Your brand marketing materials. Your product images. Your valuable investments in content like, video, sound clips, PDF sheets, renderings, documents, podcasts, case studies, infographics, social media content. These elements are as diverse as they are essential to the running of your business—and they are all digital assets whose effective management is key to your organization’s security and operational efficiency.
This series is designed to provide a comprehensive guide to digital asset management (DAM) systems as an essential piece of your business strategy for protecting and maximizing the ROI on your valuable digital assets. In our first installment, we defined the many and varied types of data that comprise an organization’s digital assets, as well as six key challenges to the effective use of those assets: storage, security, organization, consistency, access, and liability and rights. In this article, we’ll show how a DAM system can address each of these challenges for streamlined and optimized digital asset management.
The sheer volume as well as the size and diversity of file types that businesses generate and rely on can easily outrun the capacity of most hard drives and networks to effectively manage. Traditional business networks are simply not designed for the payloads common today. And while cloud-based solutions like Dropbox certainly provide increased storage capacity, they can be cumbersome to manage and are not designed to meet the complex and large-scale needs of an entire organization.
DAM solutions are created to provide enterprise-level management and support for file storage and dissemination. They are built to easily handle the volume, size, and wide range of file types marketers and businesses work with on a daily basis. With a DAM system all of your digital assets are safely stored, eliminating the risk of losing critical assets and having to waste time replacing or recreating them. Bogged down network systems where large files load slowly, fail to preview, and worries about running out of space are replaced with the surety of a scalable, reliable system that can meet the data storage needs of your growing business.
The ever present—and ever growing—threat of cyber attack, in all of its forms presents a real and significant challenge to businesses. Data breaches can result not only in the loss or compromise of proprietary information, but in potentially catastrophic financial and public relations damage.
Leveraging DAM to safely store data is an essential line of defense against hackers and cyber criminals. The best DAM solutions employ a level of encryption and security commensurate with the stringent requirements of banking and financial institutions, giving businesses the benefit of secure storage and controlled access to their valuable digital assets. A measure of separation of infrastructure between the DAM and the business’s critical network also means that there are fewer possible entry points for the business to secure and manage themselves, while their digital asset system provider can manage vulnerabilities specific to bulk digital content.
Beyond the lack of capacity offered by most in-house networks and even cloud-based productivity services, there is the issue of organization. These systems are not designed to support a systematic and user-friendly taxonomy to enable end users to quickly find and access files.
Good DAM solutions have the capacity to automatically tag, sort, and assign metadata to files and organize them into collections that make sense to users searching or browsing. Easy discovery and utilization of assets becomes a ROI windfall and continual source of time-savings, productivity, and efficiency. The most advanced DAM systems leverage cutting-edge AI technology to automate the indexing and grouping of data for error-free and consistent organization. Further advances in some specialized DAMs allow product information or other bulk data to be used as a backbone for organization of certain complex or numerous business offerings. For example, an automotive aftermarket parts manufacturer can use catalog data from another system to offer SKU organization into categories and easy searching of vast collections of products in the DAM.
Multiple versions of files. Outdated assets. A wide range of users spanning diverse departments and locations. Without a DAM system, this can be a recipe for disaster. Many companies face this ongoing challenge with no real tools for file and messaging version management.Everyone can agree that a wrong image or product information that is inconsistent, off-brand, or no longer accurate will usually lead to significant business issues.
DAM enables organization-wide access to the most up-to-date versions of files. Whether your updated product demo videos are needed by your marketing team or your inside sales reps working remotely, a DAM system ensures all team members have access to the same files. As the single source of truth for all users, DAM solutions make it easy to unilaterally deploy updates, track and monitor digital asset consumption and usage, and safeguard your organization’s brand image.
Every business has files which need to get to market, and others that are perhaps more sensitive and require a greater degree of privacy. Data related to products still under development or marketing embargo should only be available to a select few but others should be available to all users with ease. Without an enterprise-grade DAM solution to safeguard content visibility, these files could be vulnerable to unauthorized access.
DAM systems provide the surety that your files are accessible to approved users and restricted from use by unauthorized personnel. Depending on the needs of the business, a good DAM solution can integrate with an existing SSO (single sign-on) service for identity verification, or traditional user accounts or even a custom hybrid identity control service so that administrators know who is accessing what and when.
Liability and Rights
Because digital assets are valuable and often contain proprietary information, there can also be legal considerations that attend its usage. A DAM solution ensures your team members are only accessing and using approved files—not searching the web and inadvertently using images or media that may be copyrighted by another entity. Many organizations who have faced issues relating to rights management blame a void in available content and accessibility for some well-meaning but costly infringements.
A DAM system also serves as a reliable, secure, and easily searchable repository for documentation regarding your organization’s protected digital assets. One of the major benefits of DAM is peace of mind that the rights to your assets are better protected against infringement via properly stored and organized documentation, and that your company’s risk of being fined or sued for unintentional infringement of others’ rights is mitigated by having one single approved source of assets for your team members.
DAM provides an unparalleled solution to the main challenges businesses face in managing their digital assets. In future installments, we’ll dive into the best ways to implement and maintain your DAM system for greater productivity and a seamless user experience.
Digital asset management (DAM) systems are an essential piece of your business strategy for protecting and maximizing the ROI on your valuable digital assets. They address the key challenges to the effective use of digital assets, including storage, security, organization, consistency, access, and liability and rights.