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Shopping For a DAM

DAM Considerations: Scalability

Carlie Hill avatar

Carlie Hill

Director of Growth Marketing

3 min read

DAM Considerations: Scalability

This is part 2 in a 2-part series on DAM considerations. Be sure to also read DAM Considerations: On-Premise vs. Software-as-a-Service.

In addition to ensuring a DAM solution will meet your organization’s immediate use case, it’s important to understand two major technology considerations that will influence how future-proof your DAM project will be:

  • suitability of an on-premises platform vs. a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform
  • potential for scalability

In our previous blog post, we focused on the suitability of an on-premise or SaaS solution. For Part 2, we will dive into the potential for scalability and its importance.


DAM scalability is important for organizations facing three scenarios:

  • There’s a need to create large volumes of new content, potentially at an accelerating rate.
  • New users will increase as the organization grows or as external partners, including clients, resellers, and agencies, are brought on board.
  • New contracts may bring on temporary peaks and troughs of work, users, and stored assets.

For organizations where any of these scenarios apply, there are two factors relating to scalability in which they should inquire when looking to purchase a digital asset management system:

  • The impact of scaling on speed.
  • The suitability of the subscription model.

Scale and Speed

Every organization is faced with a trade-off between their software’s security and performance. This is as true for SaaS DAMs as it is for on-premise.

Here’s why: as the number of assets and users increase, so does the number of permissions that need to be accounted for before any request for asset access can be granted. When a sizeable company uses a DAM that houses hundreds of thousands or millions of assets, this creates latency.

In the world of DAM systems, delay is a deal-breaker. DAM buyers should put a heavy weight on a solution that enables assets and speed to scale in tandem. Whether the DAM stores a hundred or a million assets, a user needs to have the confidence that an asset is going to load, render and download just as quickly every time.

Solutions to this security-performance trade-off exist. One example is role-based asset control. In this solution, users are batched in one or more ‘roles’, with each role linked to hundreds or thousands of users. When an action is taken, the system confirms each role’s permission instead of confirming each permission that exists for each individual user. This reduces the number of confirmations involved in granting permission, curtailing the impact that scale has on speed.

As there are many solutions like this that exist, it’s important that buyers inquire with vendors as to how they approach and resolve these dilemmas.

Subscription Model

The second inquiry DAM evaluators should make relates to SaaS DAM subscription models and the potential fees related to scaling.

Digital asset management subscription models are typically based on storage or number of users and each has implications if you expect to scale in any fashion.

Storage-based subscription models mean that a company only pays for the space its assets require, regardless of the number of users accessing them. To the degree that an organization has defined its content production requirements, this model provides predictability. It also allows organizations to increase the number of users and scale the DAM’s reach internally and externally without any additional cost.

Naturally, user-based pricing models are based on the number of users who have access to assets in the DAM. While you may have only a few users during the initial setup, it’s important to consider which other departments would benefit from using the system. If the DAM is rolled out to the rest of the organization, or any external parties, there will be an associated cost. It’s recommended that organizations look beyond the initial setup and consider the likelihood of expanding the system to include other departments and stakeholders.

Putting the Two Together

By reviewing these two factors of scalability, organizations will have a better understanding of their needs for digital asset management and can make the right decision to invest in a system that supports their needs and allows them to reach their business goals.

To learn more about DAM implementation for enterprise companies, download our latest eBook “Choosing the Right DAM”.

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