DEAR DR. DAM: Hi, this is John and I own a mid-sized business in California. We manufacture and distribute a variety of items related to adventure sports, camping, and other outdoor activities. One of our principle marketing assets has been a quarterly catalog mailed out to potential distributors although we will probably stop publishing it in print in a year or two because we have essentially become a web-based business. Selling via the Internet has reduced our costs considerably but it also means that we need more images of our products and they need to be of the highest quality. The challenges associated with hosting and managing a large digital asset library became apparent even before we had marketing materials for all of our items. Therefore, we got onto the DAM software bandwagon early on and started using digital asset management programs some years ago.
We still use the same brand asset management software that we started out with but I am convinced that the time has come to get a serious update or switch over to something else. I was more or less pleased for the first two years of using this program because it met the two main requirements I was looking for (off site hosting of assets and centralized control) but I suspect that a DAM system could do a whole lot more. Our DAM has been easy to use and in house IT resources have managed and maintained it but they have been having serious issues with it during the past year. Everything from the program working slow to just not working at all has occurred and the worst thing about it is that the guy who made it doesn’t seem to be the least bit interested in fixing it. Due in particular to the difficulties associated with maintaining our DAM system, I am wondering if we shouldn’t just take a chance on switching over to a Software as a Service DAM solution?
DEAR IN A JAM JOHN: Based on your experiences with that old rich media management program, I think you already know the answer to your question. I will affirm that you are right however, by telling you that yes, you should switch to a Software as a Service DAM solution. Switch over to it if you would like regular updates, to free up your IT people for other tasks, to get far more out of your DAM system than you are getting at present (such as analyzing ROI of assets to name just one example), and help desk support to make sure that your DAM is running smoothly at all times. I recommend you investigate how easy it is to make the switch and see how much better Software as a Service DAM is compared to your old system.