What is Digital Asset Management?

DAM stands for Digital Asset Management: a type of software designed to store, edit, manage and share your digital assets efficiently. Whether installed on your computer, laptop or a dedicated server (so-called on-premise DAM) or based in the private or shared cloud and accessible via a browser, the goal of any Digital Asset Management solution is to simplify the way you and your business organize your files or digital assets.

What is a Digital Asset?

Basically, digital assets can be any digital file that you create on your computer — whether it is a text file (in the file formats like .doc, .docx, .txt, .pdf), an image (.png, jpg, .jpeg, .tiff), a video (.mp4, .avi, .mov), or an audio file (.mp3, .wav) — you name it. So if you need to organize your digital assets, tag them with metadata, filter and store files in one single place — that’s what a DAM system usually does (and much more).

What are the benefits of Digital Asset Management software?

Benefits of Digital Asset Management may seem not so obvious to an inexperienced content manager. “Why would I need a Digital Asset Management in place, if I have Dropbox or Google Drive?” you may ask. The trick is — a Digital Asset Management system is a tool with smart features and functions that go far beyond storing your files.

Visual overview

Get an instant visual overview of all your content. A good Digital Asset Management system creates thumbnails and previews of your files.

One central place for all your files

Create a 'single source of truth' for your content. Eliminate the need to search in servers, desktops, mailboxes from you and your colleagues.

Fast and easy search

If you ask yourselves questions like "where did I save that file" or "which name did I gave that image" you need to think about getting a DAM.  By adding tags and other metadata a good DAM will allow you to find the right files in seconds, even if you don't know the file name or folder.

Never lose a file version again

With automatic versioning a DAM keeps track of all the different versions of your file, so you can easily track back to the version you loved the most.

Share with ease

Either share your files with direct share links, or give access to parts of your content in a branded and protected portal

Store files safely

Even if we speak about millions of assets, they should be stored securely and confidentially.

Control permissions

Sharing is great, but not all of content should be accessible by everyone. A Digital Asset Management should have granular permission management, to control who can see, download or edit your files.

Lifecycle and rights management

Want to know if you still have the rights to use those stock photos you have in your archive? A DAM will help you out by saving this valuable information in the right metadata fields.

On-premise vs cloud / SaaS

When you decide to start with Digital Asset Management software, there are many flavors you can choose from. One of the key decisions you have to make early on is if you go for an on-premise solution or a cloud solution. Both options have its upsides and its downsides. What is the best choice for you? It depends on your specific situation and requirements.


On-premise software is software that you install and run yourselves, on your own servers. This means that you are responsible that the DAM is maintained and running properly.

  • Speed: local network speed is hard to beat
  • Customizability: because you own the whole installation you can tweak almost anything
  • Security (see also disadvantages): you could keep your files locally without access to the web, a very secure solution but also not so practical
  • Control: you are the only one who updates, maintains and controls your DAM
  • Costs: depending on your choice the software licenses can be pretty steep, and hosting your own hardware is usually not cost efficient
  • Maintenance: your organization is responsible for the maintenance of the software, which can be quite a burden for your IT department
  • Security (see also advantages): contradictory to common belief, on-premise is not always more secure. It would take an enormous effort to get the security up to the standards of most cloud providers
Ideal for
  • Large enterprises with professional IT departments
  • Production-heavy workflows where local network speed is key

Cloud or SaaS

Hosted DAM in the cloud, or more specifically 'Software as a Service' solutions have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

  • Costs: no separate hosting and maintenance costs and in general more affordable monthly or yearly subscriptions
  • Flexibility: if you choose a SaaS provider you can cancel every month
  • Accessibility: easy access for everyone out of the box without any firewall configuration
  • Efficient: get started within minutes and no time needed for installation, configuration and maintenance
  • Automatic updates and bug fixes: new features and updates are rolled out automatically
  • Scalability: your provider takes care of your growth
  • Customizability: less options to configure and manipulate the software
  • Speed: lower speed than compared with a local installed server
  • Control: you don't have control over the maintenance and update frequency
Ideal for
  • Small to medium businesses and enterprises

Why Swivle?

Swivle is the most intuitive Digital Asset Management solution in the cloud. The perfect place for creative teams to organize, share and distribute their content.

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"I have evaluated 4-5 different DAM solutions but Swivle is by far the most complete one. Low starting cost and easy to add on users and features as you go makes it perfect for an evolving business."

Fredrik Nelson, Chief Information Officer - Stenströms

"We've used lots of different options for our storage needs and they have all been too expensive, slow, inaccessible or lousy user experience. Before we switched to Swivle, the organization of our more than 150,000 files was nightmarish. Now, it's easy."

Andrew Jason, Editorial Director - Spotlight Media

"We compared many different Digital Asset Management systems and Swivle was the most flexible solution at a very reasonable cost and easy to set up. You can start using it within a day, not within weeks like with other DAMs."

Martin Dominik Zemp, Editorial Staff Member - Entlebucher Anzeiger

Swivle is all about beautiful and intuitive file management

Search made easy

Find the right files within seconds with Swivle’s powerful variety of sorting options and search filters.

Drag to upload

Simply drag and drop files and folders directly from your computer into Swivle.

You’re in full control

Control how your assets are being shared with permissions. From downloading, uploading, viewing to commenting, Swivle allows you to choose what your users can do with your files.

Share and build your brand

Easy file share

Share a link from Swivle and forget about other file sharing services or emailing big attachments.

Brand portal

Share your latest marketing content in a branded environment. The best way to share your brand with your partners, resellers, colleagues or customers.

Public or password-protected access

Make your portal publicly available to share your public brand material, or create a password-protected environment for your private assets.