22 Feb 2013

That DAM System...

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What is a Digital Asset Management System?

 It allows you to centralise and manage your digital assets in the most efficient way. It enables an organisation to centrally store them in a secure environment and access files as and when they need them.

As an organisation grows it gets harder to control digital files. Time is often wasted dealing with requests for images, logos and other files.

Resources get scattered across CDs, hard discs, USB's  and network drives. Resulting in poor version control and branding issues.

What makes a good implementation different from others?

If thorough business analysis is undertaken at the start, key processes, metadata, categories, permissions, formats, etc will all have been considered. These elements are key and capturing the correct workflows is essential to guarantee success.

Implementing a digital asset management system is no mean feat, because it largely involves many stakeholders across a business. It also may involve several business units which may be internationally scattered so cultural differences also need to be considered. Workflow processes also may differ making the implementation more complex.

A successful implementation does require the overall business to visit their processes at a very granular level so as to ensure that what is implemented is going to be fit for purpose. This can be time consuming but the benefits are enormous.

The following elements are critical:

  • Metadata Analysis
  • Categorization/Taxonomy Analysis
  • Security Analysis
  • Asset Inventory Analysis
  • Customization Analysis

The completion of all of the above analysis steps will produce the necessary information to plan the detailed future workflow and enable diagrams of the system to be designed. All of the analysis results are then used in the configuration and development phase of the project.

Image shows an example workflow

The DAM system yields enormous benefits to every business and, if the appropriate analysis and information gathering has been done correctly, will make the old business processes appear cumbersome and difficult to work with. This will make users less resistant to change, and user acceptance of the system is crucial!

A pilot roll out of the system reaps rewards as it enables key users to provide useful feedback in the early implementation phase. Training the 'pilot' users prior to rollout makes 'buy in' far less challenging. Training sessions enable the 'pilot' users to become very familiar with the functionality and initial feedback enables any tweaking of the functionality to be provided before full rollout.

The additional benefit of using 'Pilot' users means that they can also act as 'champions' of the system and provide the training to other users in their respective departments making rollout much more seamless and inexpensive.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) can be implemented to fit all budgets. However, out of the box software will be rigid, so it is usually more beneficial to budget a little bit more and get a bespoke build that will directly suit the business.

Overall the benefits of an implementation like this are enormous, cost savings can be made in a number of areas which include:

  • Saving resource time
  • Increased efficiency
  • Speed to market
  • Version control
  • Centralisation of key assets

A DAM system overall provides an immediate ROI and if implemented correctly the business can easily claw back the budget spent on the implementation in a very short period of time.

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