Buyer’s Checklist for Choosing the Right DAM Solution

If you have the task of selecting the right Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution for your firm, it can be helpful to have a strategy in place for selecting, purchasing, and deploying the DAM. Businesses find themselves shopping for a new DAM solution for multiple reasons, but some of the most common include:

  • Acquiring a DAM for the first time for your business.
  • Replacing a DAM that is outdated and has outlived its usefulness.
  • Upgrading an up-to-date DAM to meet new enterprise requirements.

Whatever the reason for considering the purchase of a new DAM, it’s important to leave nothing to chance. So how do you wade through the options and evaluate available DAM solutions to find the one that fits your firm? The following checklist should help you select the right DAM for your organization.

Step 1: Initiate the DAM selection process

There are two types of DAM solutions to choose from: basic and enterprise. The two vary in their usability, capabilities, scalability, extent of customizability, and cost. Their deployment mechanisms are also different. For example, some are cloud-native offerings while others occur as a Software as a Service (SaaS)

If you want a more friendly and easy to use solution, you could go for a basic DAM. It uses a simple classification and categorization scheme to organize all digital assets. It is also generally more economical, and some even offer a free trial version. Keep in mind, however, that free trials have limited ability to handle an organization’s diverse needs.

You may consider purchasing an enterprise DAM if you wish to solve most of the complex issues that a large global organization needs to address. It can engage with emerging technologies, optimize processes, and even apply Artificial Intelligence. You can host it on-site but can also move it to the cloud.

Step 2: Ensure the DAM aligns with your people and organization

Whether you go for a basic or enterprise DAM solution, ensure it aligns with your people and organization. The technology you employ is only part of the picture; your end users are the other. Before buying your preferred DAM, consider:

  • The cultural language used for communication in the company.
  • How employees and teams interact to execute deliverables.
  • The agencies and vendors you work with.
  • The marketing of your deliverables.

This step requires you to build the team that will be managing the DAM initiative. You can start by identifying the members who will be working with the DAM. The team will operate via a shared language to fulfill common goals, so understanding how users will be working with DAM is critical.

Step 3: Ensure alignment with your technology

The DAM you choose should also align with the technology employed in your business. This step will send you on a discovery mission to find out if the selected DAM can attend to your organization’s needs from a technological perspective. Consider bringing consultants, internal SMEs, and professional support services onboard to help you stay firmly on the path to purchasing a functional DAM solution.

Start by assessing the state of your current technology and operations and how they relate to DAM. As you do so, take into account the DAM capabilities to ensure they are future-proof. In this stage you’ll identify the features and capabilities that are deal-breakers and must-haves in the chosen DAM, like ensuring that the DAM is a cloud-native solution.

Step 4: Create a shortlist and pick out the front runners

Now it’s time to narrow your list of potential candidate vendors to just three to five, assess their solution fit, and further trim the list to only one vendor and a backup. It is also essential to verify that your selected vendor has the necessary functional and technical resource expertise needed for your success. The vendor should then conduct a demo and provide the technical assistance for launching and running the DAM successfully.

Step 5: Get buy-in for your vendor of choice

Having identified your vendor of choice, it is time to prepare your final recommendation for executive review, buy-in, and a possible sign-off. You will also need to convince the organization to go for an enterprise DAM solution to obtain budget approvals. This requires you to provide evidence that the DAM can deliver value. Showcase the immediate benefits of the DAM and provide the DAM ROI estimates.

Step 6: Initiate the purchase

Once your organization buys into your idea and approves the budget for a new enterprise DAM, you can initiate the purchase. Consider the following cost factors when negotiating the purchase:

  • Software licensing, number of users, and other details.
  • Cost of environments such as quality assurance, development and production, and support for disaster recovery.
  • Whether you will need professional services or internal SME resources.

Step 7: Deploy the DAM solution

After purchasing the DAM solution, you need to prepare to launch it. This step requires a DAM strategy, an implementation plan, and a process for onboarding users and training them to use new features. The DAM should be relevant from the first day, complete with the right metadata options and assets. You should also consider how the DAM will evolve to meet future requirements.

It is not enough to have the resources to purchase DAM solutions for your organization—a carefully thought-out and implemented strategy is key. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll increase your organization’s likelihood of finding and purchasing a DAM solution that will provide immediate and long-term benefits.


Digital asset management (DAM) systems are an essential piece of your business strategy for protecting and maximizing the ROI on your valuable digital assets. When it’s time to select a new Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution for your firm, it can be helpful to have a strategy in place for identifying, purchasing, and deploying the right DAM solution for your business needs. In this article, we outline the steps to finding and implementing the best DAM solution for your company.