Digital Asset Management: Beyond The Repository

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May 20, 2010

One area where InfoTrends has started looking at more over the past few years is the Digital Asset Management (DAM) software market, which comprises solutions designed to help organizations better-manage and more ably utilize digital media. More organizations are using digital media on a frequent basis, and even the large majority of physical media now originates with digital files. Being able to efficiently find the right asset for the right medium and application is becoming more critical, and many DAM vendors continue to enhance their products to meet ever-changing needs.

Additionally, DAM continues to be more tightly integrated with other software systems depending on the needs of an organization. In many places where DAM used to be its own entity or “silo” we see an increased value being put on its overall role, which subsequently leads to the need for integration. We’ve seen DAM integration with MIS and ERP systems to help gather specific job or product information related to digital assets; integration with third-party image and video processing and conversion systems to deliver required formats; and connectivity to popular image editing and layout applications to drive common asset use and brand integrity.

DAM has been especially important for content creators, such as publishers and media companies. It has become more just a repository for digital information and has become a much more crucial aspect to production workflow. But what about print and marketing service providers? Service providers have been utilizing DAM for quite a while, using these solutions to enable them to offer value-added management and archival service to their clients. At the end of last year, InfoTrends surveyed 192 print and marketing service providers about their use of production software solutions, and found that 30.7% own a DAM solution. Additionally, around 12% of service providers plan to invest in DAM software in 2010.

Print and marketing service providers have taken a more active role in the actual production of content, in addition to its reproduction and distribution. This is especially true for providers offering services like creative design and personalized communications, such as variable data publishing. In the same survey, we asked services providers that indicated they owned a DAM solution to provide their top three functions utilized within those solutions. As shown in the chart below, while many service providers are utilizing DAM for general asset library services and as archives, we still see significant use for things like image conversion, proofing and approval workflows, and managing assets for variable data projects. As service providers take a more active role in content creation, we expect to see greater reliance on DAM throughout the creation process.

Top Digital Asset Management Functions

Today marks the start of the Henry Stewart Event’s DAM NY 2010 in New York City, which goes into tomorrow and ultimately kicks off a series of DAM conferences in London (June 30), Chicago (Sept. 22), and Los Angeles (Nov. 15-16) that cover the latest trends and topics for users of Digital Asset Management solutions. Its exhibition also features prominent vendors in the DAM space, allowing users to experience first-hand the newest software on the market. Myself, as well as my colleague Stephanie Pieruccini, will be heading down to DAM NY tomorrow to attend sessions, meet with vendors, and talk with users. Additionally, our European colleague Kaspar Roos will be in attendance at DAM London in June. If you see us, please say hello! Also, if you’re into that whole Twitter thing, check out #DAMNY2010 to follow the conversation about the conference.

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