What Is Digital Asset Management?

Digital Asset Management

Digital asset management is becoming increasingly important in the digital age. With information constituting intellectual property, companies are looking for solutions to store, manage, share and account for valuable digital data such as photo's, video's and music. A digital asset management system is becoming an important component of a companies overall business strategy. Just what is digital asset management and what are the types of solutions available to companies?

In the past companies have used document management systems to store, exchange, catalogue and archive data. Whilst some similarities do exist between the two, document management systems are primarily oriented towards text based application. Data exchange and management typically deals with file formats associated with: word, PowerPoint, excel, PDF, xml, html and some image files as generic binaries. Digital asset management software must support a wider variety of formats. This includes support for: images, logos, line art, audio, video, flash files, 3d, CAD, html and PowerPoint rich media applications. The transition to rich media based applications is primarily in response to the growing use of audio and video as a delivery mechanism. The internet and rising worldwide broadband usage is partially responsible for the momentum in this sector.

Digital Asset Management

The use of both document management and digital asset management systems can be used independently or simultaneously to manage a companies total data requirements. In the case of internet application, text based solutions can assist with content management but do not cater to the storage, retrieval, cataloguing or collaboration that is necessary for rich media files such as flash, video files and multimedia presentations. Effective implementation of digital asset management should assist with the timely production and management of an organizations total content needs, maximize return on investment from media intellectual assets and streamline the compliance process.

Types of Digital Asset Management solutions:

Freeware/open source: Can be effective for small business basic requirements catering to cataloguing, backup, indexing and retrieval systems.

Middle Range solutions: Solutions such as Canto Cumulus software enables work groups to catalogue, use, manage and distribute files no matter where the files are stored and on what medium they are stored.

Enterprise solutions: These are generally customized solutions that are shaped to suit the workflow and design of companies information systems. Cumulus enterprise is an example of an enterprise grade solution.

In the years to come, the line of division between document management systems and digital asset management tools is likely to continue to decrease as companies adopt solutions that seek solutions that cater to both text and rich media applications.

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