Simply speaking, a Digital Asset Management system allows you to quickly find and/or share any of your digital files, as well as manage who has access. A digital file can be, but is not limited to: photos, videos, audio files, documents, and various creative file types.
How do you determine when something is an asset? It’s a common misconception that a DAM is a storage solution. While the DAM will store all of your assets and can become the system of record, it is not the place for everyone to upload anything your organization has ever produced. Before organizing and uploading, you need to ask yourself, “Does this digital file have value within my organization?
If you’ve ever heard someone in your organization say any of these statements, or ask you any of the following questions, you need a DAM!
Before you begin shopping for a DAM, be sure you understand the requirements you’ve gathered from your team. We’re often asked, “Can you integrate with my toaster?” To which we’ll reply, “Well, yes, but what are you trying to achieve with this integration?” To which they will respond, “I have no clue! Someone on my team had that as a requirement, but that seems crazy to me.” Once you’ve gathered your requirements, make sure you understand and then prioritize between, “Have to have,” and “Nice to haves.” And, get an idea if you're looking for a hosted environment, or if you're looking to host on-premise.
While the concept of digital asset management itself can be distilled down into easy-to-grasp concepts, it can evolve quite quickly into something rather complex. Maybe complex is what you need, or perhaps you’re looking for something simple, or maybe what you need is something in between. Regardless of what you’re looking for, make sure you pick a vendor that can walk you through their tool and SHOW you how it will help with your requirements. Your requirements will help quickly narrow down your search.
Chances are, a canned demo is not going to answer all of your DAM questions. Make a list of things to ask. Your time is valuable, so if you have some “deal-breaker” requirements, don’t be afraid to lead with those.
You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, so why would you buy a DAM solution without seeing what it can do?
We know a lot of people don’t get into digital asset management on purpose. Quite often, you’re simply the one at your organization who knows where everything is and realizes this is a problem. If that’s the case, we can help!