What is Digital Asset Management ?

Digital Asset Management (DAM) refers to the process of managing the creation, ingestion, annotation, organization, storage, retrieval and distribution of digital assets. A digital asset refers to any digital file with monetary value including images, documents, and rich media files (audio and video), as well as the data associated with those files. A Digital Asset Management System refers to an enterprise software solution specifically designed to manage large libraries of digital files. NetXposure sells Digital Asset Management Systems, DAM related workflow software modules, and other DAM related services.

The Value of a DAM Solution

For organizations in most industries, the percentage of their total assets that are digital (as opposed to tangible) has increased exponentially over the last 30 years. The need for a DAM system typically arises after an organization has reached the point where their library of digital assets (images, documents, video, etc.) has become so large that it can no longer effectively be managed on CDs and hard drives. Often times this can occur at only a few thousand files. This problem usually manifests itself with time wasted locating assets, workflow bottlenecks and inefficiencies, brand consistency and quality assurance issues, and delayed time to market for products or services associated with digital files. At this point a centralized, web-based, enterprise quality DAM solution is needed.

There is no better indicator of the value of a DAM solution that its ability to efficiently handle large volumes of files — specifically, in terms of number of files, file size, range of file formats, and the data associated with those files. Though difficult to quantify with specificity, there is a monetary value associated with each asset that is managed in a DAM, which can be averaged across a repository. This value is attributed to the preservation of the assets themselves, and the time saved in file management activities such as search and retrieval, verification, organization, repurposing, versioning, distribution, back-up and security. In addition, the technology required to manage large repositories is considerably more complex than that of smaller repositories, which is why many low-end DAM solutions will have performance issues with large volumes of files. Therefore, a DAM that is engineered to handle large volumes of assets (such as NetXposure’s Enterprise DAM solution) has considerably more value to an organization that one geared toward smaller repositories.

According to the Analysts…

The market research firm GISTICS found that 62% of marketing and creative professional spend between 1 and 6 hours per week managing files. On average this amounted to 1 out of every 10 hours (at a cost of $8,200 per year) on file management activities, which includes searching, verification, organization, back-up and security. In addition, GISTICS found that the average creative person looks for media 83 times per week, and fails to find it 35% of the time with no DAM in place. They estimated that a DAM system will help cut the amount of time searching for assets by more then 85%, and that the rate of failing to locate the media will fall to 5%.

The AberdeenGroup found that “best-in-class” companies across a wide range of industries are twice as likely to use a DAM system for marketing functions than the average company in their respective industry. These same “best-in-class” companies reported a 23% year over year reduction in time to market, and an 18% increase in average return on marketing investments. When asked, “How the DAM investment impacted performance?”, 69% reported decreased asset creation cycle time, 40% said they spent less time transferring files, and 63% indicated agency fees were reduced. (Ian Michaels, “The Marketers Guide to Justifying Investments in Digital Asset Management, AberdeenGroup Research Report)

Frost & Sullivan says that, “As companies add more rich digital media to their brand strategy, file sizes are exploding. Stakeholders to these assets are many times geographically dispersed, but still need to easily access and collaborate on the same assets from different locations. Through integration with third party systems using Web Services and providing conditional access control, DAM systems have now become an ideal platform to enable such collaboration in a seamless workflow.” Frost & Sullivan further predicts that the DAM market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of well over 30% and achieve revenues of over a billion dollars by 2013. (Mukul Krishna, “Realizing the Value Proposition of Hosted DAM Solutions”, 2009 and “World Digital Asset Management Market, 2010)

A Gartner survey of 800 end-user organizations in July 2008 revealed that software for the management of images and video (i.e. DAM) is the fastest-growing segment of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) market, with just 44% of enterprises having such products today, but 22% intending to install a system in the near future. (Whit Andrews, “Video Killed the Document Czar”, Gartner, November 2008)

IDC said that, “The content management software market — including document management, capture and image management, Web content management, digital asset management, and records management — grew 9.5% in 2008, strong growth by any measure and particularly strong given the deteriorating economy in the fourth quarter. Growth in the content management market continues to be driven by several of the key priorities for enterprise software spend, including the need to ensure regulatory compliance and reduce risk, the need to boost information worker productivity and improve the cost-effectiveness of document-intensive business processes, and the desire to leverage the Web to build brand, strengthen customer relationships, and grow revenue.” (Melissa Webster, “Worldwide Content Management Software and 2008 Vendor Shares”, IDC, 2009)