What is Digital Asset Management software?
Digital Asset Management software (DAM) is part of a content management system which specializes in managing media files and other digital assets such as photos, videos, graphics, infographics, diagrams, presentations and audio files. The idea is for the user to be able to store, organize and retrieve digital assets in a wide array of file formats.
There are different trends you need to understand when evaluating what Digital Asset Management software to use:
Paying a recurring license fee
When it comes to pricing, there are mainly a few options available. A popular one is to pay a one-time fee for the one user (or the one computer). Additional functionalities and extra modules often come as an additional cost.
Pricing can also be subscription-based
The other current method of pricing is to pay monthly or yearly on a subscription basis for multiple users and computers to access the system. In this situation, updates and maintenance is often included in the fee; but training and support will often cost extra.
Choosing the right deployment method
Digital Asset Management software is mostly sold as either on-premise installation or as a cloud service. It is up to the buyer to determine which of those two deployment methods is best for them; as both have their advantages and their disadvantages.
Here are the common features involved in Digital Asset Management software:
Uploading of assets
The user can upload files individually or in batches. Most Digital Asset Management systems will excerpt metadata during the process of uploading, with supporting standards such as XMP, EXIF and IPTC.
This is a set of tools which allows to manipulate digital assets. This includes file conversion, version management, metadata editing and digital rights management (DRM). The idea is to make files easier to find but also to make them more secure.
A dashboard view helps the user to see various information about their digital assets, including the quantity of assets as well as their uses by different users. Some dashboards will give out notifications and they will display thumbnails for all assets which have been added recently.
Searching and finding assets
Digital Asset Management software will have a search system which allows the user to find the right content by typing keywords, searching for file types, as well as being able to find content through upload dates and metadata.
Sharing of assets
Digital assets can be shared via email, social media, direct download and by embedding codes; facilitating the sharing of those assets across different users.
Why Use Digital Asset Management software
There are many benefits to purchasing and using Digital Asset Management software:
- Digital assets can be found more quickly, which increases speed and organization. Faster distribution of those assets can be done by adding the right metadata and keywords.
- Companies can protect their digital assets better with the use of watermarking and copyright embedding.
- Digital assets can be accessed by multiple people at various locations, which simplifies collaboration between different users.
- Digital asset version control is simplified, with users being able to work on the most recent and up-to-date version of their assets.
Your use of Digital Asset Management software will vary depending on your needs and the needs of your business:
- If you are an individual or even a smaller company, opting for a cloud-based deployment system will make more financial sense as there are less upfront costs. This also reduces the need to keep file storage on-premise, which removes the need for a qualified technician to deal with system maintenance and updates. Furthermore security is better dealt with by a professional cloud service supplier than by less-qualified individuals.
- On the other hand, a larger business which deals with large amounts of digital assets will want to consider on-premise deployment solutions. That way all digital assets are kept in-house and the system can be maintained by in-house qualified technicians. The upfront costs and maintenance costs will be more expensive but those costs will level out over time, competing with the lower costs of cloud-based solutions.
- Ultimately, the best short term solution is to use a cloud-based provider. Over time however, a company will want to consider switching to an on-premise solution to retain better control of all their digital assets. The transition from cloud-based to on-premise should be carefully planned and executed to avoid any loss of assets.