What are open-source, SaaS, and on-premises DAM?

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The need to better manage digital assets has resulted in a wider variety of DAM system offerings. In choosing the best DAM system, that wide variety of digital asset management programs presents serious challenges to the buyer. Which DAM system is most appropriate for the needs of your company? Which provides the best value? With so much available, what' s the best way to start narrowing your vendor search?

There’s more than one way to navigate the sea of DAM programs, but understanding three basic DAM delivery models will go a long way in informing the process. It’s likely that one of them will work much better for meeting your digital asset management needs than the other two. They are:


  • Open source - Many people equate “open source”  with “free”, but companies that use open-source software can end up paying much more in the long run. The reason for this is related to integrating and adapting the software to company systems and needs. This comes at a cost and if the IT department can't find a way to adapt the open source digital asset management system, the associated costs can add up very quickly. On the other hand, some organizations have needs that are so very unique, open-source is the only option flexible enough to tailor to those requirements. But these organizations are truly few and far between.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) - This refers to DAM systems that are hosted and, generally, accessed via the Internet. In being hosted and serviced off-site, they don' t take up space on company servers or require management by in-house IT employees. Costs for these types of DAM systems are typically done on a subscription basis and can be related to numbers of users and storage of assets.
  • On-premises - These are the DAM systems that are installed on company servers. In not being hosted in the cloud, they require attention from and management by your IT department. These systems tend to work better for large companies that have particular security needs. They are more likely to have the resources needed to host a large corporate image library and manage the system.

To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages associated with each of these DAM delivery models, see this white paper.


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