What Is DAM?
Digital Asset Management
What is Digital Asset Management?
Digital asset management (DAM) offers an effective solution for enterprises to store, organize, find, retrieve and share digital files. Quick to deploy and easy-to-use, a centralized digital library provides peers, employees, clients, contractors and any other key stakeholders controlled access to digital assets — including images, photos, creative files, video, audio, presentations, documents and more.
The term digital asset management actually covers a large array of software solutions, from an individual’s digital file library or a photographer’s photo database to solutions that resemble enterprise content management. The best digital asset management software has core capabilities surrounding cloud storage, how assets are retrieved, how assets are shared and features for brand management. DAM enables creative workflow automation, archival and backups, usage tracking, e-commerce and more. To further your knowledge about DAM, download our complimentary white paper entitled “What is Digital Asset Management?”
What are the Benefits of Digital Asset Management Software?
Cloud digital asset management (Cloud DAM) software provides anytime, anywhere access to all of your digital media. Have secured 24/7 access to all of your business critical files from any web device whether you’re at your desk, working from home or at a coffee shop halfway around the world. Businesses are more mobile today than ever before. Online DAM provides exactly what you need to easily manage, access, share and track all of your digital assets.
Some huge benefits of cloud DAM include easy implementation, quick adoption, great integrations, an intuitive user experience and security. Fast implementation frees up your IT resources and allows you to get up and running right away. Enjoy a user-friendly interface anyone in your organization can understand. Cloud DAM is easy to use — just use a web browser for cloud DAM software.
Anytime, Anywhere File Sharing & Access
Digital asset management cloud software makes file sharing and accessibility simple. Securely share files and replace sending files by email attachments, FTP, CDs and shared servers. Easily configure different levels of permissions and ensure the right people have access to the right files.
Easy Asset Organization & Control
Keep all of your important digital assets secure and centralized with cloud DAM software. Easily organize your assets in a smart folder structure and add keywords for improved searchability. Control which users can download, upload, delete and more based on user groups or folders.
Marketing & Creative Collaboration
Use Lightboxes or collections for creative collaboration within a DAM solution. You can group assets together in Lightboxes or collections to share with other team members and increase productivity. Streamline workflows with real-time alerts, commenting, version control, approvals and more.
Digital Rights Management
One of the biggest benefits of digital asset management is the ability to track image usage rights. Use image expiration to regulate the use of photos or images with content license agreements and avoid costly and time-consuming law suits. Control the use of your digital assets with branded watermarks, click-on agreements and proper metadata tagging.
Find Files Fast
Powerful search options help you locate the files you need quickly. Specify file type and use image filters or in-document search to narrow your results. Metadata management provides the ability to add keywords to assets and even customize and enforce a controlled vocabulary. Keyword consistency greatly improves search within your DAM system.
Rich Media Asset Management
Designed for rich media, DAM software is equipped with features to support image, audio and video management. See large previews of your creative image files and videos in Webdam and use standard presets or customize your own to batch convert images or easily convert video files.
Deploy Brand Management
Digital asset management systems have robust features to drive effective brand management. Manage a branded web portal for users and key stakeholders to access the files they need. Create a custom page with corporate brand guidelines and enable click-on agreements to ensure users follow these terms.
Digital Publishing & Distribution
Digital publishing tools in DAM keep all your assets in one location but allow you to push them to social channels, web content management systems, marketing automation solutions, third-party distribution services and more.
What is the definition of a digital asset?
Digital assets are any form of a digital file. Common digital assets include images, documents, photos, presentations and videos. Digital asset management software is primarily used by enterprise marketing and creative teams, so it is necessary for DAM software to accommodate a broad spectrum of creative files.
Artists and designers often use DAM for different image file formats including raster images created from image-editing software like Adobe Photoshop or vector graphics created in Adobe Illustrator. Even photographers can store Camera RAW files in a DAM. Even though DAM is tailored toward creative workflows, document management and video management are an indispensable aspect of DAM. Marketing teams often implement a DAM system, but businesses can utilize DAM across all departments.
Who needs a digital asset management system?
Anyone looking to optimize current digital asset workflows needs a DAM system. From startups to globally-recognized brands, all businesses, regardless of size, can benefit from implementing digital asset management. An enterprise-wide deployment is an easy way help departments break out of their silos. See how different enterprise players can utilize DAM:
- Marketers can accelerate brand growth and increase brand consistency across all branded content. Create marketing materials with dynamic templates and easily distribute them to all your marketing offices around the world. They can repurpose your materials and modify them for their region’s language.
