If your organization is like most, it may benefit from a better way to manage the many digital assets flowing through its systems. Files, such as text documents, images, audio files and videos, can be difficult to keep track of, which puts them at risk of becoming lost. That is why many organizations are navigating toward digital asset management systems (DAMs).
DAMs act as a central repository to store, archive, retrieve and distribute files for future use. When properly used, they improve search results, increase efficiency and save organizations time and money. In fact, research has shown that a DAM system can improve search-result failure rates by as much as 30 percent. For more information on DAMs and how your organization may be able to benefit from one, keep reading.
Manage your digital assets with a DAM
You can think of a DAM as a giant database that makes retrieving digital content quick and easy. Here is a step-by-step guide to help implement one within your organization:
- Step one—Build a team: It may be worthwhile to assemble a team to undertake your DAM initiative. Key players may include a DAM software manager, technical representatives who understand the organization’s network system, a file archivist and key department representatives to appear on behalf of those who will be using the DAM.
- Step two—Set goals: To paint a clear picture of how your system should operate, you’ll need to identify how users are currently naming and finding assets as well as what works and what doesn’t. Look to current policies and procedures and internal stakeholders for help.
- Step three—Outline requirements: By this step, you should have a clear picture of your organization’s needs, which will help you define your project scope and requirements. For instance, will the DAM only be used for archiving? Or to manage works in process?
- Step four—Choose a vendor: You’re ready to start looking at vendors. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, take advantage of demos and pilots, and be sure to contact references before making final decisions.
- Step five—Prepare the infrastructure: Now is the time to prepare your internal technical environment for DAM implementation. Depending on whether you’re working with a software as a service (SaaS) provider or hosting the DAM internally, you’ll need to ensure your internet connection is adequate or that your disk capacity and hardware are sufficient to cope with its demands.
- Step six—Organize the assets: Begin your file and workflow preparation in this step. Select metadata standards for naming files and setting workflows that establish a structured process to manage, create and review digital assets.
- Step seven—Migrate existing data: You’ll want to spend time preparing to move your existing data to the new system. Considerations include the amount of data that needs to be moved, whether or not assets will need to be digitized and file formats.
- Step eight—Train: What comes out of a DAM will be only as good as the data that’s put in. This is why training on naming conventions, permissions and other issues is so important. If you choose a SaaS option, training and support will likely be part of your monthly or annual contract. If you’re hosting internally, you may need to organize your own training. Keep training materials organized and easily accessible with a binder or folder and have plenty of highlighters and flags available for trainees to emphasize important information.
- Step nine—Ongoing review: Ongoing review of your DAM system is recommended to keep up with the changing demands of your business. Survey users for their challenges, suggestions and feedback. Reward participants for their replies with a small token of appreciation. A portable power bank or combo USB/stylus makes a nice choice.
Remember, a DAM makes retrieving digital files quick and easy. When properly implemented, it can improve search results, increase efficiency and save your organization time and money. For a complete look at digital asset management, check out our Blue Paper.
Diamond, David. “DAM Survival Guide.” Damsurvivalguide.com. David Diamond, n.d. Web. Retrieved 22 Oct. 2014.