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Published on 24th April 2018 at 17:19 by Jennifer Armstrong
Digital assets are any files that provide value to an organization. Ultimately they are visual representations of your products and services, which include photos, graphics and documents to name but a few. The volume of these digital assets is growing rapidly, in part due to the rising number of devices that we use to produce and consume digital media. You only have to think of the size of image libraries within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) and Real Estate industries to see the need for management. What’s more, the variety of user touch points offers excellent opportunities for business owners to maximize on the profitability of their digital assets. However, the intrinsic value they provide is only relevant if they can be found and used efficiently - this is where Digital Asset Management comes in to play.
Digital Asset Management (DAM) is the process of managing all of an organization’s digital assets. It is much more than a simple storage device for files or a shared drive. Digital assets need to be organized so that they are searchable and can be used appropriately. A big part of DAM is, ultimately, the management of the digital asset lifecycle. Assets need to be created, managed, distributed, and then preserved or archived. Industries with extensive collections of media assets need to be able to quickly supply these to employees across the organization. DAM is a marketing technology tool that allows management throughout the lifecycle, ensuring that users can easily find, share and amend assets.
There are two principal types of digital asset management solutions, project and product or brand-based. A project-based DAM, as the title suggests, aims to connect the digital assets to specific projects. This is especially helpful when companies want to search for assets by location, project lead or project number. In relation to the AEC and Real Estate industries, a project-based DAM makes it easier to organize and market projects properties. The organization and tagging of assets simplify the marketing process. The alternatives are product or brand-based solutions, which instead of focusing on project use custom tags and keywords to centralize assets around brands or products.
The most common type of digital management software is SaaS (Software as a Service). This is cloud-based digital asset management software that is accessed remotely over the internet rather than being installed on machines in your organization. Not using internal hardware or servers reduces concerns over maintenance and makes this solution scalable. What’s more, as the software isn’t linked to specific devices, users can access it anywhere and anytime. The cloud-based system results in less administration, backups are automated and the system integrates more easily with existing systems. The start-up cost is relatively low and, due to the cloud-based system, updates are available to all users instantaneously.
Regardless of the software you use to manage your digital assets, implementing DAM has distinct advantages. In short, a DAM will allow you to organize, share and centralize all of your digital assets. The following are many of the other benefits you can expect to see on implementing a DAM:
In truth, in the digital age we live in, it’s hard to put forward a strong case against using DAM. However, any new system needs to be selected, implemented and adopted correctly to reap the many benefits that it offers. An organization, adopting DAM, needs to consider the following to ensure success:
Calculating the ROI for your DAM isn’t a straightforward sum. However, it is certainly measurable with a bit of groundwork. It starts with putting a value on your digital assets themselves and then moves to considering the time spent creating the asset and the cost of recreation. The cost of recreation is particularly relevant within the AEC and Real Estate industries where photos are paramount to their success. The next consideration is the complexity of the organization. The more users you have in different locations, all requiring access to your digital assets, often simultaneously, the bigger your ROI. It’s worth bearing in mind that ROI isn’t a static figure. ROI needs to be continually evaluated as part of a DAM strategy to ensure the system being used continues to deliver and meet users needs.
With every organization creating and acquiring more digital assets the need for management will undoubtedly continue to grow. There are pros and cons to digital asset management but, for the most part, the disadvantages can be avoided. DAM offers a scalable solution that can grow along with your digital assets. Ensure your solution meets your organization's needs and has organization-wide buy-in and you’ll reap the rewards.