Editor's note: This post was originally posted on May 13, 2011, and updated on October 26, 2018.
Back in 2011, referencing “the cloud” still felt fresh and cutting edge. At this point, the cloud seems to the be standard for collaboration, communication, project management, and many other business solutions. Digital asset management (DAM) is no exception.
The very nature of DAM – management, organization, and distribution of digital assets from a central content hub – is a perfect match for the cloud. Businesses have more people creating more content to be published and distributed in more places. To facilitate that, you need a scalable, secure, and cost-effective hub.
In this article, we’ll define cloud DAM and the advantages you’ll gain from it.
What is a cloud DAM?
A cloud DAM refers to a digital asset management system that is hosted on a network of remote servers and accessed through a web browser. With software, storage, and analytics accessible through the internet, teams can access the system from a laptop, tablet, or phone from wherever they are located.
Advantages of a cloud-based DAM
Cloud-based DAM systems offer many advantages related to cost, speed, global scale, accessibility, and distribution.
Cloud DAM offers cost-effective storage
Cloud-based DAM systems eliminate the need for purchasing, setting up, and maintaining hardware and software on-site. As businesses increasingly rely on video, image, and audio content to communicate their brand messages, so does the amount of storage required. The cloud allows you to grow your storage and user base easily. Through software as a service (SaaS) models, you’ll always have access to the latest versions of your DAM software.
Cloud DAM grows with your business
Support business growth across multiple regions around the world using a cloud-based DAM system. Leveraging a global infrastructure, you’re able to upload and download content quickly, reliably, and securely. This helps your global and regional teams collaborate more effectively with the digital assets that represent your brand.
Cloud DAM delivers assets to where you publish them
Using a content delivery network (CDN), digital assets are delivered to websites, APIs, and other locations outside of the DAM system. This allows your teams to embed an asset in multiple places while maintaining that central source of truth in the DAM system. Any updates to the asset in the DAM system are reflected wherever the embed code is published.
Cloud DAM supports distributed teams and remote work
Since the DAM system is accessible via the web, teams have access to the files they need to do their job from wherever they have access to the internet. Sales teams can access collateral in the field, designers can create in their quiet space, and marketers can publish on the go.
Cloud DAM keeps everything more organized
Use a system that’s designed for the volume and velocity at which teams are creating content. A folder structure alone is too cumbersome for multiple departments and geographic locations. Teams need robust search functionality and filtering to find the assets they need.
DAM systems support metadata that makes assets searchable and guides their use. For example, you may store talent release forms with videos or image rights with photographs.
Cloud DAM keeps marketing teams focused on core tasks
The self-service capabilities of DAM allow users to be productive - they can get what they need, when they want it, on their own. Sure, marketers can have access to assets kept on in-house servers but how are they going to find them? And how are they going to know which brochure, image, or logo is the correct one to use? This leads to pinging administrators or designers for assets. Which leads to inefficiency for both parties.
In addition to providing access, a cloud DAM system offers conversions on the fly. When your social media manager needs a square version of a photograph or graphic for Instagram, they can just download it using the conversion functionality instead of putting in a creative request and waiting.
Not all cloud DAM systems are equal
See the Widen cloud DAM solution in action
At Widen, we have offered secure DAM solutions on SaaS on Amazon Cloud for over 10 years, because we know that privacy, security, scalability, and access are critical to the modern brand. We support over 450,000 active users and 600 customers around the world. to see how the Widen Collective can change the way your business works.