“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time” — Leonard Bernstein

The transition to fall brings with it a feeling of change: to shorter days, cooler temperatures and the realization that the end of the year looms. I regularly work with clients who are presented with the opportunity for change, but who become overwhelmed trying to figure out where to begin and by the amount of information they have to identify and evaluate. When data is disorganized and unmanaged, it can add to the anxiety. 

A well-run DAM can be transformational, essentially curing for data anxiety by providing structure to digital assets.

Steps Toward Change

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” —  Søren Kierkegaard

Change management is a structured approach to making progress toward specific outcomes and enduring benefits. DAM, as a process, presents the opportunity to change perspectives on the way we understand an asset — digital or physical — in our organization and how its value may be transcended throughout all layers of the organization. With such change, businesses are motivated by exterior factors, like competition and innovation, and internal pressures, like increasing efficiency. DAM can have a positive impact on these dynamics by creating a single source of truth for assets and a digital playground upon which to collaborate and create. DAM serves both as an impetus for process change, and a technology supporting evolving priorities.

In order to effectively manage organizational change, an essential first step is to diagnose the problem and the capability to change within your organization. The following best practices are good steps to follow: 

  1. Recognize the change at a macro level. It’s not just a silo or a “one department” problem, it is an opportunity to grow organically at every level.
  2. Develop the change with to align with business goals and objectives. 
  3. Educate, communicate and govern your organization with the change. 

Organizational Change Management aligns expectations, communication, team organization and training. It makes use of performance metrics, such as financial results, operational efficiency, leadership commitment and communication effectiveness to design appropriate strategies and roadmaps.

Information Seeking

“The punishment of every disordered mind is its own disorder”  — Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

Where do we go to seek information at work? We ask colleagues, we research in a library, we research on the Internet, we look at the internal information systems and/or databases. Information seeking is not an easy task for there are so many places to search and so much information to receive. Librarian Kelly Patricia Kingrey defines information seeking as that which involves the search, retrieval, recognition and application of meaningful content

It was once believed that information workers with access to multiple, diverse repositories would have greater access to unique information than those with dense networks. However, this concept is being challenged as the types of media and repositories grow exponentially. In fact, it had been found that the more options are offered, the more people rely on each other and institutional knowledge to find media assets. It is interesting to note that recent research suggests that when seeking information at work, people rely on both other people and information repositories (e.g., documents and databases), and spend similar amounts of time consulting each (7.8 percent and 6.4 percent of work time, respectively; 14.2 percent in total).  DAM is all that and more; a technology, people and process driven experience. DAM is well suited as “search central” for your critical marketing assets, to increase efficiency. 

Still Stuck in Silos

“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers” — Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

Media and data can reside in a broad range of repositories, shared drives and systems with no centralized or coordinated focus. Silos of information exist uncharted and unmapped, causing data anxiety throughout the enterprise, in workflows and in the processing of digital assets. Digital assets and data are isolated, siloed among creative workgroups and within marketing teams. 

Yet, the expectation is that information be shared through the workflow and process as part of the larger, enterprise technology ecosystem. DAM joins silos to provide a more meaningful sales, communications and marketing operation process and hence, a better customer experience. DAM functionality, from layouts to workflows to metadata, rights management, taxonomy and search, underpins the structure for integrated media management that speaks to success in 2015 and beyond. 

Content is King, Metadata the Kingdom

Metadata matters. 

Metadata creation is a strategic imperative for any organization looking to manage and exploit its knowledge more effectively. The effective implementation of any content-related strategy — inclusive of data, digital assets or text — should address overall management by implementing metadata with technology, people and processes in mind. Metadata matters because it is the tactical application of data to digital assets and a content management strategy, enabling creation and discovery for its distribution and consumption. Metadata demands attention for effective business solutions and creates the backbone and support of your content. Metadata makes your assets “smart assets.”

DAM is Transformative

DAM in itself needs to be transformative as both a technology and a process nurturing the business. Content must move through all key areas of the business as the single source of truth and DAM is the key content connector for marketing operations and customer. To minimize stress, stop working in silos and make best efforts to work across the organization making content connections. Data storage, discovery and access will always be a challenge, but with smart metadata optimized workflows and robust search, anxiety will propel business transformation.

Title image by Autumn Mott