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DAM Software: The Build Or Buy Debate

by Naresh Sarwan on June 24, 2010

Vendor WebDAM have written a blog post that discusses the relative merits of building vs buying a DAM solution.  As one might imagine, they tend toward the “buy” side of the argument, however, the points proposed are succinctly put and a fair evaluations of the arguments for building an in-house solutions is given.  The subjects discussed include:

  • Upfront development cost
  • Upfront development time
  • Ongoing software maintenance
  • Software maturity
  • Real-world issues

Within the digital asset management (DAM) community, return on investment, or ROI, is a hot topic. Businesses know they need a DAM, but clearly showing ROI to upper management isn’t always straightforward. Consultants and analysts have deconstructed the debate over and over. At WebDAM, we often hear a slightly different perspective – not so much a debate on ROI, but rather a case of paying an outside vendor for a solution (“buy”) vs. internally developing and maintaining a solution (“build”).“[Read More]

One option not discussed by this article is what might be termed the ‘half build’ where a generic ECM solution such as SharePoint is used as the starting point for a DAM application.  While this still suffers from some of the drawbacks of a purpose built product, SharePoint has momentum in the enterprise market and we would expect many to be actively considering it (especially in an era of reduced IT budgets).

Open source DAM systems also present an opportunity in this respect.  Many of the more recent entrants to the market provide a ready made product which can compete with commercial licensed products to further complicate the issue of choosing whether to buy off the peg or build in-house using an open source alternative as the starting point.

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