By: Martyn Cook on April 2nd, 2019
Benefits of an On Premise DAM Solution
“On-premises” technology is software and hardware that is located on the physical premises of the organization that uses it.
Traditionally the favored model for digital asset management (DAM) systems and other software, on-premises tech has lost ground in recent years as cloud-based DAM solutions soar in popularity. In cloud computing, data, applications, and hardware are located remotely and provisioned to clients over the Internet.
Cloud-based DAMs have advantages over on-premise DAMs—but the reverse is also true. In particular, larger organizations with skilled IT teams may find that on-premise DAMs give them more control and flexibility over their assets. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of using an on-premise DAM solution.
5 Benefits of On-Premise DAM Solutions
With a cloud-based DAM solution, the provider is totally responsible for security—which may be a pro or a con, depending on your needs. With an on-premise DAM, however, you’re in control and can take security into your own hands.
Note that if you go for an on-premise DAM system, you’re responsible for concerns such as testing, physical security, and backups. In addition, your infrastructure won’t be able to support the same redundancy as public cloud offerings like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
2. Ability to customize
Some larger organizations may need a degree of DAM customization that the cloud doesn’t allow for. Keeping your DAM on-premises gives your IT team complete control over the software’s settings, user interface, and design. Of course, this requires a knowledgeable, experienced IT team that can make these modifications and promptly deal with any issues.
3. Increased reliability
If you work with large multimedia files, such as high-definition videos or Photoshop layered images, you’ll likely want to maintain at least some data on-premises.
Using these large files with a cloud-based DAM can be painstakingly slow over a Wi-Fi connection. You’ll have to log into the system, check out an asset, and then check it back in again once you’re done.
With an on-premise DAM, you can connect via Ethernet or fiber, which will be noticeably faster than Wi-Fi. You won’t have to worry about unscheduled downtime in the event that your Internet goes out.
A growing number of organizations are using a hybrid DAM model, with both on-premises and cloud-based elements. These hybrid DAMs attempt to provide the best of both worlds: the control and performance of on-premises, married with the freedom and availability of the cloud.
4. No unnecessary updates
Cloud-based DAMs give you little or no control over when the software is updated. Instead, the provider informs you that bug fixes and new features will be installed within a given maintenance window.
An on-premises DAM solution lets you determine when (or if) you make system updates. You purchase a license to use the software in its current state, and it’s up to you to decide which upgrades to install and when to do it. On-premises DAMs also let you do more testing by setting up a development or staging server before committing changes in production.
5. Data storage regulations
In some cases, corporations or governments will have certain laws and regulations about where sensitive data can be stored and how it can be treated. This causes problems when contracts require you to keep data within a given region, country, or continent.
A few SaaS vendors will let you choose which data center your information is stored in, but the area is usually predefined. On-premises DAM solutions, on the other hand, guarantee that your data is always stored in a nearby location.
4 Problems with On-Premise DAM Solutions
1. Less availability
Your employees’ ability to connect to your on-premises DAM greatly depends on the stability of your IT environment. Even still, you won’t have the same level of redundancy and availability as a public cloud provider. In addition, if the host has a slow Internet connection, this will throttle the upload and download speeds of all users.
2. Higher licensing costs
The costs of an on-premise software license can be high, often prohibitively so for smaller businesses. What’s more, you may have to purchase more licenses than you need depending on the plans available.
Cloud-based solutions with a subscription-based pricing model are typically more budget-friendly. Rather than a flat fee, you’re charged based on your usage of storage and computing power.
3. Higher hardware costs
On-premises solutions—DAM or otherwise—typically incur higher upfront costs, due to the initial hardware and setup expenses. In addition, the equipment typically has to be replaced every 3 to 5 years. With a cloud-based solution, the provider is totally responsible for purchasing and maintaining hardware.
As a corollary to the previous point, on-premises hardware is difficult to scale. You’ll have to predict your storage and computing needs for the next few years, and then purchase the right equipment all in one go. With the cloud, scaling your workloads is much easier, and can even be automatic depending on your provider and plan.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to on-premise vs. cloud-based DAMs—there’s only the question of which DAM solution fits your business needs and objectives.
In many cases, companies opt for a hybrid solution that gives you the best of both worlds. You can store work in progress and sensitive data on-premises, while using the cloud for easier sharing and distribution.
Want to learn more about picking the right DAM system for your business? Check out our essential guide “Future-Proofing Your Digital Asset Management & Creative Production.”
About Martyn Cook
Martyn Cook, Client Solutions Director, IO Integration is an influential strategist with the demonstrated ability to communicate, present, and influence credibly and effectively at all levels of a customer’s organization from C-Level to end user. Providing a consultative and analytical sales approach I am able to advise on industry trends, opportunities and challenges impacting customers whilst offering a solution.