Before you start assessing DAM software providers and trialling solutions, it is important to know that not all DAMs are created equal.
A range of DAM options exist, designed to suit businesses at different levels of maturity. The DAM you choose should match and support how you want to operate in the medium term.
When you are looking for a solution, it’s important to note the different types of DAM systems out there.
Specifically designed for museums & other cultural organizations in order to retain historical records – so they’re ideal for heritage collections. Archival DAMs are suited for organisations with millions of files & are therefore usually hosted on-premise. Some archival DAMs have storefront capabilities to sell collections to the public or to invited users.
Cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) DAM applications do not require the physical installation of software onto your servers. Choosing a cloud-based option means there’s no need to; purchase or manage hardware, invest in DAM management infrastructure and backups, dedicate IT resources to manage security patches and backups, or wait months for implementation.
On-premise DAM solutions involve installing software onto your servers. These solutions will generally involve the purchasing and management of on-premise hardware, investing in new infrastructure to manage backups and other processes. IT resources will also be needed to manage security and other updates. Installation can also take time to complete – often months.
For companies who value flexibility, hybrid models are available. In these cases, DAM platforms are stored on-premise, and can also be accessed via a cloud version. The functionality is a combination of the previous two DAM models.
Before you buy any DAM sofware, make sure you know where you are on the DAM maturity model. You
want a system that’s right for your business now – and can also grow with you over time, but you don’t
want to purchase features you will not use in the near or mid-term. While assessing applications, it is
recommended to purchase requirements 2-3 years out – so you can grow into a tool over time and not be
limited by it. Below is an overview of the DAM maturity model, keeping in mind you can use
all or some of the forms in a single platform.