Widen, An Aquia Company

Widen's digital asset management (DAM) and product information management (PIM) solutions power the marketing content for hundreds of global brands.

London, United Kingdom
Founded: 1948

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Cloud storage versus digital asset management – which tool is right for you?

January 6, 2021

We may not feel comfortable making big predictions for the year ahead after most of us were miles wide of the mark for 2020! However, one thing that is a safe bet, is that the hybrid home/office working model that has been thrust upon us, is likely to continue for several months to come. For some, it may well be a permanent change.

With this shift to a hybrid — or even completely remote — long-term working model, the issues of how to manage vast amounts of digital assets in the marketing space has really come into focus. The two main technologies that teams typically turn to for managing these huge digital asset pools are cloud storage tools and digital asset management (DAM) software. So how do these two options differ, and which one will best align with your organisation’s needs?

Taking a look at cloud storage tools

For marketers working with and managing media-heavy environments, cloud storage tools like Dropbox, Sharepoint, and OneDrive have become widely-adopted parts of the content workflow.

Cloud storage tools allow organisations to store, share, and sync data via the cloud, rather than to external servers or hard drives. This means that data is at a reduced risk of system failure as it is stored and backed-up in the cloud allowing users to access data from anywhere, at any time.

When companies begin to struggle with content management, many initially turn to cloud storage tools because they are cost effective, quick to implement, and easy to access.

However, many businesses quickly find themselves outgrowing the functionality of these tools and in need of something more. A lack of control and little option to customise your data set up, combined with challenges migrating data from other locations means these tools are often a short-term fix.

Another major consideration is around security and privacy. Since it’s critical for businesses to invest in tools that can make assurances for data security this is often where teams determine cloud storage tools are not a long-term solution for their business.

So, what about DAM?

As teams and content continue to grow and diversify, businesses need something with robust functionality to deliver full brand consistency across vendors, channels, and the world.

That’s where digital asset management (DAM) comes in. DAM is the practice of administering, organising, and distributing media files. This software enables brands to develop a library of photos, videos, graphics, PDFs, and templates that are easy to search and ready to deploy whenever a user may need them.

DAM pioneers studied the information management techniques used by librarians and applied them to media files. Today, brands use enterprise DAM tools to centralise these files in a single platform, automate time-consuming processes, collaborate on content creation, and share assets through self-service portals, amongst many other benefits.

Some of the main benefits of using a DAM solution include:

Saving time. This technology allows organisations to save time at every step of the content lifecycle, from support finding the assets to converting, or sharing, them with a few clicks.

Protects the brand. Unlike cloud storage tools, DAM solutions allow users to control access to content. Only pieces that are approved, and up-to-date, will reach a team’s markets, salespeople, and partners.

Improves ROI. DAM solutions can improve ROI on content by providing instant analytics on searches, downloads, views, usage, and engagement. This means workforces know what to reuse, what to retire, and what to create in the future.

Streamline workflows. As DAM tools can be integrated into other technology solutions, the right people will be able to access and search for assets in the platforms they already use, without having to download and reupload files.

These are just a few reasons why this technology is favoured by organisations across the globe to manage, access, and distribute their digital assets.

What’s right for your team?

It’s true that cloud storage tools and DAM software share some basic features — they both provide 24/7 remote access, serve as central repositories, and offer unlimited storage options – but DAM solutions go above and beyond being just simply a content library.

In today’s complex and media-heavy marketing environment, it’s critical that businesses are looking thoroughly at their needs and choosing the right technology for both now, and as they continue to grow.

- Widen


Digital asset management