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Blog about Digital Asset Management

Is Digital Asset Management a temporary task?


Some people believe Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a temporary task. However, I would caution them with the following questions to truly answer this for themselves.

  • Are you only accumulating digital assets on a temporary basis? (did you stop accumulating, creating, using, reusing and/or re-purposing digital assets?)
  • Are you seeing any less digital assets over the past few years? (regardless of whether you outsource some of these tasks or not)
  • Are you finding it easier to locate all the digital assets created or acquired by your organization over the past few years? (Research shows that is not the case)
  • Have you seen a complete stop in the production or acquisition of digital assets for any purpose?  (while you still have a job and your organization is not bankrupt yet)
  • Is the rest of the work on your organization’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution a temporary task as well?

The answers to these questions are likely the same. What is the word I am looking for? No.

There are exceptions, of course:

  1. You could live in cave with no internet connectivity (and happen to read this blog on printed paper)
  2. More likely, you really did not stop to think about it that way.(And that’s okay because this blog was written to help inform you.)

Read on and I will explain further.

One of my poll questions asks, “How do you use a DAM?”

The results are quite clear. DAM is mostly used for both archive and production purposes.

Another of my poll questions asks, How often do you add assets to the DAM?

Those results are quite clear as well. Since most people answered daily or weekly, it seems DAM is an ongoing task. Sometimes, it is even a constant business need.

If we have multiple projects with several production cycles creating or acquiring more digital assets and this is ongoing on fairly regular basis, where does the temporary task of digital asset management fall in the equation?

If you answered ‘at the end,’ please explain:

  • The end of what?
  • End of production?
  • End of a whole project?
  • And this was budgeted (with time and money) as a temporary task, right?
  • Oh, forgot to do that again so the next project will pick up the slack?
  • Wait, we need some of those assets NOW (in the middle of this project or another project), but they are nowhere to be found because we have not uploaded/ingested them to the DAM yet. That’s okay, we’ll get to it as soon as we get through the other temporary tasks. Meanwhile we’ll burn more time and money recreating/reacquiring the same assets repeatedly.
  • We have over-inflated budgets for a reason. We will always have over-inflated budgets for every projects, but we don’t get to those temporary tasks. This is a cyclical pattern, even for temporary tasks. And that is why we have temporary positions for temporary tasks because we don’t want consistency or accountability (these are very long words rarely followed).
  • Wait a second, how would other project teams know these digital assets already exist?
  • How would project teams search and find what digital assets were created or completed or cleared for use if that temporary task is not accomplished.
  • How will we volunteer someone to do this temporary task. Repeatedly. And they will know what to do based on all that documentation available, right?

If you answered ‘DAM is not a temporary task,’ you are ahead of the class. Congratulations. You likely understand that DAM involves a regular set of tasks which are part of the production/archival process today. DAM is often an ongoing task.Why would you hire temporary help to do these regular, ongoing tasks?
Is it because you can’t find anyone experienced enough, skilled enough and/or willing enough to do this type work? Where are you looking?

Is it budget issue? (Are you really expecting your budgets to get better “soon” and then make it a priority “someday”?)

Is it a time issue? (Keep waiting so it will only get worse and cost more to fix.)

That will change as soon as the mindset and training of your organization does. It should start with the top of the organization mandating this going forward.

Don’t believe me? Want to continue ignoring the issues? Be forewarned. There will have a rude awakening in the coming future if you do. Here is a refresher in case you forgot why you may need a DAM. It helps to use a DAM properly too.

Let us know when you are ready for some vendor neutral consulting on Digital Asset Management.

Author: Henrik de Gyor

Consultant. Mentor. Podcaster. Writer.

4 thoughts on “Is Digital Asset Management a temporary task?

  1. I also wonder if managers see DAM as a set of distinct tasks and responsibilities that can be farmed out to various teams, such as creative, IT, marketing, etc. Especially in the wake of an economic meltdown, I’m sure managers are pressed to do more with less, and workers often find themselves “asked” to take on additional roles when others are laid off. Your prior post about being volunteered to work on DAM is relevant here, as well.

    It goes back to the question of what DAM is: if people view it as simply another piece of software to buy, and not as an entire process, it’s less likely to get the care and feeding it requires.


  2. DAM is not a temporary task,if managers lead it proper way.

  3. How dare you are to tell it’s a temporary task. We only use permanent things……..

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