What is this DAM thing?
Digital Asset Management (DAM) is the management, organization, and distribution of digital assets from a central repository. DigitalAssetManagement.com is the place to learn everything you need to know about DAM, what DAM systems can do, and how you and your organization can capitalize on their capabilities.
Digital Asset Storage
Digital assets include all kinds of files: product images, stock photos, audio, video, presentations—you name it. If it’s on a drive and can be useful, it’s a digital asset. You need a place to store assets of all formats, whether it’s PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Auto CAD, Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator, PageMaker, In-Design, PDF or anything else, a DAM system is the most secure and accessible kind of repository.
In a DAM system, administrators have varying degrees of control over assets, permissions and workflows. Managing assets involves regulating the influx of new digital assets, assigning and editing metadata associated with each asset, and associating the assets to groups of users with role-based permissions. Each user or group of users has different degrees of access to different assets.
It’s not hard for an organization to quickly amass a library of thousands—even tens of thousands—of digital assets. Putting all of those in one secure place doesn’t necessarily save time, which is why DAM systems generally have tools for organizing all that data. It used to be that organization meant an ever-expanding collection of file cabinets and drawers full of transparencies, photographs, and CD’s. Who knows? Maybe your organization still works this way. The right DAM system, though, can turn what would otherwise feel like finding a needle in a haystack into a process that feels like finding a needles in a… well… in a needlestack.
If your assets aren’t going anywhere, then neither are you. Distribution of digital assets is critical to ensuring consistency across all your marketing and communication channels. A good DAM system ensures that users can easily locate digital assets and retrieve them for use in your campaigns. Some DAM systems will even allow for this to happen from any web browser. Still others can do on-the-fly file conversions so you don’t have to track and update multiple renditions of the same file.