Is your team ready for a DAM?

In everyday situations, DAM - or Digital Asset Management - is a term most people are not familiar with. In contrast to Content Management Systems (CMS), that are designed to help you publish content (aka. blog posts and web pages), a DAM is designed to handle each individual file in a consistent manner. If a CMS is the place to put the pieces together and publish finished content, then a DAM is the place to safeguard and keep those individual pieces.

Although DAM is not as widespread a term as CMS, the use and application of DAM is fundamental to larger organizations. Consider the network file systems from just a few years back - whenever you needed to find a shared file, you would access the network and locate the file. Today, many organizations rely on cloud services from Dropbox, Box, Google or Microsoft to help them safeguard these pieces, and those pieces may be hard or easy to find and use as time goes by.

One of the key benefits of DAM is related to one simple rule - make sure you maintain one single source of truth for your files. It doesn't matter if you work with sales presentations, marketing materials, product images or PDF documents - if you don't maintain a good record of your originals, you will have a hard time being productive. Also, over time your system will grow more difficult for everybody to use.

You may or may not find yourself in this situation, but if you do, I am pretty sure you will recognize some or all of the characteristics presented below. To help you determine if you should consider talking to someone about DAM, I have compiled a list of 7 signs to look for to determine if your team is ready for DAM.

Do you agree with any of the statements below?

  • co-workers repeatedly ask for your help whenever they need a logo
  • you have no idea where to find your company's PowerPoint template
  • there is no easy way to figure out who bought visual content used on your corporate blog and what use license was granted
  • when you want to share files with others, you most often use email attachments or upload them to an external cloud sync service and share them from there
  • you have no "official" place to upload files for future safekeeping
  • you still rely on files stored in folders on your network infrastructure to get your job done
  • you have no way of understanding who has used which image, when they used it and for what purpose

Getting involved and looking into DAM is easy, and you can start by browsing through the posts on this blog for more inspiration.

Picture of Cato Salter

Cato Salter

I’ve been working with media asset management for the past 10 years, and my experience includes managing workflows for handling large volumes of video content, licensing and copyright issues, as well as being the head of a large stock video agency for several years. Recently, I’ve focused on digital asset management in general, and my main responsibilities include creative and marketing here at FotoWare. Implementing a DAM in your organization can bring about great gains in efficiency, and my goal for these posts is to help you see the value of digital asset management and hopefully convey some thoughts and ideas you did not already consider. If you have questions or ideas - reach out, I’m always keen to gain new insights and learn from others.

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