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Cloud Storage Tools vs DAM: What’s the Difference?

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See why DAM isn't just another cloud storage tool.

In the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus, many of the world’s businesses have pivoted to working remotely and are looking to trim operational costs. This heightened focus on efficiency means that teams need to have access to the right digital technology. 

In recent years, companies have turned to cloud storage tools — like Dropbox, SharePoint, and OneDrive — to organize, manage and share content. However, a common misconception is that these platforms are the same as a digital asset management (DAM) solution. With the recent surge in remote work, this could be the perfect opportunity to research the key differences and what’s right for your business.

While cloud storage systems and DAM solutions share some basic functionalities, this blog sets out to identify how they differ and which best aligns with your organization’s needs.

What are cloud storage tools?

Cloud storage tools are digital libraries that allow users to store, share, and sync data via the cloud as opposed to external hard drives or servers. These storage and file-sharing tools include free and paid subscriptions, making them appealing to a wide range of budgets. 

Most of us have, at some point, come across cloud storage tools for professional or personal use. Because they are easy to implement and access, many individuals and organizations of all sizes have valued their convenience. But these tools don’t always provide the robust functionality needed to fully support brand consistency across teams, vendors, channels, and the world. 

How is DAM different?

Although many DAM solutions rely on cloud technology, they are more sophisticated for a number of reasons. One of the primary benefits of DAM software over basic cloud storage tools is scalability. Not only can DAM solutions integrate and grow with your technology stack, but they can continually accommodate the complexities of any sized organization.

Another advantage of DAM software is that it offers enhanced options to index and archive files. A DAM administrator is able to oversee metadata management, all asset uploads and downloads, and version control. These features work together to support easy asset retrieval, and seamless brand management

Permissioned access to certain assets is another feature DAM software offers over its more basic counterpart. The ability to restrict access privileges for certain teams or external partners is vital to protecting confidential material and creating brand consistency. And setting expiration dates on content that isn’t evergreen ensures that primers, logos, contracts, etc. are used according to their shelf lives.

Data analysis is vital to marketing success. It provides clarity around which assets are being downloaded and shared, and how they’re being used. This helps marketers understand what’s working and what’s not, and improve the accuracy of their budget forecasts. Most DAM platforms include data analysis tools while other cloud-based storage tools do not.

And finally, a good DAM solution can be personalized to reflect a company’s brand, which plays an important role in user engagement and software adoption. 

Which is right for you?

Cloud storage software and DAM solutions share some basic features — they both provide 24/7 remote access, serve as central repositories, and offer unlimited storage. But while cloud storage solutions are simply content libraries, DAM solutions are the central nerve system for an entire marketing operation. They allow organizations to distribute content across channels, automate workflows, and evolve their brand stories with content analytics. 

Although a DAM solution is a larger investment in terms of time and money, it can deliver a measurable return on investment. Find out how our DAM solution, the Widen Collective®, can support operational efficiency at your organization. Contact us today

Topics: DAM

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