What Is Digital Asset Management and Why You Need It?

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Digital Asset Management

A decade ago, having a 256MB (megabytes) USB flash drive was considered a luxury. Nowadays, we can even get one terabyte SSD USB drive at a pretty affordable price. 

We take, record, and transfer more digital photos, videos, and files than ever before, and this is why Digital Asset Management, or DAM, is now a necessity for many businesses. 

Digital Asset Management allows organizations and individuals to have a centralized space to store and manage their digital assets to get more value from their digital assets by making them easier to access, organize, and distribute. 

Without a DAM in place, managing these digital assets will be inefficient, and valuable assets may get lost, broken, or even stolen by hackers and cybercriminals. 

Here, we will discuss all you need to know about Digital Asset Management and its benefits. 

What is Digital Asset Management?

Digital Asset Management (DAM) can refer to the effort of managing, storing, and distributing digital assets. Still, typically the term “DAM” is used to refer to a software solution that stores, organizes, finds, retrieves, and distributes digital files. 

We can think of a DAM solution as a centralized digital library that provides authenticated access to users and stakeholders to an organization’s digital assets. 

Modern DAM solutions are typically cloud-based. They provide a data governance tool that is flexible, portable, accessible from anywhere (including mobile devices). Organizations can also use the DAM solution to distribute their digital assets to partners, clients, vendors, and other organizations/individuals. 

What actually are “digital assets”? 

All digital files stored digitally (on a hard drive, SSD, USB flash drive, cloud storage, etc.) can be defined as digital assets when they have value

It’s crucial to note that not all digital assets are generated electronically (i.e., Photoshop files), but hand-made physical assets (i.e. scanned documents) can also be converted into digital assets. 

Digital assets come in different file formats, and each might need unique approaches in managing them. These file formats can include: 

  • Images/photos
  • Videos/Audio
  • Design raw files (.psd, .ai, etc.)
  • PDFs
  • Word documents
  • Presentation files (.ppt)

This is not an exhaustive list; other file types like promotional materials, data packages, consumer data, branding assets, and more can be considered digital assets when they offer some form of value to the organization. 

How Digital Asset Management Works

The basic principle behind DAM is to ensure digital assets are always available to the right user at the right time

A specific staff might need to access a particular digital report today. When they do, the DAM solution must ensure they can access this report in real-time and on any device. Yet, access can and should be revoked when they no longer need it.

To perform this function, professional DAM software like Aproove involves three core functionalities: 

  1. Internal centralization

One core functionality of a DAM solution is internal centralization: providing a centralized space where users can access different types of files in a single platform. This function allows organizations to improve their efficiency when storing and using digital files. 

With a consolidated space for all valuable digital assets, all departments and stakeholders can access, retrieve, and send assets from the DAM as long as they are authenticated. 

  1. External distribution

The second core function of the Digital Asset Management solution is external distribution, which allows organizations to share their assets with external parties (i.e., vendors, remote freelancers, clients) effectively. This is typically done in a cloud-based approach, so the third-party user can retrieve the file via the cloud without downloading and installing the DAM software on their devices. 

One of the key benefits of this function is maintaining the organization’s brand consistency by ensuring all external parties using the same digital asset when needed. 

  1. Internal storage

Last but not least, the DAM solution must be able to securely store the digital asset internally. 

Digital assets must be stored securely, but at the same time must be accessible and retrievable when they are needed. 

Benefits of Digital Asset Management

Digital Asset Management allows organizations and individuals to get the most value out of the stored digital assets. 

Indirectly, easier access to digital assets and data integrity will also make the organization more credible in the eyes of stakeholders and external partners

Benefits of using a Digital Asset Management solution can include, but are not limited to: 

  • The ability to find and retrieve any digital assets quickly
  • Simple and intuitive asset navigation process for all users
  • Preventing lost and/or broken digital assets, eliminating the need of recreating an asset
  • Allowing organizations to access and share digital files anytime, anywhere, and on any device
  • Allowing organizations to create, store, and share digital assets from a single centralized platform
  • Allowing content distribution to many different destinations including posting on social media, third-party marketplaces, and more
  • Maintaining consistency and integrity of the brand identity
  • Identifying and leveraging opportunities to reuse digital assets and maximize their values
  • Analyzing the performance of digital assets: where they are used, who is using them, the value generated, and more. 
  • Track and measure user engagement of specific digital assets
  • Measure the potential reach of a digital asset

Closing Thoughts

A Digital Asset Management software solution like Aproove provides a centralized hub for your team and stakeholders to manage your digital assets from creation, storage, publication, and distribution. 

In creative processes, we can also use the DAM solution as a central hub where reviewers can access, review, and approve deliverables to streamline the approval process. 

DAM offers the ability to store, organize, access, track easily, and share all of your digital assets in just a single place. In turn, this can help improve your team’s efficiency and productivity by ensuring the right asset is available to the right user at the right time. 

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