Has your Digital Asset Management solution become part of the “core” business capabilities and functionality that serve other platforms within your organization? If so, is it a competitive or a collaborative infrastructure design?

The question for discussion is; do we still need DAM? With no uncertain hesitation, the answer is an obvious “yes.” There are many good reasons for its continued need and potential to solve problems within marketing and communications operations, production systems and other enterprise collaborative work systems.

What is DAM?

The professional practice of DAM consists of a set of practices to enhance the inventory, control and distribution of digital assets. The practice includes management tasks and decisions including the technical functionality surrounding the ingestion, annotation, cataloguing, storage, retrieval and distribution of digital assets. Enterprises produce assets like photographs, animations, videos and graphics to facilitate and maximize their use and reuse in daily operations.

DAM systems house different forms of digital information including audio, image and video files and aim to improve workflow efficiency through the automation of tasks such as ingest, metadata creation and authenticated access. DAM involves not only the stewardship of digital assets but also managing the people and activities that interact with those assets.

Managing your digital assets achieves operational control of your organization's information. Manage these assets well, discover their potential and measure their use for growth and a DAM may enhance other mission critical systems such as e-commerce and online shopping experiences.

DAM may also be valuable for product management and compliance where needed. Ultimately, it serves as the single source of truth for all assets within an organization and must be supported by effective metadata, taxonomy and robust search. With virtually all content “born digital,” digital media collections are increasing exponentially in size across industries -- both in terms of numbers and size when video assets and other large graphic files are considered.

More than ever, there is direct need for DAM to serve as a core application within the enterprise to manage these assets.

Business Case for DAM

The need for DAM remains strong and continues to support strategic organizational initiatives at all levels. DAM provides, more than ever, value in:

  • Reducing Costs
  • Generating new revenue opportunities
  • Improving market or brand perception and competitiveness
  • Reducing the cost of initiatives that consume DAM services

The need for better brand management is always a good thing and certainly a key priority for many organizations as they face the challenges of a multi-channel distribution model including social media. As DAM matures within the organization new considerations must be addressed to help strengthen the DAM such as “Governance” and “Content Stewardship.”

Overseeing all aspects of DAM is crucial to success and an effective layer of governance will help create a framework for your company’s unique operations and processes in compliance with your risk management procedures. In addition, the role of “Content Stewards” who work with all forms of assets across the enterprise, keep the right version of assets discoverable and accessible to groups with different needs for content access and usage. Content Stewards are also the strategic partner for every department in looking ahead to next year’s business goals and how DAM can support them.

DAM in 2013

A look at DAM in 2013 is a prudent place to begin evaluating its presence on the technology and operations systems’ roadmap. A quick check-in on the DAM conferences shows that the attendance has grown over the last few years with new buyers looking for innovative DAM technology, and veterans looking to remediate their systems with the same or possibly a new DAM vendor.

New players have emerged along with the steadfast, large “enterprise” DAM solutions that have played an active role in helping shape the profession, there is an incredible assortment of mid-size to small DAM vendors. Lastly, reports from the Real Story Group, Gartner and other analysts continue to highlight the strong demand for DAM in business; the need for DAM remains.

DAM Needs - Forever and Ever?

The decision to implement a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system is a positive step in the right direction to gaining operational and intellectual control of your digital assets. DAM brings with it great responsibility to understand how the organization’s assets will be efficiently and effectively managed in its daily operations.