Enterprise Digital Asset Management: What Is It And How Does It Work?

In this progressively digital world, most, if not all, enterprises use digital assets for their operations. Even small enterprises like sole proprietorships have digital assets, like logos and brochures.

These assets are often used in all sorts of operations across different departments. For example, in branding, you use the company logo and watermark. Similarly, when designing a marketing campaign, you utilize brochures and banners made by your designers. In short, digital assets are essential elements of enterprises. One may even say that a company can’t operate without them.

Unfortunately, as your company continues to grow, content volumes will also increase. The number of images you produce will rise, and the same goes for other types of digital assets.

When this perseveres, there’ll come a time when regular storage solutions would no longer be adequate. That’s when enterprise digital asset management (DAM) comes to the rescue.

A Brief Overview Of Enterprise Digital Asset Management

If you’re up-to-date with the recent news, you’re probably familiar with the term digital asset management, or DAM for short. Basically, it’s the practice of managing digital files owned by your company, hence the name, although specific software may also have another functionality that can help with the process. Regardless, DAM will always involve the management of digital assets.

For your reference, digital assets are any content that an individual or organization owns which provides value to the owner. There are all sorts of digital content or assets, such as:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Logos
  • PDF files
  • Presentations
  • Word documents

Enterprise Digital Asset Management is pretty much the same as digital asset management, except it focuses on an enterprise’s digital assets rather than that of an individual digital content creator. The primary purpose of enterprise digital asset management is to ensure that the company can manage its files despite the increasing volumes of content, which usually can’t be handled by standard solutions.

How Does Enterprise DAM Work?

Despite the rather plain explanation earlier, enterprise Digital Asset Management works in a complex manner. It consists of several steps, each with its vital role in the process. Here’s a closer look at these steps:

1. Creation/Production

The enterprise DAM process starts with the production or creation of a digital asset. For example, if you assign an employee to create a company logo using specialized software, you’re essentially taking the first step of the digital asset management process.

2. Indexing

With the creation of the digital asset comes the next step—indexing. If you don’t know, indexing refers to the process of adding metadata about a file. Metadata pertains to information that may describe a file. Examples include image dimensions, video resolution, and audio bitrate. Simply put, indexing is when you add more data about a file. It’s an essential step as it allows you to describe a specific file more easily and accurately.

3. Management

The next step is management, and it pertains to the organization of the files to ensure that it’s where they should be. After all, you don’t want confidential documents in a place that outsiders can access. Similarly, you want digital assets like logos, images, and other necessary documents to be accessible to your team members or employees.

4. Distribution

When you share a digital asset to an employee by sending the download link or embedding it into a message or email, you’re essentially taking the next step—distribution. Distribution refers to the process of sharing or distributing files within your enterprise.

5. Preservation

Usually, when an enterprise creates a digital asset, they’ll hold onto the file until they find some use of it. But in the meantime, the enterprise must preserve the digital asset to ensure its safety. Experts also call this step archival. Once your enterprise deems that the digital asset is no longer useful, you may dispose of that asset to declutter or save storage space.

While the name suggests that it only pertains to the storage and organization of digital assets, enterprise Digital Asset Management covers the entire lifecycle of digital content, from the creation up to disposal.

Importance Of Digital Asset Management To An Enterprise

After reading the previous sections, you should know now that enterprise Digital Asset Management is a lot more complex than you think. In fact, if you often deal with digital content, there’s a good chance you’ve been doing digital asset management without actually knowing about the practice.

For example, if you design your company logo in Photoshop, you’re essentially performing the first step of the process—creation/production. You’d then store the output file into a storage space, which would be the third step—management. And when the time comes to use that logo, you’ll need to share it with others, which you can then call the fourth step—distribution.

So, why do people, including you, perform digital asset management?

For one, the practice is inherently the most effective way of handling digital files. Furthermore, pretty much anyone can get their hands on tools that can help them with this practice.

Introduction To Enterprise Digital Asset Management Platforms

While it’s true that you can manage your enterprise’s digital assets manually, it’s still advisable to use a tool to streamline the process. These tools are called enterprise DAM platforms.

An enterprise DAM platform is a specialized software that consists of tools and functionalities that allow you to handle digital assets more efficiently. For example, some platforms consist of video and image editing tools that can help with digital content production. You can also find numerous DAM systems that allow one to insert metadata on files automatically or manually.

Simply put, an enterprise Digital Asset Management platform is any software that provides functionalities that can streamline the digital asset management process. It may also have the following benefits:

  • It allows you to centralize your files in one location
  • You can automate time-consuming processes, such as metadata tagging
  • You can allow employees to collaborate on content edits
  • The platform can integrate with other software your enterprise uses
  • It can protect the digital assets from prying eyes and malicious intents
  • You can monitor the analytics of certain digital assets, such as ads or video testimonials

Take note that these are just a few examples of benefits you can get from an enterprise DAM platform. Specific software may have additional functionalities that can add to this list of benefits. For that reason, if you intend on getting a platform, you must take your time choosing one.

What To Look For In An Enterprise DAM Platform

Despite the benefits that DAM software can bring to an enterprise, you’ll find that many owners tend to have second thoughts regarding the matter. This is mainly because DAM platforms are expensive, with a price range of USD$250 to USD$250,000. If you’re not the type to squander money, you’ll do well if you look for a platform with the following features and qualities:

1. Metadata Tagging

As stated earlier, the second step of the digital asset management process is indexing, and metadata tagging is essential for this step. It allows you to include extra data about the file automatically, such as dimensions for images, resolution for videos, and bitrate for audio. All of these are included automatically with the metadata tagging feature.

2. Advanced Search Filters

Most file management tools like File Explorer have a search function. This feature allows you to enter a keyword, and every file with that term will appear. However, some platforms have an advanced search feature that’ll enable you to look for files not only through its keyword but also by filtering the metadata, which can help you search more accurately.

3. Customization

You should also look for platforms that will allow you, the user, to customize its appearance by changing the color palette, font style, theme, and such. Customization can be an excellent feature for maintaining a consistent brand style even across your software.

4. Version History and Control

This feature allows you to look at the previous versions of a specific file and revert to a chosen version. For example, if your company logo has changed six times over the past year, there should be at least six entries in the history. With this feature, you should be able to turn the logo into its older versions, which can be handy in certain circumstances.

5. Bulk Selection

As the name suggests, this feature grants you the option to select multiple files at once. Buk selection can be handy if you plan on moving, copying, deleting, or downloading tens, hundreds, or even thousands of digital assets simultaneously.

While it’s advisable to choose an enterprise Digital Asset Management platform that consists of numerous features, it’s also worth noting that its price would inflate according to the number of features. Hence, you have to find the right balance between functionality, performance, and price.

Takeaways

Enterprise digital asset management pertains to any action taken by an enterprise in an attempt to manage its digital content, digital content being any file owned by and provides value to the enterprise. Contrary to common belief, the enterprise Digital Asset Management process encompasses the entire lifecycle of the digital file, starting from its inception up to its deletion. While it’s possible to achieve digital asset management with a tool, using a platform is advisable as it allows you to streamline the process.

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