Compelling reasons to use a DAM

The most compelling reason you should consider for making an investment in a Digital Asset Management solution is the ability to easily find, access, retrieve and use images, presentations, text documents, logos, videos, marketing material, sales brochures and design files, all from one single point of entry, across multiple devices, both from inside or outside the organization.

Why would you want this? I can think of a number of reasons:

  1. You want to save time in finding particular images, graphic files, videos, audio files, text documents, pdf-documents, spreadsheets or presentations;
  2. You want to find and retrieve files without relying on individuals who may or may not be available at the time you need them;
  3. You want to reduce the amount of requests for frequently needed media files received by the marketing department, by providing users with the tools to find the latest logotype, product images or corporate presentation template themselves;
  4. You want your employees to be able to access files from any location, on their mobile, tablet or desktop or otherwise, and also be able to share those files individually with other stakeholders who may require access to those assets;
  5. You want everyone to save time by giving them access to be self-sufficient when preparing and publishing media in electronic and printed form.

Consider this - if you search for something, and it's not there - then either it doesn't exist, no information has been added to the files to make them retrievable, or you don't have the proper user privileges to access those specific files. A DAM solution should cater for this, the savings on time spent retrieving files will grow exponentially with the number of employees required to use the system, so the larger your organization is - the higher the savings would be. By allowing people with different user privileges to access all the digital assets that should be available to them, an organization could save up to 30% of the time employees in general would spend on finding existing information or producing it from scratch.

Digital assets within the company should be considered the memory of your organization - why spend time trying to remember what you already know? A good and solid Digital Asset Management solution takes this into account, and makes sure that all files within the company are indexed and appropriately structured with metadata, so that they can later be searched for and retrieved. In addition, any new files added to the system should be handled in the same consistent way, so you see it's not just about getting control of current digital assets, it is just as much about getting control over the future workflow for all the media files, text documents and graphics that your organization produces and consumes over the next decade.

A Digital Asset Management solution should evidently cater for the search, retrieval and efficient use of digital files. After all, that is the main and most basic purpose it serves – and it is implied by default. When deciding on a particular digital asset management solution to support your digital strategy, certain features stand out as particularly useful when considering how you are going to find, access and use those digital files.

What should you look for in a Digital Asset Management solution?

A best practice digital asset management workflow will be supported by a DAM solution that offers:

  • Indexing of files and folders to map and make files searchable and retrievable
  • Support for multiple filetypes within the same user interface
  • Both basic and advanced metadata and search features for different user types
  • Options to centrally assign user privileges and user access to individual files or folders, based on group privileges or single user privileges
  • Options to offer user access to employees or stakeholders both inside and outside the organization
  • Device independent access and interaction opportunities, like uploads, edits or reviews
  • Tools to easily edit, interact with and publish digital assets, independently of filetype or complexity
  • Collaboration tools for efficient review, communication about and assessment of digital assets

Overall, and when considering this first main reason of finding, accessing, retrieving, sharing and using digital assets within or outside the organization, the above mentioned characteristics constitute the main features to look for in a DAM system. The key benefit from such features is pretty obvious, namely to make interactions and collaboration more efficient, while at the same time making assets readily available to the right people. When widely adopted and used in your organization, the benefits from this are not only evident in higher productivity within your organization, but also in reduced cost for your interaction with external partners as they may share in the benefits your DAM implementation can provide.

If you want to learn more, come back in a week and read my follow-up post about the second best reason to invest in a DAM.

Key Insights & Pointers

  • Can the right people in your organization easily find, access, retrieve and use the files they want and need?
  • What do YOU want from a DAM?
  • If you have trouble finding information you are looking for, then how do you know it exists?
  • Digital assets within the company constitute the memory of your organization, why spend time remembering something you already know?
  • What should a best practice DAM solution offer your organization?
  • Tip: When you make finding, retrieving, sharing and using digital assets possible, then you also make interactions and collaboration more efficient.
  • If you didn't read the first post in this series, and want to read all of them - start with this one.