Digital Asset Management

If you’ve decided that your company needs a DAM (Digital Asset Management) system to replace your old and complicated legacy systems, it can be easy to prove that the business value is simple, given the problems these old systems have with compatibility, integration, security or lack of functionality. If existing systems no longer meet the company’s requirements, that’s obvious.

If you’ve never had similar tools, your job can be harder, especially if budgets are tight, but it can be an easy win if you can demonstrate the benefits of using DAM effectively.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, one thing is certain: you need a buy from your top decision-makers and budget managers. It will be invaluable to create a charity or proposal and see how you can do this.

How can I prove the commercial value of Digital Asset Management?

Ask two questions to get started:

  1. “What are we going to use DAM for?”
  2. “What functionality is needed for this?”

Once you understand what you’ll be using DAM for, you can define your business requirements – manage your image library in an easily searchable database for the exclusive use of marketing and other promotions. Or you can manage and edit video content for training and learning purposes in the human resources department. Or it could be a broader goal, such as maximizing the efficiency of business processes through collaboration, workflow, and systems integration. If it is used by a department or the entire company, it is important to mention it in the proposal.

If you want to escape from outdated systems, it’s best to start by listing the top current issues.

This list alone can help you identify certain requirements for a new system as it will highlight what you cannot do right now. Your list might include a lack of integration with your CMS and an inability to access your files remotely. This can include using multiple apps to share images.

The next step is to identify any other user requirements, such as the ability to edit images or set default download sizes.

If you want to set up this system for the first time, you need to start the user requirements. Think of all your company’s potential users, but also people who might be outsiders, such as hired photographers or marketing agencies.

Make a list of users and system administrators and be sure to include them in your plan. You need them just as much as you have onboard those who manage the inventory. It’s also essential to define roles so that everyone knows who will do what during implementation and beyond.

How can I create an investment file?

At this point, you’ll have a good idea of   how a DAM will benefit your business, and to get the most out of it, make another list of benefits.

And compare benefits if possible.

In some scenarios, you don’t apply any measures, such as when the benefit is something like “sharing images instantly, without leaving the system”. This has obvious advantages, as it’s probably a faster and easier way to work than it used to be, but it’s hard to apply exact numbers to it.

Budget is important, and there’s no need to buy the most expensive, state-of-the-art system if your business doesn’t need it. However, it makes a lot of sense to think about features that aren’t just necessary; features that help you save time, so it’s worth adding them to your list. A good example is the ability to automatically tag assets with their geographic location when uploaded – this is not essential, but for a travel agency, for example, it can be a useful addition to the more standard metadata tagging feature.

It is also essential to take note of the systems and applications that will remain and therefore may need to be integrated into the new DAM system. Cloud solutions offered by an entrepreneur can also eliminate the need for expensive hardware. Consult with your IT department as this can be a cost-saving exercise in its own right.

Use this checklist to make sure you’re dealing with the most important ones:

  • Current system and usability issues
  • List of users, system administrators, and roles
  • Use of the main activities of the DAM.
  • Essential DAM user requirements
  • “Luxury” DAM functionality
  • System requirements and integration
  • Benefits
  • Cost
  • Deadline
  • Education

It can be difficult to set deadlines and training before choosing a solution, but it helps to have an idea. If you have contacted some suppliers and asked some questions, you can now provide enough information. Knowing whether training is included will help you plan for additional costs, and knowing how much is needed will also help you plan your implementation when the time comes.

How do I find the best Digital Asset Management solution for my business?

With the document in hand and the budget approved, you should be ready to start doing market research. Use search engines, visit supplier directories and visit supplier websites.

The most important thing is to know who your customers are and what they say about them. Assessments and case studies are essential to identify a good supplier that will not only meet your needs but will also provide honest and reliable service.

Keep your list of requirements and use it as a mind map for possible solutions.

Finally, any good business owner should be able to offer a free path, so make sure you and your colleagues sign up as much as possible and use a few test sites before making any decisions.