Enthusiasm for architecture?
Is it a question of living out the boundless creativity that many an architect has for himself when it comes to designing new buildings, or what is the point of all this on a DAM blog?
The explanation is quite simple:
Architecture is important in many areas of life. Good architecture is needed to make us feel comfortable in our home and architecture is at least as essential for the functioning of our DAM or PIM system.
But why do people still pay so little attention to architecture when choosing a system?
Well, the answer to that is also quite simple and I’ll let Bill Gates give it:
“If you can’t do it well, at least make it look good”.
There are certainly manufacturers who have made this quote their own.
A DAM system can make the very best impression in a demo.
The user interface appears clean and modern, the actions are intuitive, everything works right away and functions as if from a single source, but what about behind the scenes?
Behind the scenes there is a software architecture. This architecture is the heart of EVERY (!) software solution!
The architecture is in most cases not changeable, it is the open horizon, or the limiting abyss for any software.
This is exactly the case with the architecture of a DAM system. Many software solutions, including DAM systems, are systems that have grown over time.
Over a long period of time, a whole lot of so-called “legacy code” has accumulated within the systems. Ballast that you drag along, that you would like to get rid of, but that you somehow need, so that the whole system is still functional.
Why do many manufacturers find it so difficult to part with legacy code and completely rebuild the system?
The reason is almost always business-driven.
There is a solid base of existing customers. These customers have invested massive amounts of time in customisations based on the “legacy” system.
If a manufacturer were to decide to take an old product off the market and replace it with a completely redesigned solution, they would run the risk of losing their installed base of existing customers, who in turn would have to make a large investment to upgrade their customisations to a new system.
Nobody wants to lose their customers, so they try to compensate for deficits in the architecture with quick wins. Quick wins are usually limited to the user interface and to adding new features, but they never affect the essential design of the entire application.
As a potential customer, how do I know if the architecture of a system is future-proof? – By getting help!
As a rule, it is very difficult for an end customer to really assess the architecture of a DAM system.
Even experienced IT architects find it difficult to assess this, because there are too many specific criteria in DAM systems that need to be known in order to be able to really evaluate them.
In this context it makes sense to get support from an experienced DAM consultant who is also familiar with IT architectures (!).
What can I do myself as an end customer? – Ultimately, it is important to ask and ask and ask!
Ask the manufacturer a few questions!
Ask for an architectural diagram of the DAM system!
Ask them about the scalability of the system!
Ask them what will happen if in 3 years:
– Have 20 million assets in the system
– The number of videos has tripled
– Several thousand assets will go in and out every day
– Several hundred users will be working in the system at the same time
If the vendor says this is not a problem, challenge them by asking how such growth can be achieved with the DAM system.
At best, ask for a written commitment to make sure that the answers to your questions are not just sales phrases!
Nevertheless, you will have to rely on the honesty of your counterpart if you do not have the necessary know-how yourself.
In the case of architecture, seek independent advice. The investment in this consulting service will pay off, because an outdated or non-scalable architecture will lead to an insurmountable impasse faster than you would like.
And this is exactly why Enthusiasm for architecture ALWAYS pays off!
I will be happy to support you with questions on this delicate and difficult subject!
By the way: I will continue with the topic “architecture” pretty soon:
In my next article, I will deal with DAM systems in the cloud and their architecture. Because not all cloud systems are the same!
You have questions/ comments on this topic, or would like to arrange a free consultation: