Centralized digital asset management is important to achieve cost-efficiencies and to ensure utmost data security. A DAM system helps centrally store such assets and also allows users in an organization to find, share and collaborate on them.
According to a survey by 629 business and IT decision-makers, 80% state that their organization struggles to centralize digital assets.
But what is a Digital Asset Management System and how it can help your organization? In this article, we’ll discuss this and much more.
What is a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system?
A 15-year-old definition puts it as “Digital Asset Management is a business strategy to increase revenues while reducing workflow and process cycle times”. In its essence, this definition still holds true.
Modern Digital Asset Management systems help organizations save the time and costs involved in managing digital assets by storing them in a secure and centralized location. Users in an organization can use a DAM system to remotely access digital assets, find, collaborate, and share them.
Say your organization has distributors and resellers spread across geographies. To share marketing content with them, a good idea would be to store files in a centralized DAM where they can access, collaborate and add feedback to these files.
A DAM system helps organizations secure digital assets while making them convenient for users at the same time. Most systems keep data in secure datacenters, and offer access management capabilities to define for every asset as to who can access them. Some of these also provide watermarking and redaction capabilities, along with process workflows to expire or archive assets.
Read More | DAM vs. CMS
History of Digital Asset Management Systems
Today, even though we see multiple DAM solutions available as SaaS, digital asset management is an old concept that goes back to the 1980s.
If you do a patent search, you’ll find a patent filed for it in 1985 by Timothy Gill. The patent discusses the initial concept of how users can add digital assets to the system, organize them and store information regarding these assets in a database. They can then use the database to quickly find the required assets and save time.
Earlier systems were mostly on-premise and involved complex deployment and installations. File size, speed and security was very limited as compared to what is available today. Systems were mostly limited to storing and working on documents and images, but these systems weren’t the best for large video files.
One of the earlier systems included Canto, which too has evolved a lot since then.
Our system, VIDZMO EnterpriseTube and Digital Evidence Management System (Specialized DAMS) has too come a long way over the past 20 years. We started our system as one where you could upload, store and share videos. Our video asset management system has now become something similar to a corporate YouTube; modern, convenient, richer and more secure.
With that being said, modern DAM systems are more cloud-native or SaaS-based and offer a more user-friendly interface. Most of these systems are usually low-code or no-code/ready-made platforms.
What are Digital Assets?
Digital assets are pieces of information that can be stored digitally. It could be images, audio, documents, presentations, videos or design files.
It’s important to note that some of these digital assets require special attention while others can play through any ordinary DAM.
What do we mean by that? Take the example of design files such as a PSD file. It won’t just open through any ordinary browser. Similarly, a 2 GB video file would buffer a lot unless your DAM system optimizes it for streaming.
Each DAM system will support only limited types of files or specialize in certain. For example, we allow up to 255 file types to play through the browser and specialize in video.
Why Use a Digital Asset Management System?
The next question in mind would be why should one use a Digital Asset Management system rather than a simple file storage solution. Here are a few reasons why using a Digital Asset Management system is beneficial for users in your organization:
- Security and Access Management: You can keep assets secure by restricting them to only users inside your organization. One step further, you can restrict access to particular users or groups of users.
- Quickly Find Information: These systems have powerful search usually powered by AI and metadata. For instance, our system helps index spoken words and topics in a video as metadata to quickly find them.
- Organize Your Assets: These systems allow you to add assets to folders, categories or projects, and add custom identifiers for filtering (e.g. SKU number, Store ID etc.).
- Better Collaborate on Files: Packed with reach features such as comments, annotations, and markings, these systems allow teams to collaborate on a single file.
- Efficient Sharing of Files: These systems allow users to effectively share content with people inside or outside the organization through links or temporary guest sharing.
- Workflows on Assets: You can set custom time periods to archive assets or a time period after which they are deleted.
- Archive Assets: Some of these systems offer professional archiving capabilities, where you can move non-frequently used assets to a cold storage in the cloud.
- Monetize Digital Assets: Some of these systems also allow organizations to monetize digital assets by making them available for a subscription, or insert ads (in case of videos), etc.
- Ensure a Single Source of Truth: By storing files separately, organizations can ensure that there aren’t copies of the same file in multiple systems. Some of these asset management systems offer capabilities to identify duplicates as well.
- Benefits of Cloud Computing: Most DAM systems are deployable on the cloud and hence allow organizations to enjoy the benefits of cloud computing such as scalability, availability, backups and innovative services such as AI.
Source: Denodo Global Cloud Survey 2021
Types of Digital Asset Management Systems
Photo Asset Management Systems
You probably have around 1000s of photos on your smartphone. Imagine how much an organization with 100s of employees could have?
Rise Above Research forecasted that the world took 1.12 trillion photos in 2020 alone
A photo asset management software at the basic level allows organizations to centrally store, collaborate and share photos.
But you might wonder, why not use Google Drive or OneDrive to do this instead? And here are a few questions that might you convince why photo asset management systems might be needed. Do regular file-sharing systems allow you to search for faces, on-screen text in 1000s of photos? Do they keep file versions, offer redaction, or editing capabilities, all in one system?
Video Asset Management Systems
Video is the next big thing! Think about it. Would you prefer a 5-page document or a 5-minute video explaining the same concept?
Organizations are storing large amounts of video data. Examples include training videos, recorded meetings, marketing videos, CEO townhalls, etc.
And a video asset management system can offer organizations a centralized YouTube-like library to upload, share and collaborate on them.
Explore such a system yourself, by signing in as a viewer here https://jtacademy.jp.vidizmo.com/login using the email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and password (Gs*!dS82).
Digital Asset Management System for Archives
Such a system does not necessarily have to be for collaboration, and we have customers using it for archival purposes.
A digital asset management system for archival purposes connects with a low-cost storage like Azure Cool Blob Storage or AWS S3 Glacier Storage. This helps organizations in storing non-frequently used assets at a low cost and retrieving them easily when need be.
It beats storing data on hard drives or tapes!
List of Top Digital Asset Management Systems
If your organization is willing to implement a Digital Asset Management system, there’s a range of solutions available out there.
Based on our research, Gartner and G2 reviews, here’s a list of DAM solutions we’d recommend looking into:
Also, if you are interested in specialized video data management in a YouTube-like platform, do check out our Gartner recognized platform EnterpriseTube. A cloud-native platform that allows you to securely manage video files. It integrates with multiple platforms to allow you to centralize video data as well.
Or for secure centralized and secure evidence management, do check out our Digital Evidence Management System solution, which has been recognized in the IDC MarketScape*.
*This is in reference to document: IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Digital Evidence Management Solutions for Law Enforcement 2020 Vendor Assessment, #US44848219e, November 2020.