4 Digital Asset Management Predictions for 2019
The use of tools for digital asset management (DAM) has grown rapidly in the past decade. 62 percent of businesses now use a DAM solution, and research firm MarketsandMarkets projects that the DAM industry will be worth $5.7 billion by 2022.
Being able to easily search through thousands or millions of digital assets is a game changer for many organizations, but that's only the first wave of how organizations use DAMs. As the field of digital asset management becomes more mature, users are looking for advanced features and ways to differentiate between hundreds of DAM offerings.
Rather than simple data governance and asset storage, the DAMs of the future will need to integrate with organizations’ work processes and external systems. These may include a variety of tech stacks: from product information management (PIM) systems and analytics platforms, to tools for content delivery and omnichannel marketing.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the biggest changes and trends that we see for DAM in 2019 and beyond.
DAM Predictions for 2019
1. Exodus to the Cloud and SaaS
According to RightScale’s 2018 State of the Cloud survey, 96 percent of organizations now use cloud computing in some shape or form. This trend is reflected in the growth of cloud-based DAM solutions, and in particular the growth of SaaS (software as a service).
There are many ways to “move to the cloud” depending on what makes sense for your business. Companies that run virtual machines in the cloud, for example, still need to dedicate IT resources to managing and updating them.
The goal of SaaS is to put the responsibility for IT management and maintenance firmly in the hands of the software provider. This enables you to spend less time on tedium and more time on value-producing activities for your business. We predict that 2019 will see an increase in companies using SaaS-based DAM solutions.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is currently a highly valuable capability for many DAM systems. In 2019, we see AI becoming not just important, but a near-necessity for cutting-edge DAM solutions.
One of the most useful applications of AI for DAM is metadata keyword tagging. AI-enabled DAM software can automatically scan your database of images and videos, labeling them with relevant tags. These could include everything from the dominant colors in an image to the objects present and the emotional states of the people (e.g. happy, sad, or serious).
Not only can DAM users benefit from the built-in tags, they can also create their own AI training criteria. For example, you might want to tag every photo that contains your company logo, or one of your products.
It’s not just object recognition, however. The potential AI use cases for DAM include optical character recognition (OCR), speech recognition, and even facial recognition:
- AI can read text such as the signs or symbols in an image.
- Video and audio files can be automatically transcribed and turned into closed captions and transcripts.
- Facial recognition technology can identify people who appear in multiple images or videos.
Having these AI-enabled capabilities can be a tremendous cost-saving measure. Enterprises no longer need to hire large teams of “data librarians” who are responsible for manually tagging content.
3. Integration, Automation, and Work-in-Progress Management
Most marketing departments now use dozens of different technologies, making their lives overly complicated. Having a separate, isolated DAM solution adds an extra layer of complexity and forces you to abandon many potential benefits of integration.
Productivity and collaboration tools such as Workfront, Asana, Slack, and Trello are prime targets for integrating with DAM software. For example, users can insert references to the exact files that pertain to a given task or discussion.
In addition, automation features will make it easier for you to establish a smooth, coherent marketing workflow. Assets in your DAM solution can be automatically pulled out and inserted into the appropriate email campaign, advertisement, or webinar.
Streamlining entire business processes, integration, automation, and work-in-progress management are key trends that we expect for DAMs in 2019.
4. Data and Analytics
Most companies want to make better use of data and analytics, but few of them actually achieve these ambitions. According to a 2019 survey, 69 percent of businesses have not yet built a “data-driven organization.”
Data-focused DAMs will help your organization make better use of the vast quantities of information you possess. You can receive comprehensive reports with insights such as the return on investment for specific assets. Users can understand how a given asset has been accessed and used in different campaigns over time.
Being able to track the performance of marketing campaigns, from ideation to delivery, via metrics and KPIs is critical. In order to enable this capability, of course, your DAM must first be integrated with the rest of your IT environment.
Digital asset management tools have enabled companies to become more efficient, organized, and productive. As the business and technology landscapes change, DAM solutions must also evolve in order to keep up with the times. AI, SaaS, automation, and analytics are just a few of the wider tech trends that we expect to see in DAM software in 2019 and beyond.
To learn more about where DAM is heading, take a look at our guide Future-Proofing Your Digital Asset Management & Creative Production.