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DAM Europe Takeaway: DAMs Must Prepare for Tomorrow’s Digital Asset Challenges

It’s easy to understand how some companies fall into the trap of thinking that digital asset management (DAM) is solved once they have a nicely curated set of assets and solid metadata. The thinking goes: Now all we have to worry about is keeping it accurate, right?

If only it were that simple.   

As we explored during the recent DAM Europe panel discussion, “Staying on Top of What’s Next for Our DAMs,” the truth is that the business around us is changing rapidly. DAM systems and processes need to change, too, just to keep up. Content must be ready anytime, anywhere, and businesses are constantly challenged in exciting new ways like data/analytics, second screen, AR/VR, metaverse, and more.

How do businesses keep up? What do they need to do now to be ready for what’s coming?

To answer these questions and more, I spoke with Sal Hakimi of Tenovos, Christian Kubstrup of The LEGO Group, Gareth Williams of Sky Creative, and moderator Graham Allan from Deloitte Consulting. Here are the key takeaways:

As more businesses realize the process optimization benefits of a DAM system, these platforms will become an increasingly vital part of the connected ecosystem of business tools. DAM is still not necessarily considered critical to every business, but its importance is definitely rising.

Historically, DAM has mostly focused on managing and orchestrating media content assets. But now there’s an opportunity to extend DAM beyond those fundamental (yet still very important) productivity goals and towards relying on DAM to measure and optimize content in its various channels. So the question will not be simply, “Where’s my stuff?” Instead the questions will be, “Where’s my stuff actually being used? Am I getting a return on the asset? Did it achieve the desired outcome?” And businesses need to be ready with those answers.

One of the persistent misconceptions about DAMs is that they’re just a place for storing assets—they’re end-of-line and not part of the creative, value-driving process. Not true! Business leaders need to understand that DAMs can free people up to be more creative. They can empower people to drive business value from the content being generated with input from automated tools and systems. This is key for smaller organizations that need to scale and compete by generating content to push out onto different channels. 

Ideally, DAMs will need to change before businesses so that DAM capabilities will be ready when the business needs them. There is still more thinking to do about what it takes to be ready for what’s coming, rather than reacting to changes after they’ve occurred..

Everyone has heard horror stories about AI incorrectly applying  predictive tagging for visual assets. Creatives fear losing their jobs if all content is created by automation.  But the newer implementations of automated workflows—content prediction, for example—hold a lot of promise in the DAM space. Automated workflows will help to give brands control over the entire lifecycle of assets—from creation to distribution to usage. They can then gather analytics about that usage (what’s successful and what’s not) which can automatically be fed back into content plans for the future. 

It’s crucial for DAMs to keep up with changing workflows. Organizations are looking for end-to-end use of digital assets, so it’s important for all of the tools they bring on board to be interoperable. DAMs need to take a modern approach—for example, they need to accommodate configurations that allow headless to be an option. 

Looking ahead, DAM providers need a strategy for meeting their customers’ current and future needs for their digital assets. Companies know that every tool they consider needs to be open and extensible. To thrive and remain in demand, DAM providers have to fit into this approach, offer best-of-breed products, and bring real value to users across the enterprise.

To learn more about how DAM can unleash the full potential of your digital media, contact Cloudinary today.

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