Why Enterprise Digital Asset Management Must Be Cloud-Native
A survey by Real Story Group found 60% of participants who reported their current digital asset management (DAM) system is on-premises said they plan to migrate their DAM to the cloud in the near future. Success depends on accurately evaluating cloud-related claims from DAM vendors.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Many DAM vendors often refer to their software as a “cloud-based platform,” when in reality it is neither “cloud-based,” nor a “platform.” Both terms are often used indiscriminately, which confuses and frustrates customers.
This article identifies the key characteristics of a truly cloud-native platform for enterprise digital asset management that provides a complete development environment to build, test, deploy and maintain content-critical business applications.
Cloud-Native Means Built for the Cloud
Some DAM vendors offer a cloud-hosted option, which is really just their legacy application that was originally engineered as on-premises software, now retrofitted to run on virtual machines (VMs). They don’t offer the infrastructure, integration, agility, high availability, scalability and built-in security essential for realizing the benefits of cloud computing.
Cloud-native solutions are designed from the ground up for the cloud. They are hosted in a cloud deployment infrastructure, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure.
Vendors such as Nuxeo support deep integrations with AWS and Azure that go well beyond simply functioning on VMs. The Nuxeo Platform:
- Natively stores files in AWS S3 or Azure Blobs
- Supports data persistence in AWS RDS and Azure SQL DB
- Supports dynamic auto-scaling of all subsystems independently: front-end, query engine, background processing
- Automates deployment with CloudFormation or Ansible
- Accelerates content download securely with AWS CloudFront or Azure CDN
Securely Integrate Content from Any Source
Whether cloud-hosted or still on-premises, legacy DAM tools are falling behind cloud-native platforms. They lack the collaborative tools essential for agile operations and projects spanning geographical boundaries. Many do not integrate with cloud file-sharing platforms such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, typically requiring content to be copied and converted to a compatible file type for storage in the legacy file system.
A true cloud-native DAM platform merges local and cloud-based content within a single addressable framework with ease. For example, Nuxeo integrates content from Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and Microsoft OneDrive/OneDrive for Business, managing those files in place as if they resided within the local repository. Developers can build application logic and workflows using these files, while users access and share these files alongside other related content.
Enabling a True Digital Workplace Experience
Leading organizations are rapidly transforming their enterprise application strategies and toolkits away from the “centralized command and control” approach in favor of the digital workplace concept, which encompasses the ways in which workers and teams access and share content and collaboratively enhance its value.
A true digital workplace will provide seamless access to enterprise content and digital assets without requiring increasingly obsolete web plugins or frameworks, or requiring tedious file downloads and toggling between a DAM session and a client application in order to work with files.
Instead, users can now open and update content in the native application such as Adobe Illustrator or Microsoft Word and work with the content without leaving their DAM application. For example, if a designer wants to work with an image file in the content repository, she clicks on the Nuxeo Drive icon to open the image file within the associated cloud-based or local application of choice (e.g., Pixlr, Adobe Photoshop), which launches automatically.
The file is automatically locked down in the repository during use; upon closing the client application, the file is saved back to the repository, respecting content versioning rules. The user is then returned to their Nuxeo Platform session. The result is a truly seamless, highly productive digital workplace experience.
Integrate DAM with Other Enterprise Applications
Only a true cloud-native platform can bring the power of DAM directly within other applications. If the vendor’s API does not expose all functionality for developer use, then the DAM system is not a platform. A true platform is “API first”—built from the start to provide a comprehensive API to maximize integration capabilities. Of course, this is not an option for legacy content management systems, originally developed to be on-premises content repositories and archiving applications. As a stopgap effort, some partial functionality might be exposed through an API, but it is recommended to fully investigate a DAM vendor’s integration capabilities during the evaluation process.
A true DAM platform should also be able to design, code, test, implement and maintain the entire lifecycle around the content-critical applications that businesses need. The Nuxeo Platform meets these criteria, serving as a true “building block” application development platform with a developer-friendly REST API that is completely dynamic, pluggable, composable and comprehensive, making it an ideal foundation on which to build your digital workplace.
Organizations must look closely at vendor claims around “cloud-based platforms.” Utilizing the above-described attributes of a truly cloud-native DAM platform is a great start. From there, seek out DAM vendors that offer a free trial/evaluation period to ensure their technology lives up to its promises and meets your needs.
Nuxeo provides an extensible and modular enterprise content management platform that enables software architects and developers to easily build and run business applications. 888-882-0969, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nuxeo.com
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