What Is Digital Asset Management Software? Blog Feature
Martyn Cook

By: Martyn Cook on December 6th, 2018

What Is Digital Asset Management Software?

digital asset management

Digital asset management software is rapidly growing in popularity, but what exactly is it and how can it benefit your organization? In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know to get started using DAM software.

Common Pain Points for Managing Digital Assets

Most companies now manage an average of 163 terabytes (163,000 gigabytes) of data, much of it in the form of multimedia content such as images and videos. Of course, managing all this information isn’t easy—companies face challenges such as:

  • Wasting valuable time: Your employees need to easily find the latest versions of the assets that they should be using. For example, you want to make sure that you use the new, high-resolution version of your company’s logo in your advertisements and marketing material. Without a way to catalog and look up these multiple versions of your digital assets, employees will waste valuable time hunting the right file down, when instead they should be focusing on their core job role.
  • Problems collaborating: Traditional collaboration and sharing methods, such as USB drives and email, will cause multiple versions of a file to proliferate. Even worse, without a single source of truth for your assets, there’s no guarantee that two employees are looking at or talking about the same file.
  • Rights management issues: Many assets have restrictions placed on how you can use them. For example, an asset may only be used for a particular amount of time or within a particular region.

What is Digital Asset Management?

Digital asset management (DAM) is a safe, secure, and easy way to store your company’s brand assets: images, logos, videos, text, and more. Most DAM solutions house your data, which means that you can access your assets anytime, anywhere. In addition, most DAM systems are able to integrate with the tools and software that you already use.

When you use a dedicated DAM solution, you can solve all of the challenges and pain points mentioned in the previous section. Your work gets done faster, more efficiently, and more effectively.

There’s no need for your employees to spend their valuable time searching for exactly the right asset. Instead, you can enrich your files with metadata that make the retrieval process much easier. DAM solutions also help all users ensure that they have access to the same content in order to facilitate sharing and collaboration.

More and more companies are finding that DAM solutions are no longer a “nice-to-have” for their organization—they’re an essential piece of the puzzle. DAM systems serve as content hubs that deliver critical assets to the rest of the business, including other platforms such as content management systems.

What is Digital Asset Management Software?

Digital asset management offers a solution to assist companies in organizing their digital content.

Some companies believe that storage options such as Dropbox or Google Drive are enough for a DAM solution. These alternatives have the benefit of being simple to use, without too much upfront investment, while offering some lightweight features for sharing and collaboration.

However, a true DAM system is capable of much more than being an image repository. With DAM software, you have far greater control over your user, and can create branded portals and enrich your assets with different tags. For example, employees at a clothing retailer might want to search for assets based on certain qualities, such as the season of the clothing or the type of photograph (e.g. whether the image is a model shot or still shot).The search functionality is customized to match the business logic of the customer, making it much easier to find what you need.

DAM software also allows you to set a variety of permissions based on users’ roles and the metadata of different content. The same retailer might want to allow employees to view only the assets in their own region, so that they can focus on selling the products available in a given area.

Tools such as Dropbox also aren’t able to enforce approval process in the same way as DAM software. By establishing a consistent group of people who examine and approve assets, you can better control the output of your DAM system.

The Features of Digital Asset Management Software

Most DAM software applications are based on on-premise solutions or cloud technology. Both are popular options, but one may be better for you depending on your specific needs. Work with a trusted tech partner to help you find the right solution for your unique situation.

In order to improve employees’ efficiency and productivity, DAM software gives you precise control over which users have access to what content. You can easily create your own schemas and tags to help users find the assets they need more quickly.

One of the most important features of DAM software is security. Most digital asset management software includes powerful granular access controls, which enables users roles and responsibilities to be set so that individuals are only given access to relevant areas of the system. You can also create temporary “holding areas” within the DAM so that all assets are approved before they are used.

The Benefits of Digital Asset Management Software

Naturally, the greatest benefit of DAM software is that it keeps all of your digital assets extremely organized. You can easily share assets between employees, departments, and outside organizations. In terms of security, DAM software provides options for backups and digital rights management.

You can think of DAM software as a toolbox that allows you fine-tuned control over all of your content. For larger organizations with dozens of file types and thousands or millions of assets to manage, the benefits of DAM software over traditional storage options such as Dropbox are incredibly powerful.

Final Thoughts

Digital asset management software is invaluable for organizations that need to securely and efficiently store, retrieve, and oversee the digital assets under their command. While DAM software can be a game-changer for your company, you first must ensure that you choose the right DAM software provider.

Looking for some expert advice about the process of selecting your next DAM system? Contact us today for a free consultation on how to find and implement the right DAM solution for your business. To learn more about how to improve your digital asset management, click here to read our guide: Future-Proofing Your Digital Asset Management and Creative Production.

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About Martyn Cook

Martyn Cook, Client Solutions Director, IO Integration is an influential strategist with the demonstrated ability to communicate, present, and influence credibly and effectively at all levels of a customer’s organization from C-Level to end user. Providing a consultative and analytical sales approach I am able to advise on industry trends, opportunities and challenges impacting customers whilst offering a solution.

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