Google Drive is a widely used tool for online file storage with over 1 billion users.
But is it the right fit for digital asset management?
Digital assets are created at scale, they have a wide variety, and most often, they are also created at a greater velocity if a global team is involved. Google Drive doesn’t stack up to meet digital asset requirements. It has inherent limitations.
What differences are there between Google Drive and a DAM system? What would be the ideal choice to suit your needs and goals?
Let’s find out.
In this blog post, we will determine where Google Drive falls short and where a dedicated DAM system makes a difference.
Google Drive: What is it, and how does it work?
Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage service from Google. It forms part of the bigger Google Workplace suite, allowing users to store files online, access them from any device, and share them.
The essential features of Google Drive are:
✅First of all, it is free. You get an impressive 15 GB of free cloud storage space with every Gmail account.
✅ Second, it requires no training or expert guidance to use. Also, it syncs seamlessly with Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Photos, etc., making collaboration more straightforward.
✅ Google Drive can store any files. From documents, images, videos, and audio files, almost anything can be stored on Google Drive. There are no format or file type restrictions.
✅ It offers offline access and backup options. Further, you can also access your files from your mobile, tablet, or laptop devices.
However, Google Drive also has some limitations and drawbacks that you should be aware of:
❌ It has limited storage space and functionality. Although 15 GB of free storage space may seem enough for some users, it can quickly run out if you have a lot of large files or media files.
For example, if your images are JPEG files with an average size of 2 MB, you can store about 7,500 images with 15 GB of storage space. If your videos are MP4 files with an average size of 50 MB, you can store about 300 videos with 15 GB of storage space.
❌ When you run out of space, you will be forced to pay for more space or delete some files, which often could disrupt your operations.
❌ Google Drive does not offer advanced features such as file distribution, optimization, branding, customization, etc.
❌ It has security and privacy concerns. Your files may be exposed to risks such as unauthorized access, data breaches, data loss, etc. Anyone who has the link to your shared file can access it. Also, Google may scan your files for advertising purposes or comply with government requests for data disclosure.
❌ It has difficulty finding and managing individual files when your content inventory is too extensive. This gets even harder when many files or similar files have different versions or formats.
What is DAM and how does it work?
DAM (Digital Asset Management) is a specialized software system that helps organizations store, organize, collaborate on, and distribute their digital assets in a centralized and secure way. Digital assets include images, videos, audio files, documents, etc.
Some of the main features and benefits of DAM are:
Sophisticated organization and search capabilities
DAM uses metadata, keywords, tags, categories, collections, etc., to organize files and make them easy to find and retrieve using advanced search filters and queries.
Advanced asset security and control
DAM provides secure file access features such as user permissions, roles, groups, workflows, digital rights management, watermarking, etc., allowing users to control who can access, view, edit, download, share, etc. their files and how they can use them.
Better media sharing and distribution options
DAM allows users to share files with others via media collections, URLs, etc., and also enables them to distribute files in the best possible quality, format, and size for any device or channel using features such as image transformation and optimization.
Enhanced branding and marketing opportunities
DAM allows users to customize their images and videos by tweaking the file URLs. You can add logos, watermarks, text overlays, and several other image transformations and video transformations to suit your needs.
How to choose between Google Drive and DAM?
