Continuing our on-going series on the DAM Value Chain, next up it is the turn of storage and its position in the range of services and facilities that a multi-vendor DAM service delivery offer would need to include.
This is one of the simpler elements to grasp about DAM. It is understood by most prospective end users that one of the fundamental features of a DAM system is to act as a repository for all your content. However, this clarity of purpose can end up causing confusion about the nature of Digital Asset Management.
There are still a significant number of those in the technology sector (and, by proxy, the people who they advise) who think DAM is all about storage and not much else. At DAM News, we regularly gets storage providers like SAN VARs etc who hear their customers talking about DAM and then want to claim they should be listed in our vendor directory along with software companies.
As is evident to anyone with some experience of Digital Asset Management, although storage is a key requirement, it is quite low down on the scale in terms of complexity and probably cost also. More sophisticated factors, like metadata, workflow and asset manipulation demand more time and mental effort from implementation personnel.
With that being said, the inexorable progress of Cloud hosting and desire for enterprises to push more of their storage facilities outside the corporate firewall to save capital budgets has driven storage at a far faster pace than many of the other DAM Value Chain initiatives which we have so far discussed.
It is already possible to integrate with a variety of different Cloud storage providers either directly via the capabilities of the DAM itself or using some third party integration tools that will convince the software that the storage is directly attached. If you use a SaaS DAM or even one just hosted by the vendor, they probably study a variety of different Cloud storage options and frequently assess whether switching between them is worth doing or not.
Because of the relative ease with which multiple storage options can be introduced and integrated, this aspect of the DAM market is already operating using some of the value chain concepts we have described. The ad-hoc nature of the Cloud storage where partnerships can be made and broken relatively easily provides a potential template for other DAM Value Chain services. When I have discussed this concept with end users and senior managers with responsibility for technology strategy, when I explain it in terms of Cloud storage they usually more readily grasp the overall model and how it might get applied.