A digital asset management solution is a software and systems solution that provides a systematic approach to efficiently storing, organizing, managing, retrieving, and distributing an organization’s digital assets. Digital Asset Management (DAM) can be used to refer to both a business process and a form of information management technology, or a digital asset management system. DAM functionality helps many organizations create a centralized place where they can access their media assets.
The digital asset is a key component of the DAM process. It is any file type of value that is owned by an enterprise or individual, comes in a digital format, is searchable via metadata, and includes access and usage rights. There are many types of digital assets, including but not limited to:
A DAM solution streamlines asset management and optimizes the production of rich media, particularly within sales and marketing organizations, by creating a centralized management system for digital assets. It enables brand consistency through automatic asset updates and reinforcement of brand guidelines, providing a single source of truth within businesses and a more consistent user experience to external audiences. Modern digital content management teams and marketers also rely on DAM to repurpose content, reducing unnecessary production costs and duplicate workstreams with its invaluable search features. Given the high visibility of brand assets and marketing assets through digital channels, like social media, it’s important for brands to remain consistent in imagery and messaging to build brand authority and generate business growth. As a result, it’s no surprise that digital asset management platforms are becoming critical components of digital transformation efforts.
Several steps are involved in the use of a DAM solution:
A DAM solution can be implemented on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid topology. Cloud-based asset storage, management and delivery can be a cost-effective, secure, scalable, and flexible option for an organization.
The emergence of desktop publishing in the late 1980s enabled printers, publishers and advertisers to digitize text, graphics and photography. Too big for most internal hard drives, these files were transferred to external media with simple metadata labels. They were placed in simple, hierarchical files and folders.
In 1992, Canto Software released Cumulus — one of the first DAM systems. It was an on-premises, standalone solution, featuring thumbnail previewing, metadata indexing and search capabilities. While early DAM solutions made assets easy to find, verify, and retrieve, files were still not easy to share.
By the early 2000s, server-based DAM enabled file-sharing over the Internet. Shortly thereafter, cloud storage offered another way to store, manage and distribute digital assets.
DAM quickly evolved into integrated libraries able to deliver content to a variety of devices, systems, and repositories. Application programming interfaces (APIs) enabled assets to plug into different applications and meet specific requirements quickly and efficiently.
Now it is common for AI capabilities to be embedded into DAM — intelligently tagging and cross-referencing assets, including video recognition and voice recognition. IBM Watson Video Enrichment can analyze video streams using deep learning technologies while the IBM Blockchain Platform ensures greater DAM security. Using machine learning, DAM systems can anticipate content needs and make recommendations to users. With these marketing tasks being performed very quickly, often within minutes or less, organizations can make adjustments in near-real time to gain a competitive advantage.
When looking at DAM platforms, it is important to evaluate whether the solutions you select provide capabilities that will help you implement a successful solution to support your needs today and beyond. A successful DAM solution will provide the following capabilities:
DAM helps organizations across the globe maintain the access rights, control and integrity of their digital assets for many purposes. Implementing DAM as a centralized holistic solution connected with corporate and functional strategies can provide a more consistent, more compelling customer experience. According to Forrester, “More than 2/3 of companies want to deliver their content more efficiently. Successful firms now make DAM a part of their broader digital experience and content strategies, not a point solution.” 1
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DAM is used across industries anywhere digital assets are involved. Here are two examples of the use of DAM:
Patent offices typically manage large volumes of digital assets in various stages of completion. As updates are made through the asset’s lifecycle, transferability, version control, and access rights features are critical for maintenance. Other features like search functionality also enables processes within patent offices to scale effectively.
Technology companies use DAM in many different departments, often across multiple locations. DAM centralizes the assets for access and use. Functional areas within an organization will use DAM for different purposes. Some examples include:
Many constituents across these organizations will need to access, use, edit and track the assets, making access permissions critically important. These permissions could be based on business unit, functional department and role. They may restrict access of some assets to internal employees. Permissions may also extend access of other assets to external constituents such as partners or customers. Think logos and engagement proposals that can help support partnership and ecommerce initiatives.
Store practically limitless amounts of data, simply and cost effectively.
A hosted service to quickly and reliably move and share your files and data sets of any size and type across a hybrid cloud environment.
Enable high-speed, browser-based file transfers to and from IBM Aspera clients and web applications.