Organizing digital media with digital asset management
Here is a picture, there is a video and somewhere a folder with the presentations from last year. Some drives that are used as media storage are as disorganized as it is sometimes on your own desktop. However, in the course of digitization and the increasing concentration on online content, access to digital files, also called assets, is becoming increasingly important. However, these are still often stored locally on individual computers and must therefore be searched for or even bought several times. Digital asset management, or DAM for short, helps companies to sort their files and digital content and make them centrally accessible.
What is digital asset management?
A DAM system can be used to imagine any form of database in which digital assets, i.e. media files such as graphics, images, videos, music, texts or presentations, are stored and organized. This applies to a simple image database of a photographer up to a marketing portal for decentralized companies. These databases are intended to simplify the storage and management of assets and to unite all digital content in a central location. This storage is generally located in the area of content management and is sometimes also referred to as media asset management (MAM). These DAM systems can be used purely internally in the company or in cooperation with external suppliers and partners as well as the press contacts.
What functions does a DAM have?
Import and Export of Files
Overview and Findability
Uniform Corporate Design
Working Anywhere and Anytime
Integration in Other Systems
Find and organize files
Digital asset management can make many work steps in the company easier and more productive. The most important point in the DAM is to create a platform on which all assets can be found. This is done by importing all images, videos and other media files here. From this collection, the assets that are necessary for the planned work step can now be downloaded and exported elsewhere. In order to enable the right asset to be found in the shortest possible time, additional metadata can be stored on the files, which support research and clarity. For example, you can search for and filter the properties of an image. Another advantage of this central storage is that all digital assets are archived in the same train, so nothing is lost and does not have to be purchased several times
In addition to being used as a database, a DAM system can also be used as a brand portal to ensure a uniform implementation of the corporate identity and to provide all those involved with the necessary information. In addition, uniformity can also be guaranteed by the automatic generation of watermarks and other identifying features. By storing them in a central location, the files can be accessed in most cases regardless of time and location, which is particularly advantageous in the flexible world of work in the 21st century. To simplify the work steps even further, most DAM systems also offer the option of connecting them to other systems (via interfaces). For example, web shops, web-to-print systems or marketing portals can directly access the individual digital assets through the integration, but these are still physically in the DAM system.
What are the advantages of digital asset management?
- Orderly filing of files Easily search and find using metadata
- Easily share files within a company or between partners
- High brand consistency (corporate identity) in various projects
- File sharing Increased security (less lost content)
- Time saving and more productivity
- Saving local storage space
- Cloud-based systems can be accessed from anywhere
- Distribution and copyright management
In which areas is a DAM system used?
In order to use these advantages and to see whether digital asset management is also suitable for your own company, it is advisable to take a closer look at the areas of application. As such, a DAM can be used in all areas where digital content is used. This is particularly useful in the digital and online areas. Industries that have been using such database systems for a long time are the music and film industries as well as in photography. But it is not only important to manage the content correctly in the media area, smaller start-ups and large corporations are already using DAM to simplify their processes and to give employees a single point of contact for digital assets. Here it is primarily the marketing, sales and PR departments that use digital asset management to find the content they need for their own work. They mostly use the images and content for the layout of advertising materials or the creation of presentations. In press work and also in cooperation with agencies and partners, DAM systems are particularly suitable for file exchange. All in all, it means that digital asset management is relevant for companies that work with images or digital content.
How do I choose the right system?
- Gain an overview: Talk to potential users as to whether a system can support them in their daily work
- Identify functions: Prioritize and select the most important functions
- Recognize savings: How much is the system worth in ROI?
- Specify system payment method: One-time purchase or software as a service?
- Examine file organization: How should you organize using metadata (tags)?
- Calculate number of users and storage space: How many users and storage space are required?
How can I get a DAM system?
Such a license-based management system is installed on the individual computers or in the internal company network after purchase. In order to be able to access each other's content, the employees must therefore be in the same network. The initial purchase of the DAM can be seen as a one-off, larger investment. Often, additional annual maintenance fees (approx. 20% of the purchase price) have to be paid so that the latest software version is available. Only then can it be ensured that bug fixes and security gaps are also rectified by the provider.
SaaS systems are cloud hosting where the system is not made available on the computers, but online via a web app. This has the advantage that employees can access the images, videos, presentations and content from any location. You only need an existing internet connection. However, the use of a cloud system involves monthly rental costs. However, this subscription to the software provides users with innovations and updates.
Overview of the most common questions
A digital asset management (DAM) is a platform on which all company-relevant digital assets, such as images, graphics and documents, can be stored and organized. This web-based system ensures that all employees, sales partners or external service providers (e.g. agencies) have access to the data and can download and use it directly. In addition, a DAM offers the possibility of not only sharing content internally, but also with suppliers or the press, without having to create direct access to the system.
In digital asset management, you can manage your data and media holistically. The system offers the possibility to import and download assets (pictures, graphics, videos, etc.) and to archive them in a targeted manner. By using metadata, the content can be categorized and made easy to find, so that no more content is lost. Web-based DAM systems also enable time-independent work from different locations.
Digital asset management can be used in any business area that has to do with digital content and media. Whether a small start-up or a large company, DAM systems support the management of content directly and simplify the workflow of file exchange.
The web-based digital asset management is a software-as-a-service solution, the cost of which depends on the number of users. These costs are made up of the hosting, maintenance and further development of the system. If you are interested, we will be happy to advise you and send you our price list.
The use of digital asset management means that working hours can be saved in some areas. Content and files no longer have to be requested or searched on servers, which means that some consultation and waiting times can be avoided. This saving of working time leads to lower costs, which is supplemented by additional avoided costs of double productions (e.g. for advertising material or image material). The individual savings can be determined using process cost accounting.
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