The Complete Buyers’ Digital Asset Management Checklist

Selecting a digital asset management system (DAM) for your products is a big decision that affects many different teams and processes across your organization. If you’re looking for some guidance in how to choose a DAM, you’ve come to the right place.

Businesses find themselves shopping for a new DAM solution for multiple reasons, but some of the most common include:

  • Acquiring a DAM for the first time for your business
  • Replacing a DAM that is outdated and has outlived its usefulness
  • Upgrading to an up-to-date DAM to meet new enterprise requirements

Whatever the reason for considering the purchase of a new DAM, it’s important to leave nothing to chance. So how do you wade through the options and evaluate available DAM solutions to find the one that fits your needs? The following checklist should help you select the right DAM for your organization.


Digital Asset Management Checklist

1. Choose Between Basic and Enterprise DAM Solutions

There are two types of DAM solutions to choose from: basic and enterprise. The two vary in their usability, capabilities, scalability, extent of customizability, and cost. Their deployment mechanisms are also different. For example, some are cloud-native offerings while others occur as a Software as a Service (SaaS).

If you want a more friendly and easy-to-use solution, go for a basic DAM. It uses a simple classification and categorization scheme to organize all digital assets. It’s also more affordable, making it a better solution for smaller manufacturers. If you’re looking to explore the possibilities of a DAM, this is a great path to take.

You may consider purchasing an enterprise DAM if you wish to solve most of the complex issues that a large global organization needs to address. It can engage with emerging technologies, optimize processes, and even apply Artificial Intelligence. You can host it on-site but can also move it to the cloud.

Step 2: Determine Which DAM Aligns with Your People and Organization

Whether you go for a basic or enterprise DAM solution, ensure it aligns with your people and organization. The technology you employ is only part of the picture—your end users are the other. Before buying your preferred DAM, consider:

  • What level of connection is needed between teams for easy digital asset management
  • How employees and teams interact to execute deliverables
  • The number of agencies and vendors you work with
  • The marketing of your deliverables

This step requires you to build the team that will be managing the DAM initiative. You can start by identifying the members who will be working with the DAM. The team will operate via a shared language to fulfill common goals, so understanding how users will be working with your DAM system is critical.

Step 3: Ensure Alignment with Your Technology

The DAM you choose should also align with the technology employed in your business. This step will send you on a discovery mission to find out if the selected DAM can attend to your organization’s needs from a technological perspective. Consider bringing consultants, internal SMEs, and professional support services onboard to help you stay firmly on the path to purchasing a functional DAM solution.

Start by assessing the state of your current technology and operations and how they relate to DAM. As you do so, take into account the DAM capabilities to ensure they are future-proof. In this stage, you’ll identify the features and capabilities that are deal-breakers and must-haves in the chosen DAM, like ensuring that the DAM is a cloud-native solution.

Step 4: Create a Shortlist and Pick out the Front Runners

Now it’s time to narrow your list of potential candidate vendors to just three to five, assess their solution fit, then further trim the list to only one vendor and a backup. It’s also essential to verify that your selected vendor has the necessary functional and technical resource expertise needed for your success. The vendor should then conduct a demo and provide the technical assistance for launching and running the DAM successfully.

Step 5: Get Buy-In for Your Vendor of Choice

Having identified your vendor of choice, it’s time to prepare your final recommendation for executive review, buy-in, and a possible sign-off. This is a lot easier when you’re prepared with evidence that the DAM can deliver value. Showcase the immediate benefits of the DAM, who will be using it, how it will continue to help you long term, and an estimated ROI.

Step 6: Initiate the Purchase

Once your organization buys into your idea and approves the budget for a new enterprise DAM, you can initiate the purchase. Consider the following cost factors when negotiating the purchase:

  • Software licensing, number of users, and other details
  • Cost of environments such as quality assurance, development and production, and support for disaster recovery
  • Whether you’ll need professional services or internal SME resources
  • How the DAM will evolve to meet future requirements

Step 7: Deploy the DAM Solution

After purchasing the DAM solution, you need to prepare to launch it. This step requires a DAM strategy, an implementation plan, and a process for onboarding users and training them to use new features. The DAM should be relevant from the first day, complete with the right metadata options and assets.


Feel Confident in Selecting a Digital Asset Management System

It’s not enough to have the resources to purchase DAM solutions for your organization—a carefully thought-out and implemented strategy is key. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll increase your organization’s likelihood of finding and purchasing a DAM solution that will provide both immediate and long-term benefits.