DAM Solution vs. DAM Software

DAM software is only one part of a smart, well-designed digital asset management initiative. Before you spend money on DAM software, make sure you’ve spent time on DAM planning.

DAM is not Software

Though the term “digital asset management” or “DAM” is commonly associated with software, DAM software is only a tool used within a greater digital asset management initiative. Digital asset management itself involves a number of processes that actually involve no software at all:

  • Needs assessment — Have you spent time determining exactly what problems you hope to solve via DAM software? Staying focused on the solution instead of the tools will help you better understand your needs and better address them.
  • Business process evaluation — Have you spent any time evaluating the current business processes you hope to improve via DAM? Organizations often try to “throw” software at systemic problems, hoping for easy solutions. Use DAM software to streamline good business processes, not to fix bad business problems.
  • Policy design — No matter what DAM software you choose, it will be only as smart and useful as the business policies you have designed it around. That is, DAM software is good at following the rules, but it should not be used to make the rules.

DAM is not an Island

Digital asset management system solutions often encompass much more than DAM software alone. Here are some examples of where DAM software has been integrated into other business systems to increase the value of both:

  • Content management systems (CMS) — A good DAM is a perfect companion for a CMS because it provides controls that most content management systems lack, and it breaks down the walls between the assets used in your CMS and those used elsewhere in your organization. Without a DAM, it is your CMS that becomes an island.
  • Product information systems (PIM) — PIMs were designed to make the development and management of products easier. They weren’t designed to handle the massive explosion of media we use today to promote and sell products. Videos, podcasts, images, PDFs and more are the bare minimum digital assets used to sell products. DAM can partner with your PIM so that a single thread of connectivity keeps your product information in sync with your product promotional material.
  • Social media and other broadcast channels — Posting pictures to Facebook or uploading videos to YouTube are effective, inexpensive ways to spread your message and promote your brand. DAMs that are integrated with social media make the process of sharing digital assets easy because the DAM can convert into the formats needed.

DAM is not Rocket Science

Digital asset management initiative planning takes some effort, but if you have grown your business to the point where you need DAM, you have all it takes to plan and launch a successful DAM. What’s most important to remember is that DAM software is nothing more than a tool you’ll use to make the process of digital asset management easier and safer at your organization.

Keep in mind, you’ve come this far without DAM because you’ve relied on common sense, smart planning and (probably) a little bit of luck too. Those same things will help while you’re designing your perfect DAM initiative. DAM initiative planning takes time you can’t afford to skip. Do it right and you’ll turn your policies, processes and DAM software into a DAM system solution that will return fast benefits, and increase in value over time.