth, instantaneous collaboration, the need for expandable storage and a reachable support team.  

There are many benefits of digital asset management in the Cloud. Here’s what we know.  

What is Cloud Digital Asset Management?

A Cloud-based DAM system is a complete digital asset management platform hosted on a network accessible through a web browser. It combines metadata, searchability, transcoding and download functionality within a single platform so teams can securely access, manage and share digital assets from any device.  

Cloud-based vs. on-premises 

Cloud-based:

Cloud-based DAM systems run through a secure cloud-hosted environment via a web browser. Its configuration allows for cohesive sharing and distribution so users can edit, re-purpose and download in any format they need when they need it.  

The cost of a Cloud DAM system is usually via a subscription service with some vendors requiring a retainer to cover onboarding, upload, training and customisation formatting. There is no need for hardware installation or server configuration and the vendor will usually take care of the admin, maintenance and support. Storage is also scalable to the organisation as they expand – making Cloud DAM systems more preferable over on-premises. 

On-premises: 

An on-premises DAM system requires server configuration and installation in-house within an internal network locked within the organisation. The organisation is responsible for customising infrastructure, asset upload, maintenance and installing updates.  

There is a higher deployment cost with on-premises systems with installation payable as a one-time fee with no ongoing payments. Storage of data and digital assets is all kept in-house – the organisation will have complete control over security, data storage and the entire DAM infrastructure.  

Organisations require a large, strong IT department to adequately take care of deployment, troubleshooting and maintenance. This causes strain on IT resources to resolve everything in-house without any vendor support. 

The verdict:

The collaborative design of Cloud-based systems ensures users can enjoy a seamless work environment without the hassle of instalment issues or costly admin delays. Cloud-based DAM systems are popular because they provide an easily scalable solution to any expanding digital asset collection so they can evolve when the business expands.  

 

8 Benefits of a cloud digital asset management system

It has faster deployment 

There is no need for on-site installation or integration with any existing infrastructure for cloud-hosted environments. Users can hit the ground running as soon as possible once the platform is ready to go. 

Quick Tip: Some DAM vendors will handle the collection, upload and tagging of digital assets and larger files from the source as part of the implementation process.  

It’s easy to use

Collaborating and sharing files between internal and external teams has never been easier. Cloud DAM systems have intuitive interfaces and are customisable to the business  – it saves time sourcing files and automatically synchronises any updates. Remote access also allows teams to access what they need when they need it from anywhere.  

It’s secure 

Many digital assets contain sensitive materials, especially within legislative and government organisations. Cloud-based DAM systems provide more security measures than what is capable of handling internally.  

Quick Tip: Some DAM vendors partner with Cloud hosting networks like Microsoft Azure to provide premium security for users ensuring top-level security and data compliance measures.

It has advanced search capability

Digital asset libraries grow larger and more complex over time as the business evolves. It can be a disaster trying to locate up-to-date, on-brand content when users edit and share a plethora of files across multiple locations and servers. 

Metadata is a key component in fast access to digital assets while adopting an intuitive search experience. AI-driven and bespoke search functionality with keyword recognition tailor each search to the organisation’s internal language. Unique metadata tagging saves time by allowing users to quickly identify and source files with ease – at lightning speed.  

It’s scalable 

The last thing you want is to adhere to a limit on storage. Cloud DAM systems scale storage to the organisation’s requirements and can expand as the business evolves. Organisations only have to pay for the storage they use and only require an upgrade if or when they need it.  

Quick Tip: Some DAM providers offer additional offline storage for larger, raw and complex files before transcoding them into smaller file formats suitable for the cloud.  

It optimises organisation

Cloud-based DAM systems can hold volumes of digital assets that are too large for conventional folder-type organisation structures. Effective optimisation ensures fast response times to meet client demands or deadlines, saving users the hassle of dealing with frustrating time delays. With advanced search capabilities and rich metadata tagging, Cloud DAM systems categorise assets so users can easily locate up-to-date files.  

