Unreasonable expectations surround DAM. The ‘word’ DAM is a misnomer. Digital Asset Management, colloquy defined is a software solution that takes files, the core essence of an asset, and subscribes metadata and cataloging to it transforming a binary object we call a file into an asset that then can be found by enacting the software’s business processes.
A DAMs value is its set of related activities applied to assets, how it operates, or inter-operates across your operational data management structure. An asset’s value is related to how you define it. Therefore, determining what is important to describe your ‘file’ so you can identify it or find it is critical before you begin.
DAM is complicated because it can be disruptive. Organizations that quickly ‘drop in a DAM’ without mapping the diversity of assets, tasks, other system touchpoints, and the different groups or individuals involved never maximize their investment. The result is typically characterized by staff frustration and abandonment.
Furthermore, a DAM siloed is a DAM failure. A DAM must play well with others and embrace change. Emerging technology is not stopping.
Organizations embracing DAM, MAM, ECM (‘information’) realize that change management is an integral part of the project and starts the moment you think you need a DAM.
The human factor and relationships along the way are key to success. Transparent communications and cross-integration of core working teams including internal resources, external vendor(s), professional services, and agencies are crucial to building the solution and workflows for launch and setting the stage for ongoing improvement. Gathering multiple points of view early on provides an important lens for selecting, standing up, and rolling-out the right solution for your organization’s people and processes.
Engaging an organizational framework that allows for change, growth, feature/functionality extension(s), technology replacement and a structure to assess tradeoffs fundamentally shifts your organization into readiness and adoption. Executive commitment along with clear goals and priorities coupled with ongoing transparent communications is a critical component to success. Stakeholder resources and power users make or break an initiative. They are the backbone of your initiative.
DAM is more than a software solution it is a core component of your information infrastructure and is a necessary driver in your marketing ops stack. Data management is not a single department need. It is an operational need.
Like your business, DAM has lifecycles. It requires commitment, investment, and ongoing management.