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A Look Back: DAM Trends from 2013

Many questions

DAM, it’s that time of year again – to look backward at the soon-to-be-ancient-history of the past year in digital asset management (DAM).

It's a broad topic. DAM refers to the rules and processes an organization puts in place to manage, retrieve and distribute their digital media, such as photos, videos, PDFs, presentations and documents. It's more than an asset repository, though. DAM provides support for key workflows such as approval loops and virtual collaboration that add value to their media assets.

So let's take a look at some key trends.

Identity Crisis?

Is digital asset management having something of an identity crisis? One could be forgiven for such a thought after looking at the many articles in asking some variation of that question, including:

… my car was recently rear-ended and an insurance adjuster came to evaluate the damage. She took pictures and filled out an evaluation form on her tablet. Insurance claims in the past were managed on paper and stored in physical file folders, along with photos of the damage. Now, the paperwork, photos and videos are all digital content to be cataloged and stored for processing. In this context, it wouldn't make sense to store the photos in a DAM application and manage the case in a separate application.”

While the need for DAM is stronger than ever, I do not think the DAM platforms as currently offered have long-term futures. The DAM Platform as an independent entity is unlikely to be able to compete over the longer term and is already running out of the steam necessary to sustain momentum.”

In fact, one DAM Vendor, NetXposure, says explicitly that its job is to make DAM disappear. But at least one DAM defender claims  “the argument that companies don’t need DAM any more is like arguing that the employees at your company don’t need kitchens at home anymore because you have a kitchen at the office.”

You get the idea. Please add your two cents in the comments below about whether the merging, death, renaming or final dissolving integration of DAM systems are imminent or, as Mark Twain noted in other contexts, are being greatly exaggerated.

Zillions of Channels

The past year has seen DAM capabilities added to existing systems, such as CMS, as well as a constant stream of integrations with the many internal or external systems that are needed for publishing, marketing or other purposes involving assets. A key driver: the pressing need to produce and distribute for what are already zillions of channels and rising.

Notable examples have included Telerik’s addition of DAM to its web content management platform Sitefinity, or, going the other way, WebDAM’s updating of its platform with an embedded Web CMS.


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