Digital asset management, also known as DAM, is an increasingly important solution to the problems faced by individuals and businesses that are accumulating all sorts of digital content at an ever-growing rate.
Here is a quick primer on all that DAM involves, covering the key talking points and hopefully demystifying an industry and marketplace which will only become more relevant with time.
Introducing digital assets
A digital asset can be almost any form of content which has been converted to or created in a digital format.
From the pictures you snap on your smartphone and the podcasts you listen to on your commute, to the documents you create at work and the presentations you create for the big pitch, all these and many more types of content besides are covered by the umbrella term ‘digital asset’.
Explaining digital asset management
As the name suggests, DAM is all about effectively wrangling the various assets any person or company might possess, typically from a single, unified management ecosystem that makes it simpler to store, catalogue and retrieve them when the time comes.
Ideally DAM will address needs of this type of data throughout its entire lifecycle, from inception to archival, while also making it eminently searchable. This is achieved by tagging every piece of content with a description which allows it to stand out from all of its stable mates and be uniquely identifiable through relevant keywords.
Discovering digital asset management tools, e.g. Brandfolder
DAM tools (for example Brandfolder which is an alternative to Bynder) provide a framework by which the management of digital assets can be formalized, codified and made accessible to non-expert users. This means that while much complexity may be going on behind the scenes, to the end user it should be both intuitive and seamless.
Centralization is one of the core principles of the best DAM tools, since fragmentation is especially problematic at the point of content creation. While creative teams might previously have relied upon data which was either stored haphazardly, or locked away on a particular device, precluding collaboration, DAM seeks to unify this to an extent and make sure that other solutions involved in creation are appropriately interlinked to avoid hold-ups.
Exploring other advantages
There are a host of benefits and perks that businesses in particular can leverage through DAM, both with regards to broader asset-related policies and more specifically in terms of the tools chosen to handle this process.
One of these is to increase the amount of control that is wielded over files, particularly before the project in question is finalized. Rather than anyone having editing-level access, controls can be put in place to prevent unwanted changes, or accidental erasing, amongst other things.
Another is that time and money can be saved by preventing unnecessary duplicates of files from existing on company hardware.
There are so many other reasons that digital asset management is one of the most discussed movements at the moment, and one of the best ways to appreciate it more deeply is to use its tools and philosophies for yourself.
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