Digital Asset Management Software – To Build or To Buy

Although Digital asset management (DAM) software isn’t a new thing, the increase in demand is skyrocketing for the simple fact that marketing media files, such as high-resolution images, PDF brochures, and HD video, are significantly on the rise. As a result, more and more companies look to DAM software to create, manage, find, and distribute marketing media. Some companies also wonder if they should build a solution themselves. Here we tackle the ever-present dilemma of whether to build or to buy.

Time to deployment

Oftentimes, when considering DAM software, the need is usually immediate. So, should you build or should you buy? When building your own solution, you can expect delays. You need to decide which features to include, and more important which features to not include. Then you need to design the user interface. After that your developers can begin writing the application code.

Our experience tell us the coding always takes much more time than even your most pessimistic forecasts. Then comes the testing, corrections, and testing again. In addition, meetings are necessary for planning, design, proof-of-concept and more. In addition, there is the trial and error stage, bug fixing and the list doesn’t end there. If your company does not have time for all of the above, and experience in building complex software solutions, purchasing DAM software would probably be a better option. With an off-the-shelf solution, you can deploy right away.


If you were to build a DAM solution from scratch, it may cost you five figures or more. In addition, you’ll have to invest in the right personnel to create your software product. You’ll need engineers, UI/UX designers, testers and project managers. Estimating the overall cost can be quite difficult. Not to mention, there is cost of your time. In this case, purchasing an online DAM solution means you have all of the costs available upfront. Furthermore, the only other investment you’ll need is the time for training.


Needs change, which means software will need updates. This is both to improve functionality, as well as keep features contemporary. If a software solution becomes outdated, it would be up to the developer to fix it. The solution needs to evolve with changing systems and browser versions. If you buy a cloud-based DAM solution, the DAM vendor takes usually sole responsibility for all updates and maintenance.

Upcoming challenges

All companies face employee turnover and/or budget cuts. This can be an issue when it comes to maintaining and updating your own software product. If you lose your software’s project manager, how will you quickly find someone else who can get the job done appropriately? In addition, you can never tell when employees may decide to leave. If you lose your head engineer, will you have all the information need to maintain your DAM solution? On the other hand, when you buy DAM software from a solid and well established DAM vendor, you won’t have to worry about any of the above obstacles.

For most companies purchasing DAM software, instead of building it your self is the most cost-effective option. Furthermore, you can benefit from features like easy file sharing, media library functionality, online proofing/commenting and more, features you might not have thought of yourself. Not to mention, you can manage all of your files from any location with a cloud-based provider. A built solution can be 100 percent customizable, but will it last? Can it be maintained? Is there enough money available to build the solution of your dreams? By signing up on a established online DAM system, you will save both time and resources.

At least that is our take on this. And, you are very welcome to take Filecamp for a free 30-day test drive.

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