The Infrastructure and Needs for Digital Asset Management (DAM)
Digital asset management systems help organizations maximize the value of their current media assets and releases resources for other tasks. Enterprises use metadata to identify each asset, implementing indexing formats that function for their specific needs. Evaluating DAM systems begins with analyzing how stakeholders access digital assets. Once project leaders evaluate these needs, they present this information to service providers. You can harness the power of information with our Online Master of Information Degree from Rutgers School of Communication and Information.
Managing a Wealth of Media
Enterprises that manage large file stores need more than desktop folders, online storage and document sharing protocols. Digital asset management (DAM) is a process that organizations use to manage and monetize their media portfolio. At the process core is the way enterprises use the content. The software allows enterprises to manage their content with a single interface and may include:
- Text documents
All media has limited usefulness. DAM helps enterprises keep the media relevant, useful and profitable.
New Possibilities with DAM
DAM systems help enterprises maximize returns from their content by facilitating distribution, annotation, cataloging and storage. Additionally, managers can provide one resource to hold an ongoing internal discussion about the objects and in turn build value through corporate conversation.
Firms can grant limited access to outside stakeholders, facilitating simpler collaboration with third parties and can publish blanket legal policies, saving the work required to place copyright and trademark notices on assets individually. Organizations can also use retired marketing materials for repurposing or brainstorming and update media while simultaneously updating all linked online copies.
Metadata: The Heart of DAM
Organizations use metadata to catalog their digital assets. Metadata tags are brief descriptions that allow users and search engines to locate digital content. Meta tags may include information such as author names, content titles, publication date or keywords. Alternatively, the tags may contain legal, administrative or corporate policy information.
DAM systems incorporate various organizational schemes. It is critical to consider organizational workflow when planning DAM metadata structure. Some DAM systems come pre-installed with standard metadata formats, while other programs allow full customization.
Learning about DAM
Different interests, such as service providers, nonprofit organizations and online data management communities, provide DAM system information. Professional networking outlets, such as LinkedIn, are another resource for finding DAM information and users. Additionally, industry leaders host annual DAM conferences to discuss the latest trade developments.
Evaluating DAM Needs
Before choosing a DAM solution, project leaders must understand their organization’s documentation needs. First, DAM project leaders must understand what they need the system to accomplish. Next, the project lead determines which service providers fulfill this need. Once the project lead has a general idea of implementation costs, they estimate the breakeven point and return-on-investment. Armed with this information, organizations develop comprehensive request for proposals (RFPs) to communicate enterprise requirements to consultants.
A DAM assessment begins with apparent, but critical, questions. However, documenting these answers allow project leaders to communicate implementation related concepts to stakeholders.
Organizations must understand the full scope of their media types and the methods currently used to manage those assets. Project managers must also identify the most pressing DAM challenges. It helps to determine who uses the assets and should have asset management privileges. From this perspective, managers evaluate exactly what problems they need the DAM solution to solve and how that solution will help the organization meet corporate goals.
People Are the Reason Behind the Technology
Stakeholders use digital assets in many ways. Some are incidental users while others compose the backbone of the system. Other employees interface with DAM for a specific purpose – such as technical, administrative or operational tasks. Depending on the role internal stakeholders play, they will suggest different policy contributions. Conversely, some assets provide value only for external stakeholders such as consumers. Examining these details helps project leaders determine the interested stakeholders and plan DAM implementation that effectively serves organizational needs.
Implementing DAM Initiatives
DAM implementation is a labor-intensive venture. Therefore, organizations should designate a team lead to complete the project. The process may start with a key decision maker outlining initial details, but once the project gains traction, it is better to bring in team members to share the workload. The team may include individuals from the information technology, marketing and sales departments, with each relevant business unit assigning one representative or team to coordinate individual departmental interests.
Choosing the Right Service Provider
Choosing the appropriate DAM system is a multiphase process. The first step is to make sure key decision-makers support the initiative. These individuals have a strong overview of the enterprise’s most pressing DAM issues. Although it is a very demanding task, project leaders must evaluate the entire organization’s workflow, as well as current salvageable technologies and processes that can integrate with the new framework. Using this information, the project leader documents solution criterion with stakeholders – making sure to address critical concerns such as scalability, hosting and legal issues.
Eventually, organizations collect so many digital assets that the information grows unmanageable. DAM systems drastically increase the value of large data repositories and decrease the work required to manage these tombs. Using the technology, enterprises create new revenue streams and generate value from existing assets. The technology allows organizations to present large libraries to others using searchable metadata and fully realize each digital asset’s value for its entire life-cycle. Project managers must determine an organization’s needs before choosing a DAM system, which is a complex but extremely productive task. Once the project leaders determine needs, they can present this information to service providers and unlock the potential hidden in each digital asset with the appropriate DAM system.
You can harness the power of information with our Online Master of Information Degree from Rutgers School of Communication and Information.