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Cloud DAM Risk Management Techniques

by Naresh Sarwan on March 13, 2013

DAM News editors, Nick Brookes and Ralph Windsor have written a special feature exclusively for DAM News: The DAM SaaS Survival Guide – Protecting Yourself From Risks When Using Hosted DAM Systems.  The feature article contains ten recommendations for those using Cloud DAM services to ensure that your data is protected should your supplier bite the dust:

  • Identify The Hosting Supply Chain
  • Check The Vendor’s Backup Provisions
  • Never Rely Solely On The Vendor’s Backups
  • Does The Hosting Provider Have Quality Assurance Or Information Security Certifications?
  • Arrange For Object Escrow As Well As Source Code
  • Find Out What Else The Vendor Uses
  • What Is The Contract Duration And Are There Exit Penalties?
  • Get IT Advice Where You Can
  • Have A Business Continuity Plan
  • Always Remember – It’s Your Data

The advice applies equally to conventionally hosted DAM systems as well as those from pure SaaS vendors.  The takeaway point is the last one:

With digital assets, the clue is in the title. They are intellectual property with a potentially significant value – especially if you need to completely re-originate them from scratch. If the service provider goes down it will be you explaining to your boss and/or colleagues what happened. They will want to know what provisions you made and be assuming that you have thought all this through in advance. If you have backups and a plan to restore the service it may only be a temporary blip that will soon be forgotten. For all the promises that you are offered, you need to consider the consequences if whoever is holding your digital assets disappeared completely – remember it’s your data, not theirs.” [Read More]

I work with Nick Brookes in our DAM consulting practice and we frequently encounter many of the issues described.  One point not covered is that as well as potential issues from SaaS vendors glossing over the risks, a bigger problem is often the unrealistic expectations of in-house IT departments about the capabilities of Cloud providers when they do make a decision to host services with an external data centre.  If you are planning to implement a DAM yourself using some of the  DIY DAM SaaS methods we have described in the past, then this is well worth a read also.  Some DAM SaaS vendors that are prepared to be honest with you may be better positioned to offer more accurate advice about the steps you can use to mitigate potential risks with Cloud hosting.

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