Introduction to Digital Asset Management

This six-part blog post covers all the main areas you need to know about to start working with a digital asset management system in your organization. If you already have a DAM solution implemented, you may still find this information useful since we have also included tips on how to get the most out of your DAM, including some points you may not already have considered. In general, these posts cover both the main opportunities offered by DAM, as well as suggestions and advice on how to work with your implementation, so you may get from where you are today to getting the most out of your DAM solution and workflows after you press that start button.

I encourage you to use these posts for inspiration, as a reference on points to cover in your work with DAM, as a source for other stakeholders involved in your project, or to evaluate your current work. It is not supposed to be too complex and long, nor too simplistic and short, it is simply designed to cover the most vital information on how a DAM solution can help you, and it does so in a straightforward manner.

In this, and subsequent posts of the series, I'll cover:

  1. Benefits of using DAM solution to find, retrieve and use digital files
  2. Reasons why ease of use should be at the top of your list
  3. How automation tools help you achieve your goals
  4. Why controlling risk and brand management is important
  5. In what ways integration with other legacy systems can help you

Why are you here?

According to a recent Forrester Report, the future of business is digital. This is no surprise, as digital has been around to facilitate efficiency gains in communication for the past 20 years. What may come as a surprise though, is that while “74% of business executives say their company has a digital strategy,” only 19% believe that their company has the necessary technology to execute on that strategy.* As customers, suppliers, partners and employees all rely on digital assets and communication to succeed with their digital strategy, making sure that there is a system in place to efficiently manage that flow of assets and communication is often overlooked.

But what exactly is a digital asset - is it not just any file stored digitally that may be retrieved, shared and used by different stakeholders? Well, the answer to this is both Yes and No. Any file can be digitally retrieved, shared or used by many stakeholders, that is within their nature as being digital, but they are not considered to be assets until they are properly paired with information and metadata to make them searchable and retrievable. Basically, for any digital file to become a digital asset that you may derive value from across the organization or within a department, you also need to ensure that the proper tools are in place to organize and retrieve those same files. To realize the benefits of a digital strategy, digital files should be available to those that require them, independently of single individuals. The only way to achieve this is by leveraging a digital asset management solution to cater for their organization and retrieval. Only then do they become digital assets from which you may reap benefits in the real world.

According to another study, a typical employee spends more than 30% of his or her time looking for digital assets or producing information that is already to be found somewhere within the organization.* Sound familiar? Furthermore, almost 90% of the communication and marketing material produced within an organization is hardly or ever used, either because it is not made properly available to the right people, because it is hard to find, or because it simply becomes outdated. Just let those figures sink in for a moment, these are not trivial issues we are contemplating – 30% is a big number, right?

What does all this mean? Well, first of all, it means that there is no point in leveraging a digital strategy without also making sure that there are systems in place to cater for the potential benefits of such strategies. Also, and most evidently so, it means that there are great and specific benefits to be had from leveraging the right technology to support your digital strategy. Whether your digital strategy involves new or existing revenue streams from digital assets, more efficient flow of relevant digital files like graphics, images, text documents or presentations, or if it involves securing brand integrity and management – no such digital efforts may succeed without also adopting a digital asset management system to support your processes.

What do you think? Does any of this apply to your organization? Are you looking for a digital asset management solution? If your answer to any of these questions is 'Yes', then move on to my next post in this series - it's definitely for you.

Key Insights & Pointers

  • Does your company have the necessary tools to support your digital strategy?
  • How do you turn digital files into digital assets?
  • Fact: Employees spend up to 30% of their time on finding/producing information that is already there.
  • Why do you need a DAM?


* 2014 Digital Business Survey (Forrester/Russel Reynolds)

* Enterprise Content Mangement Selection Guide (D. Figueiredo)