|Deciding factor||DAM||Google Drive|
|Storage capacity and scalability||Free plans come with as much as 20 TB free space and are scalable from thereon. Allows you to scale your digital asset library without worrying about running out of space or slowing down your performance.||Limited storage space (15 GB for free users, up to 2 TB for paid users). Can affect your ability to store and manage large amounts of digital assets.|
|File organization and searchability||Uses metadata, keywords, tags, categories, collections, etc. to organize files. Allows you to find and retrieve files using advanced search filters and queries.||Relies on folders and file names to organize files. Can make it difficult to find and retrieve files quickly and accurately.|
|File security and access control||Provides advanced security features such as user permissions, roles, groups, workflows, watermarking, etc. You can control at a granular level who can access, view, edit, download, share, you files. .||Boasts of security features such as encryption, password protection, spam detection, etc. however, it does not guarantee complete security from potential risks such as unauthorized access, data breaches, data loss, etc.|
|File sharing and collaboration||Allows you to share files with others via web galleries,
Etc. Enables you to collaborate with others on files such as commenting,
Editing, reviewing, approving,
|Allows you to share files with others via links or email attachments. Limits your options for collaboration such as commenting, editing, reviewing, approving, etc.|
|File distribution and optimization||Offers features for file distribution or optimization such as image transformation API, video transcoding, CDN integration, automatic image optimization, responsive image delivery, etc. Allows you to deliver your files in the best possible quality, format, and size for any device or channel.||Does not offer any features for file distribution or optimization such as resizing,
etc. Can affect your content quality,
and user experience.
|Branding and marketing potential||Offers features for branding or marketing such as customizing your file URLs,
adding logos or watermarks,
creating branded landing pages or galleries,
etc. Allows you to enhance your brand identity,
|Does not offer any features for branding or marketing such as customizing your file URLs,
adding logos or watermarks,
creating branded landing pages or galleries,
etc. Can affect your brand identity,
Why is ImageKit the best DAM solution in place of Google Drive?
ImageKit is a powerful DAM system that offers all the benefits of a traditional DAM solution plus more features that make it ideal for content distribution. ImageKit allows you to upload, store, manage, transform, optimize, deliver, and monitor your images and videos online.
Some of the main features and benefits of ImageKit are:
Fast and easy setup
You can start with ImageKit in minutes without any coding or complex configuration. You can also instantly plug in your existing storage or cloud storage, CMS, PIM, anetc. to filly leverage ImageKit’s DAM capabilities.
Unlimited storage space and bandwidth
The forever-free plan of ImageKit comes with a free 20 GB storage space. You can always upgrade to a paid plan and enjoy unlimited scalability of storage space.
Automatic image optimization and compression
ImageKit automatically optimizes and compresses your images based on your end-users' device, browser, and network conditions. This helps you reduce the file size and improve the loading speed of your images without compromising on quality.
Responsive image delivery
ImageKit automatically delivers the best image size and resolution for every device and screen size. This helps you enhance the user experience and avoid unnecessary bandwidth consumption.
ImageKit integrates with leading CDN providers such as Amazon CloudFront, Google Cloud CDN, etc. to deliver your images and videos faster and more reliably to your end-users across the globe.
ImageKit offers 50+ image transformations that allow you to resize, crop, applaud text overlays, apply watermarks, etc. to your images by making simple tweaks to URL parameters.
ImageKit also supports video transcoding, which enables you to convert your videos into different formats and resolutions for optimal delivery and playback on different devices and platforms.
With these features and benefits, ImageKit can help you improve your content distribution performance in various ways, such as:
✅ Increase page speed and reduce bounce rate by delivering optimized and responsive images and videos.
✅ Reduce bandwidth costs and improve SEO rankings by delivering smaller file sizes and faster loading times.
✅ Enhance user experience and engagement by delivering high-quality and consistent visual content across different devices and channels.
✅ Boost conversions and revenue by delivering relevant and personalized visual content to your target audience.
Google Drive vs DAM: The Final Verdict
We know Google Drive, although a free and easy-to-use service that supports various file types and formats has some inherent limitations and drawbacks regarding storage space, functionality, security, privacy, and organization.
On the other hand, DAM can help you store, organize, collaborate on, and distribute digital assets in a centralized and secure way.
If replacing Google Drive for media storage is your priority, try ImageKit. ImageKit can help you upload, store, manage, transform, optimize, deliver, and monitor your images and videos across multiple channels and improve your content distribution performance.
If you want to try out ImageKit for yourself, you can sign up for a free account today.