Keeping track of digital assets in the cloud

Graham Jarvis Advice
17 Jan, 2012

Managing digital assets is an important consideration for enterprises - does cloud help this process?

Intellectual property is the lifeblood of many organisations, and today it often comes in the form of digital assets.

They constitute, for example, images like logos and photos, an array of documents like PDFs, PowerPoint presentations and videos. Digital assets like these are often used to add value to an organisation’s brand, adding commercial value to their products and services. It’s therefore vital for medium-sized and enterprise organisations to protect them from theft, misuse and fraud by using either an open source or a proprietary cloud-based digital asset management (DAM) system.

Cloud DAM myths
The challenge for customers is that there are some cloud myths attached to them, which might wish to consider before buying into either a proprietary or open source cloud-based proposition. Firstly, most conversations about the cloud speak of closed source, proprietary software which negates the fact that open source software applications can be also be hosted in the cloud.

What could be missing from an open source cloud-based digital asset management system is a strict service level agreement (SLA), and so customers who choose to buy into an open source cloud offerings should ask their Virtual Cloudsviders about how the solution is going to be secured, how reliable it is, how easy to access the organisation’s digital assets from anywhere, how simple is it to export and import metadata, about their uptime and other related issues.

Speaking about the issue of cloud security Roland Benedetti, vice president of products at Nuxeo, reveals another associated cloud myth: “A negative one is that because a solution is cloud-based, it is less secure with a higher risk of losing your organisation’s data or of it being hacked, but that’s totally wrong.” This, however, doesn’t mean that a cloud-based DAM solution will ensure that everything will run more smoothly and be simpler. It won’t in his view. This is because he believes that any kind of cloud-based solution, and in most cases the cloud means that this will be a proprietary one, won’t solve everything – except for software and infrastructure issues.

There are some DAM solutions that can be hosted on-premise, and there is a customer perception this model equates to a higher level of reliability, data accessibility, security, protection over data loss, control over an organisation’s digital assets and perhaps even uptime. This viewpoint isn’t necessarily correct. “An installed solution needs to be managed by a company’s own IT team, and a DAM system is just one of the many applications that they need to keep up and running – so they may have other more pressing priorities”, explains Deanna Ballew – manager of research and development at Widen Enterprises.

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