We know this DAM process can feel a little overwhelming. Here are a few tips to start you in the right direction.
5 things to think about when implementing a DAM system
Appoint a DAM administrator
A dedicated Digital Asset Manager is the number one key to a successful implementation and your champion for ongoing user adoption. Develop a job description and assign a dedicated resource. This important role should not come as an afterthought.
Involved in the project from the beginning, the Admin is in charge of configuration and becomes your organization's application expert.
Develops a metadata strategy, curates asset ingestion, and manages the asset lifecycle.
- User engagement
Works closely with all users to assess workflow needs and fine-tunes DAM processes and configurations to meet those needs.
Ensures users have access to the assets they need and responsible for protecting sensitive content.
- Help and support
Provides first-level help and training for end-users and is the main point of contact for your DAM Vendor's support team.
Consult all stakeholders
Everyone likes to have their voice heard, even if they're not directly involved in the project. Taking an inclusive approach from the beginning helps you better address your users' needs.
- Implementation team
You’ll want to consult with most business units, but that doesn’t mean everyone should join the implementation team. Identify colleagues that will have valuable input on the taxonomy, workflows, and functional requirements of your DAM.
- User stories
Hold discovery sessions to understand digital asset workflows throughout your organization and gather business requirements from all colleagues that will use the DAM. Document this in detail.
- Executive sponsorship
Ensure your DAM project is supported to secure budget approval and allocate appropriate resources to the project.
- IT services
Some requirements may involve your IT department (i.e. URLs, email, single sign-on, integrations, etc.). Self-hosted sites depend on an adept IT team to handle the infrastructure, while SaaS (cloud) deployments require little or no IT involvement.
Refine your organizational taxonomy
Taxonomy is the process of naming and classifying things into groups within a larger system, according to their similarities and differences. DAM taxonomies power search: good classification leads to good search results, which leads to happy users.
- Search behavior
Think about who your end-users are and how they will find what they're looking for.
- Organizational taxonomy
Look at the words, phrases, and acronyms that are used within your organization and come to a consensus. Find out if there is a current taxonomy (i.e. a website) that can be leveraged for the DAM.
- Striking a balance
Search will be ineffective if there isn’t enough metadata. If there's too much, the system becomes unmanageable and usability suffers.
Consider how you might leverage metadata to help drive your digital asset workflows.
Start collecting your assets
Preparing assets for migration is often the most time-intensive phase of a DAM implementation and the easiest to procrastinate on – get started now. The old adage of garbage in, garbage out is very true when it comes to DAM, so start off as cleanly as you can. It's worth it!
- Locate and aggregate
Start gathering your files in one place as soon as possible. Ideally, files will be ready to import within a month of starting your DAM onboarding project.
- