DAM or Cloud Storage – Which One’s Right for YOU?

The use of both Digital Asset Management systems (DAMs) – and cloud storage & file sharing systems like Dropbox, Google Drive, SharePoint, and OneDrive – significantly increased during the pandemic. This was due in part to the large quantities of digital and creative content produced throughout this period, as well as the need for remote access to files by workers connecting to their jobs from home.

The Similarities

DAMs and Cloud Storage systems have a lot in common. They both provide storage space for all types of files. Both can be accessed remotely 24/7 from various devices, and both enable sharing and collaboration.

The Differences

But, that’s where the similarity ends. Cloud storage basically does just that, and pretty much only that. It stores your data in the cloud and enables limited shared editing capabilities regarding your stored files. DAMs, on the other hand, create a centralized location for all your data and enable the organizing, management, retrieval and distribution of millions of assets – photos, videos, presentations, animations, graphics, logos, marketing materials, and documents.


With cloud storage systems, assets are uploaded and stored using the file name selected by whoever uploaded the file, which often makes it quite challenging for others to locate the file. With DAMs, on the other hand, digital assets can be easily located and retrieved by anyone in just a few clicks, since each asset is uploaded with customized metadata using a variety of parameters including tags, keywords, descriptions, and categories that cover information such as the specific advertising campaign and relevant department. And, unlike cloud storage systems, DAMs enable you to view asset previews, thereby ensuring that you have selected the correct file, saving significant amounts of time.

Image Editing

DAMs enable a range of image editing options, including cropping, re-sizing, and re-touching capabilities via their built-in photo editing tools. Cloud storage systems, on the other hand, offer only a limited selection of editing tools, if they offer any at all.


Cloud storage systems allow everyone with access to a document to work on it simultaneously, edit it, add comments, and see the contributions of others working on the same file, using a limited set of tools. DAM functionalities go a bit further, enabling collaboration between departments, suppliers, agencies, partners, and customers – thus keeping everyone on the same page via seamless communication. DAMs can also control the level of access – which can include everything from downloading to preview-only.

Reporting and Analytics

DAMs gather and display information on asset usage such as the number of downloads or files shared, who downloaded them, and when. They provide statistics and generate reports regarding user engagement and preferences – all helpful in streamlining workflow, expanding collaboration, and making customer targeting more effective. Cloud storage, by contrast, does not provide this information.


DAMs can be integrated with many other systems, including instant messaging, picture editors, design, and project management software. Cloud services, on the other hand, offer very limited integration options, typically only with CRMs.

Which One is for You?

If you only need to store your content, then simple storage systems could be right for you. They are ideal for small businesses and allow you to store files that are frequently needed by collaborating teams.

On the other hand, if you require more than just web-based storage, you probably need a DAM. For example, if you share files with multiple users; if your assets are frequently edited by various teams; if you share your assets with clients and partners; if it’s important that only the latest approved versions of brand assets like logos, taglines, slogans, and product packaging are used; if your team is rapidly creating more assets than you can handle – a DAM is your answer.

However, you may not need to choose one over the other. The systems are complementary, and many companies use both. For example, the cloud storage option can be used for files that are currently being worked on, and when they are completed, they can become an asset in a DAM. Another option is for cloud storage tools to be integrated with your DAM system.

Results of a MasterDAM Usage Survey

MasterDAM recently conducted an online survey in Israel with the following question: Where do you store and manage your media files (photos, brochures, presentations, logos, videos, etc.)

These were the results:

Your company’s network drives – 13%

Dropbox, Google, OneDrive – 70%

SharePoint – 4%

A Digital Asset Management System (DAM) – 13%

One can see from the survey that many in Israel who could benefit from DAMs are unaware of their existence or the extensive range of DAM functionalities and the benefits for marketing and digital teams.

Decided to Go with a DAM?

If you’ve decided a DAM is what you need, MasterDAM could be the right choice for you. It offers a set of unique benefits beyond storing and managing an unlimited number of visual and audio files of every size and type. Quick and easy AI-based searches, an interface that’s clear at first glance, and painless integration will make your teams smile!

Contact Us Today to Discuss Your Needs

Request a Demo.

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