Choosing a digital asset management (DAM) system is a crucial decision for businesses. There are many factors you need to consider, and the correct choice enables you to leverage efficiencies on a scalable level.
This article covers how to choose a digital asset management system, including how to outline your digital asset management requirements, evaluating DAM providers, and the implementation and adoption of a DAM system.
Understanding Digital Asset Management Systems
If you want to compare DAM systems, you need to have more than a surface level understanding of what digital asset management is. This will help you better understand the practical benefits and apply them to your own business. You will also be introduced to two types of DAM systems. Decide for yourself which version best suits your company.
What is a Digital Asset Management System?
A Digital Asset Management system helps you structure and manage all your business’s digital content. The software solution enables the storage of and central access to all digital files. These so-called digital assets include not only images, videos, and audio files, but also graphics and other documents like PDFs, MS Word files, or any other document type.
DemoUp Cliplister’s DAM, for instance, helps you organize, store, and distribute all your content through sharable links. Plus, it easily integrates into your existing workflows, helping you streamline your content management processes.
Benefits of Using a DAM System
One of the key benefits of using a DAM system is the uncomplicated creation of shared content. Compared to standard cloud storage, the DAM software can also handle significantly larger amounts of data. Unified management also ensures that the files ingested are always up to date. A clean category structure makes it easy to find them and format them appropriately depending on the output channel.
Types of DAM Systems
DAM systems can be deployed either locally, i.e., as an on-premise solution, or cloud-based. However, on-premises DAMs are somewhat outdated for most businesses and require a lot of maintenance. With a SaaS-based or cloud DAM, you can gain access to the system regardless of location, a feature that’s even more important in today’s post-COVID work environment.
Digital Asset Management Requirements
While there are loads of articles about the “best digital asset management system“, and “how to choose a digital asset management system”, the truth is that the answer is subjective because it depends on your company. Digital asset management requirements are individual and depend on the workflows and processes within your company. The following sections cover the most important factors to consider when comparing DAM providers.
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a DAM System
Figuring out what you need from your DAM is the most important part of the selection process. Finding your best fit software is crucial in driving your organization’s long-term success. Many companies implement custom digital asset management workflows and processes. Other relevant factors lie in the content of the traditional marketing mix.
Outlining Your Digital Asset Management Requirements
Before you begin comparing DAM providers, you should break down your requirements into the areas most important to your business. Here is a list of factors you should start with:
- Your organization’s needs and goals
- The types of digital assets you need to manage
- The size and complexity of your digital asset library
- Your team’s workflows and processes
- Integration with other tools and systems
- Security and permissions
- Pricing and budget considerations
Formulating stakeholder requirements within your organization should be the first step in choosing a new DAM system. This ensures that you analyze the impact to every area of the company and that your entire organization benefits from using the system.
Evaluating DAM System Providers
The range of DAM providers is steadily growing. Therefore, you should formulate your evaluation based on five important criteria.
To begin with, review the functions and capabilities of various DAM systems. This will give you an impression of their features. Also, compare customer service and support, as well as your own user experience.
Another important criterion is client satisfaction, which you can better understand by evaluating customer reviews. Despite their subjective nature, this is one area you should not overlook.
Naturally, price is always going to be an important factor. It is, therefore, very important to compare various plans and prices. In most cases, however, a lower price is accompanied by worse performance. “You get what you pay for” rings especially true in the DAM industry.
Review Digital Asset Management Functions and Capabilities
The central digital asset management functions refer specifically to the system’s capabilities. To successfully incorporate a suitable software solution, it is important to conduct a detailed review of the respective features different DAM vendors build into their systems. Possible functions to evaluate are the speed, compatibility, and applications of the software.
Check Customer Service & Support
When reviewing essential DAM system features, always pay attention to the quality of customer service. In the event of a problem, you need a team who can react quickly and help you find a solution. Relevant criteria when selecting a provider are responsiveness and service quality. Because SaaS DAMs are constantly upgraded and maintained, it’s important to find a provider you can see your company working with as a long-term partner.
Assess the User Experience
Because implementing a new DAM is accompanied by a change in the processes within your company, a simple and intuitive user interface is important. System adoption is one of the factors many companies overlook but is necessary for effective integration. Therefore, a UI/UX assessment or free demo can help you get the necessary feedback from the wider organization. For more complex applications, it is advisable to take advantage of onboarding sessions to become familiar with the system.
Research Reputation and User Reviews
Choosing a DAM provider is one of the most important purchasing decisions your company will make. Therefore, you should check all providers that could be potential fits. You can evaluate DAM systems using networks like Gartner and Forrester, but a better recommendation is finding objective reviews from existing customers.
Compare Pricing and Plans
For the most part, price comparisons can only be made after an individual offer has been prepared. Digital asset management pricing always depends on the type of system you’re evaluating and the functions your company requires. Formulate your own requirements and compare the various providers by means of demos and free trials about their stated focus and price orientation.
Caution: Variable costs during implementation can often turn out to be a cost trap. Try to get a fixed price for implementation and data migration.
Implementation and Adoption of a DAM System
Implementing a new digital asset management process and system consists of four steps. Based on your company’s structure, the migration process must be extensively planned and prepared. Then the existing data is transferred to your new system. After the migration is complete, your teams should be supported through ongoing training on use and maintenance of the system.
Planning and Preparation
The planning and preparation phase defines the needs of all the system’s potential users. It should be clear at this point how the software will be used. Plan these fundamental changes together with the members of all relevant departments. Then, prepare the existing data for the coming restructuring.
Data Migration and Organization
During the implementation phase, existing data is transferred from the original storage location. It’s important that you clean and organize your data before beginning this step. To do this, remove obsolete digital assets and transfer only the most up-to-date content to the new system.
Ongoing Maintenance and Updates
After migration is complete, it’s time to carry out ongoing maintenance and updates. Depending on the contract, the responsibility for this lies either with the buyer itself or with the provider. To benefit from your customer support agreement in the long term, ensure that the system is carefully maintained. Pay attention to cost traps for maintenance and care in the offers.
The value of a DAM system cannot be underestimated. Digital asset management is much more than simply storing images, videos, and text, but rather, it allows all departments to collaborate with digital content and access it centrally.
The most important thing to remember if you want to know how to choose a digital asset management system is that it depends on your own company.