- Designers use DAM to optimize creative workflows. Being able to search and find files in seconds saves valuable time. Instead of searching for or recreating images, creatives can save time and resources by just repurposing assets.
- Sales teams can always have the most up-to-date materials they need — anywhere, anytime, from any device. DAM aligns sales with marketing to increase brand consistency. Everyone is happy with the resources they need.
- IT departments feel secure with cloud DAM and don’t have to worry about cumbersome installations or deployments. DAM eliminates the need to manage onsite FTP servers, third-party file sending solutions or worry about file security.
- Agencies utilize DAM to provide a professional experience clients love. A branded web portal keeps creative files organized while matching your brand, ensuring a consistent look and feel when clients and users access it. Enable faster turnarounds to keep clients coming back for more.
- Distributors achieve success by always having the latest on-brand materials. Increase brand consistency and optimize the delivery process across your network.
What is DAM SaaS?
You can find the answer to what digital asset management is at the top of this page. Since you now know what DAM is, we’ll dive into the definition of DAM SaaS, also known as DAM Software-as-a-Service. The SaaS model describes software hosted by a vendor in the cloud and is delivered to users through an Internet browser, often as a subscription-based service.
DAM SaaS is simply defined as digital asset management software hosted in the cloud. SaaS solutions are quick to deploy and easy to scale to match the growing needs of your business. With a SaaS platform that is multi-tenant, upgrades that include new features and enhancements are seamlessly rolled out to all customers, ensuring that companies always have the best. For SaaS, DAM support comes directly from the SaaS provider, instead of burdening your internal IT resources. The opposite of DAM SaaS is locally-installed DAM software, known as on-premise software. On-premise DAM software is typically more difficult to deploy, support, scale and update because all responsibilities fall on your IT department. Unless your company prefers to pay overpriced fees for premium services, SaaS-based digital asset management is the best DAM choice. Other important factors to consider are security, reliability and total costs. Today, top SaaS companies have paramount security and reliability advantages. They have also become more cost efficient with all important factors rolled into one package.
When do I need to invest in digital asset management?
First, analyze how you currently manage your digital assets and workflows for collaboration, sharing, finding and distributing your organization’s assets.
- Is it resource-intensive to find your assets? If it takes more than a couple minutes to find and share your digital files, DAM software can help. With innovative tools for organizing and searching, your teams won’t have to spend valuable time hunting for files.
- Can your assets be accessed wherever and whenever you need them? Accessibility is crucial for productivity. If your team cannot get to the files or resources they need, recreating assets push back deadlines and raise issues from duplicate content and brand inconsistencies. DAM software ensures your teams always have the resources they need.
- Do bottlenecks occur during creative collaboration? Increase project communication and visibility. Get real-time alerts when files or new versions are uploaded, comments are added or assets are approved in a DAM system.
- Does your current system provide enterprise-level security for storage, access and sharing? Important business assets need to be locked down in a stable and secure environment. Reputable DAM companies ensure the safety of all your digital assets with secure data centers and constant monitoring. Read more about DAM security here.
- What is the ROI from DAM? The main factors are listed above, but there are many other reasons why businesses invest in DAM.
How do I select the best digital asset management software?
When you’re looking to select the best digital asset management software for your business, you need to know the current challenges your company faces with regard to managing your digital assets. Discuss specific workflows that will solve these challenges with top digital asset management companies.
- Identify the key users and discuss all the required features and functionality they need and want.
- Create a list of these important features to check off when you’re speaking with DAM providers.
- Decide if cloud digital asset management or an installed on-premise solution is right for your company.
- Consider important factors like security, cloud architecture, integrations, implementation process, professional services, customer experience and user adoption.
- After seeing DAM software demos with the companies that made the cut, get DAM trials and do a head to head comparison.
- Select the best DAM software that your company will benefit from and that your users will easily be able to leverage.
What are digital asset management best practices?
Where can I find more digital asset management resources and DAM software reviews?
Find helpful digital asset management resources at DAMSuccess.com. Get guides, watch videos, see best practices, read DAM software reviews and connect with the DAM community. This exciting web portal provides DAM users, consultants, marketers and analysts the ability to learn and discuss trends in the industry. Get useful information applicable across all types of organizations by going to DAMSuccess.com.
To read DAM software reviews, visit our DAM customers page.