You can share assets easily 

API capability allows for a collaborative platform for teams to work cohesively without the hassle of switching between different interfaces. API integration with MarTech solutions, CRM’s, Review & Approval and brand automation programs keeps the brand agile, allowing teams to readily access edit and share files anytime from anywhere. 

You get reachable support 

A recurring issue for most businesses is waiting days or even weeks for support from internationally-based support teams. As a solution, some Cloud-based systems provide a local support team 

A successful Cloud-based system is always backed by a direct support team to help with onboarding & tagging, uploading, training, troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance. A reachable support network to manage the platform frees up company resources, alleviating the stress from the IT department.  

Quick Tip: Some DAM vendors are locally based paired with an assigned case manager and offer on-shore data storage 

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Who uses Cloud digital asset management? 

Cloud-based DAM systems are suitable across small businesses and agencies to global enterprises. They can cater for strict data compliance regulations, top-level security measures and are scalable to house large digital asset collections. Here are some examples of which industries benefit from Cloud DAM systems: 

Marketing teams 

With a large ever-growing bank of content, on-brand material and digital assets, marketing teams tend to have multiple campaigns running at any one time. Cloud-based DAM systems provide a solution for an efficient organisation for users to locate, edit, share and re-purpose files, including raw images and video assets.  

Users across different departments and agencies benefit from a richly organised database and scalable environment to cater for a growing digital asset collection. Meanwhile, it also solves asset lifecycle and regulatory data retention issues.  

eCommerce/Retail

As a digital asset database grows, businesses can find it difficult to keep up with the maintenance. Retail and eCommerce businesses need a seamless end-to-end process to upload, manage, tag and organise digital assets. Without it, they are likely to face workflow issues that chew into company time and resources.  

With rich metadata tagging within a secure Cloud platform, on-brand material is easily accessible across multiple teams for immediate edit and distribution.  

Government

Government organisations require high-level security measures in place to protect and store mass levels of assets from numerous departments. With the need for advanced level organisation, strict permission-level access and scalable storage, departments receive faster access to all content when they need it.  

Whether its imagery, documents, licences or forms, digital assets are seamlessly linked across local projects with detailed metadata tagging. Some Cloud DAM systems can also adhere to strict data compliance measures with on-shore data storage. 

Education facilities  

Education facilities hold massive collections from different channels and formats of digital assets across numerous faculties. Without efficient organisation, asset maintenance can be time-consuming and difficult to keep up with. With access to shared Cloud library space, cohorts and faculties can access and share media and curriculum files within a secure platform.  

Real estate  

With a strong focus on visual appeal, real estate agencies need a secure platform to easily locate media, licences and content. Along with a scalable storage platform, some Cloud DAM systems also provide additional offline storage to house larger, raw and complex files. This allows storage of files before transcoding them into content-ready formats for the Cloud. It also means having a platform for easy distribution between departments.

 

Not all Cloud-based DAM systems are equal

Every Cloud DAM system comes with its own set of features, functionality and infrastructure. They are designed to be a solution for digital asset management that will adapt to the business’s growth.  

When choosing a DAM system, take into account security measures, level of customisation, data storage compliance requirements, storage options and local customer support. Ask questions about the process of deployment and implementation, maintaining on-brand compliance and ongoing administration and maintenance. Understand current organisational needs as well as its future projection and how a Cloud DAM system will fit into and enhance business goals.  

It will be an ongoing working partnership, so selecting the right DAM vendor means more than ticking a box with the right features; it’s about the return of investment. 

 

Why choose Collaboro for your DAM system?

Collaboro is an Australian Cloud-based DAM solution that empowers your teams to do more. Our DAM platform will centralise all your digital assets, making it easier for your teams to organise, find and share all your digital media files, in one place, from anywhere.

But a successful DAM solution requires more. This is where Collaboro brings local Australian expertise and support services to provide a customised end-to-end solution.

Book a demo with a Collaboro Solutions Expert.

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