Cloud-based applications proliferate today’s enterprise. From Google Drive, Box and Dropbox, to Salesforce and Adobe Creative Cloud, on-the-go workforces rely on the cloud every step of their day. The problem? The traditional digital asset management (DAM) platforms they use to drive business workflows and manage business content lack the cloud integration, scalability, and availability necessary to truly realize the benefits and efficiencies of cloud computing.


The Value of Digital Asset Management

Why is DAM so important? Comprised of the management tasks, policies, and controls for intelligent decision making, advanced DAM enable comprehensive business workflows that can transform business processes. Through the ingestion, annotation, cataloguing, storage, search, retrieval, and distribution of digital assets, DAM powers the processes that run business.

Yet, without a cloud-native approach, the benefits of DAM may be limited. A true digital workplace needs to enable its workforce to use content efficiently and collaboratively, wherever it resides. That means powerfully connecting local systems with cloud-based storage, content delivery networks (CDNs), cloud-file services like Google Drive, and more. The success of a DAM solution is directly related to its integration capabilities and reach it has throughout all content repositories, cloud and on premises.

While most DAM vendors refer to their software as cloud-based, they’re really products that are cloud-hosted; a version of their legacy on-premises application, retrofitted to run on virtual machines. What cloud-hosted solutions can’t support is the integration, infrastructure, agility, availability, and security essential to truly benefit from the cloud.


The Advantage of a Cloud-Native Approach

In contrast, cloud-native platforms have been built for the cloud. They’re rapidly deployable to cloud infrastructures such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure and they more intuitively integrate with the cloud-based applications users want to use, like Google Drive or Dropbox.

For example, a true cloud-native DAM platform merges local and cloud-based content within a single addressable framework with ease. It can use content residing in enterprise file sharing services (EFSS), as if they were local files, making them a seamless part of the content workflow. The most advanced DAM platforms will actually manage these files in place while adding full text search, versioning, security, and integration into enterprise workflows as if they were stored in the native repository. Developers can thus build specific application logic and business workflows using files retained in the cloud, while users can access, share, and collaborate on them right alongside other related content.

Taking the cloud-native DAM approach a step further is sophisticated search functionality. Advanced DAM platforms that use a cloud-native approach feature powerful embedded search functionality that will search across content repositories, including those residing in the cloud. As a result, sophisticated workflows can be built using faceted search, fuzzy search, synonyms search, geo distance, and more for truly transformative business operations.

Finally, a cloud-native approach to DAM empowers the user through comprehensive desktop sync. Potential version conflicts between local desktop files and the content repository — including content residing in the cloud — are automatically avoided. This improves workforce productivity, avoiding user frustration and saving countless hours of file conflict resolution. Collaborative projects instead stay up-to-date and efficient to ensure business workflows run seamlessly.

The cloud is powering digital transformation everywhere. But only if and when DAM technology is used to its fullest — truly using the cloud to its advantage — will transformation become embedded throughout the enterprise workflows of tomorrow.