What's the most efficient way to manage our digital assets?
Every marketer ever

If you are a living and breathing person who works in a marketing / creative / sales team for pretty much any company operating on the planet today, you are familiar with this dilemma. Though context-specific, the struggle is real and almost universal—we won't go as far as to say that it compares to the daily drama of misplacing your AirPods or the debilitating anxiety triggered by a low-battery warning—but for every problem there is a solution, or in this case at least two.

In fact, digital asset management (DAM) comes in two versions—and they both have very unappealing names. To help you understand which one is right for you, let's start with an overview and description of each:

On-prem DAM: Think of this as an in-house DAM system. Your organization will buy it from a third-party for a flat fee. Beyond that, your employees will have to take care of just about everything—from implementation to troubleshooting.

SaaS DAM: We like to call it Cloud DAM or simply the future. SaaS DAM is managed by a third party that charges a monthly subscription fee. It also provides essentials like onboarding, training, managing, updating, providing support, and scaling up or down.

So far, it seems pretty straightforward. You might think that on-prem DAM is the cheaper solution: you only pay once, cross your fingers, and trust in your ability to make it work for you. But this assumption is easily challenged, and in fact, most organizations actually opt for its younger and hipper sister: SaaS DAM.

Credit where credit is due: on-prem DAM benefits

On-prem DAM works a treat for those organizations that fall into all of the following categories:

  • Companies requiring non-standard customizations related to product integrations
  • Companies bound to strict legal compliance standards related to digital assets
  • Companies with a robust IT department (with vigorous staff and plenty of time to manage a DAM system)
  • Companies equipped with enough internal resources to handle such a resource-intensive system

If your company meets each of these criteria, by all means, on-prem DAM is what you want and need to manage your digital assets. But if reading the list above doesn't quite feel like looking at yourself in the mirror, then SaaS DAM is your match instead and you shouldn't be afraid to swipe right.

Main differences Main differences Main differences Main differences On-prem DAM vs. SaaS DAM: which is right for your organization?

The benefits of SaaS DAM

First of all, it's easy. Think of it as plug-and-play. You get the software infrastructure—and support—from your provider and you're ready to hit the ground running.

Secondly, it's scalable. With SaaS DAM you pay monthly, but you only pay for what you use. And as your organization grows, you are seamlessly allocated (potentially unlimited) new resources.

Good SaaS DAMs are managed for you. You don't need an in-house IT team to manage the system because your provider offers constant, on-going—but mostly, dedicated—support. So you can let someone else deal with the headache of solving your problems for you.

Finally, let’s not forget that the world has changed. We have entered the remote era of civilization and, by being always accessible, SaaS DAM is conveniently fit for modern life. As a cloud-based solution, it can be securely accessed anywhere, by anyone within or outside your organization you grant permission to—yes, including all those external stakeholders.

You've heard the perks of both systems. Now let's debunk a myth: on-prem DAM is cheaper long-term

We're marketers. We know it makes sense to reduce monthly costs wherever possible. And at first glance, that's what an on-prem DAM does. But is that really the case?

The short answer is no. Simply because most costs associated with this system are hidden. So let's have a look at what these are.

Although you probably have an in-house IT team—the brainy workforce dedicated to solving your in-house tech problems—you might discover that managing your DAM in-house requires a level of commitment that might soon prove overpowering. What will it mean for you? Well, hiring additional IT staff just to ensure the team can stay on top of everything is the most likely scenario.

Now, what happens if your on-prem DAM experiences a glitch? Easy, your entire organization grinds to a halt until your IT team fixes it. The costs associated with an event like this?—Huge. On the other hand, your SaaS DAM provider would roll out a contingency plan developed specifically for your company while they solve the issue within a guaranteed timeframe.

Last but not least, on-prem DAM systems are physical systems within your organization. They are new and competitive the moment you buy them, but—just like most humans—they don't age gracefully. You will eventually have to deal with the costs of replacing them—and the turmoil this transition period will create within your organization.

Why do we call SaaS DAM the future?

Because we've seen it all before. Do you remember back when the internet was new? Most companies hosted their websites on their own servers—much like you would with your digital assets through an on-prem DAM.

As web hosting technology became increasingly complicated, these companies started hiring squads of IT professionals to make sure the system was operational, secure, and updated.

Soon enough, companies realized the inconvenience of possessing their own servers and made the switch to managed web hosting—today we know this as cloud hosting. Charged only for what they use, these companies stored their files onto the server of a third party which takes ongoing care of their ever-evolving needs—much like you would with SaaS DAM.

See the analogy? Let’s face it, if history can teach us anything…

On prem vs Saa S

Brands who chose SaaS over on-prem DAM

With so many different companies benefitting from SaaS DAM systems, you don’t have to look far to see success stories. Here are two interesting case studies from two of our customers:

Moda Operandi: SaaS DAM for reliable access to digital assets

Moda Operandi is one of the many companies that conveniently shifted from on-prem DAM to Bynder’s (SaaS) DAM. Here’s what they achieved by making the switch:

  • The ability to scale the system seamlessly as the brand grew
  • Global access among all employees, no matter where they happen to be in the world
  • No more random server crashes, especially during summertime when temperatures were higher
We have people working for us all over the world and it seemed crazy that, before Bynder, you could only access our servers if you were in our NYC office.
Kimberly Jauss
Moda Operandi

RAI Amsterdam: SaaS DAM for cutting down on digital asset costs

After switching from on-prem DAM to Bynder’s SaaS DAM system, RAI Amsterdam was able to:

  • Dramatically improve collaboration and visibility
  • Reduce time spent searching for assets
  • Eliminate unnecessary duplicate files
  • Cut photography costs by an amazing 20% - 30%
Before Bynder, our images and visual content–60,000 assets–were stored on one server, and many were duplicates. It was impossible to upload, access, or share the right content in a timely manner.
Astrid Nap
RAI Amsterdam

Don’t Dig Your Heels In - Unless It Makes Sense

Now, for a final recap. On-prem DAM is a solution that surely works well for some organizations. In some cases, it is actually the preferable choice. But these types of organizations are few and far between.

The simplicity, ease of implementation, ability to scale, and professional support offered instead by SaaS DAM systems are the path forward for those businesses who wish to be on the cutting edge of technology and enjoy the benefits that come with it—from secure remote access to permission setting and competitive UI. 

Want to learn even more about on-prem vs SaaS DAM? Watch our free webinar: DAM Solutions: Cloud vs. On-premise

Join the 4000+ organizations that have found in Bynder their ideal SaaS DAM provider. Click below to request a free demo with one of our experts and learn more about how Bynder can take your business to the next level.

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