Digital Asset Management (DAM) has seen a surge of elevated attention in 2010. But this is not the only year-in-review highlight we point out as we close the DAM books this year.

2010 is the Year of DAM's Rising Popularity

As more and more organizations realize the need to effectively manage all content types, including multimedia and digital assets, they start looking at specialized solutions to accomplish that mission.

DAM in 2010 stepped out of the realm of being a useful tool for only large media houses and made its way to organizations outside of the M&E vertical. There are many challenges to be solved as the need for DAM grows for anyone who needs to manage brand assets, images, videos, audio files.

A perfect illustration of that is one of the polls we conducted this year that revealed that the majority of organizations are still using file shares to manage their digital assets.

DAM Vendors Sans Frontiers

With DAM popularity rising, vendors started hopping around the globe to expand their horizons and persuade the markets of DAM goodness. Many saw opportunities outside of their home bases to extend customer acquisitions and increase revenues.

Usability is the Main DAM Challenge

People need DAM, but is DAM ready to give people all they need? Managing digital assets is not as straightforward as you may think. While you may have a DAMS that allows you to do that, is it an easy task?

Many DAM systems have good functionalities, but the majority of them have issues related to complex interfaces, multi-step processes and alignment with current workflows.

DAM vendors started to address UX issues by really concentrating on polishing their UIs in product releases that saw light in 2010. Other improvements included adding integration points and redesigning some of the functionalities to make them fit more seamlessly within the larger landscape of the organization.

DAM and Web Engagement Management

As revealed in one of the latest pieces of research, companies look at DAM as a way to save money and improve operational efficiency and not only as an enhanced marketing vehicle. This has changed in only 12 months. Last year, organizations were identifying DAM as a means of increasing returns on marketing investment and ensuring brand consistency.

Two important strategies emerged :

  • Centralized access to digital assets: The most successful companies appear to be companies where technologies to centralize marketing content have been implemented.
  • Marketing performance assessment for each campaign: The most successful companies were those that consistently assessed their campaigns upon completion and adopted DAM for future campaigns based on asset utilization analytics.

And that is exactly why the role of Digital Asset Management (DAM) is huge in web engagement management and customer experience management. In reality, most organizations and DAM vendors are missing out on the potential of DAM+WEM. So many rich media and digital assets, so little DAM horsepower. DAM is a good addition to the overall CEM selling point, but DAM needs more love in the arms of WEM versus being treated as a siloed partner.

DAM and Web CMS and Enterprise CMS

DAM has always been interlinked with WCM and ECM. Many CMS vendors include native DAM functionalities, and even though they’re often quite basic, they do a decent job at minimal digital asset management that is sometimes sufficient for some organizations. This is changing at a more or less quicker pace, depending on a variety of factors.

Those CMS vendors that don’t have standalone DAM products or enough native DAM functionality went on to integrate with pure-play DAM vendors or to OEM.

DAM and SharePoint

SharePoint is everywhere, whether you like it or not. Some organizations on the lookout consider SharePoint as a viable candidate to do a DAM job. But even with the release of the latest and greatest SharePoint 2010 is the software capable to manage digital assets the way you need it to? There are some noteworthy limitations that you should evaluate before you commit to this product.

DAM in 2010 and Beyond: Focus on Mobility, Video, Social and the Latest Standards

With video becoming more and more pervasive, Digital Asset Management (DAM) vendors should focus on greatly expanding video management capabilities. HTML5, being the next best thing after Flash, is also one of the focus area for support for many DAM vendors. The functionality for managing audio and video within the browser is growing, and will continue to proliferate in 2011. CMIS will continue to be on the forefront of interoperability for both ECM and DAM.

The trend for managing and delivering video in multiple renditions to be compatible with mobile devices, including iPhone and iPad, will continue beyond 2010. And, of course, there’s a focus on social and being able to manage digital assets effectively across social media channels.

Bonus: How to Select a DAM System and What to Consider

If you’re in the process of selecting a DAM system for your organization, keep this list of useful articles for when you get back to the office from holidays.