Whether thought of as a process or a system, effective digital asset management should:
Support asset lifecycle and user roles: An effective DAM should support its content from creators to consumers and across all types of user roles. It should present a single interface tuned to user tasks across workflows. File routing can be automated, interfaces personalized — and functionality matched to user roles. Reporting should be available to help business and IT managers track activity and improve workflows.
Integrate, not isolate: In many cases, a digital asset management system is incorporated with other systems — thanks to open architectures and support for APIs. An effective DAM system will need to integrate and interoperate with a range of both legacy repositories and modern applications. Departments from legal to human resources (not just marketing and publishing) will need to be able to access and use the DAM to optimize its value.
Offer flexibility — coming and going: Content is being generated and derived from an almost limitless and ever-expanding network of sources. Conversely, DAMs must offer accessibility and deliver content to a range of destinations, devices, formats and consumers. They need to support not just multimedia files, but also electronic documents, scanned and digitized document images, electronic forms and virtually any other large, unstructured data files.
Provide a strong infrastructure and backbone: Do not overlook the physical storage and file transfer infrastructure. Storage systems for DAMs will need to be scalable and flexible. They should also be extremely reliable, deliver high performance to support large files, and offer redundancy and recoverability to protect valuable assets.
Two storage approaches to consider are:
- Cloud-based storage enables applications to upload data to a network of remote, connected servers. DAM applications can then maintain that data and access it from anywhere using web-based APIs. Cloud-based storage offers accessibility, off-site recovery and cost reduction.
- Software-defined storage places software in the data path between the application and the storage device. This offers a level of virtualization and independence of storage devices to optimize utilization of storage resources.
Fast and efficient file transfer is also critical. For instance, IBM Aspera® offers time-critical transport of digital assets and data sets, such as high-definition broadcast videos and high-quality advertising footage, to many global endpoints. A cloud-based version of IBM Aspera can quickly and reliably move and share files and data sets of any size and type across a hybrid cloud environment — up to hundreds of times faster than FTP and HTTP.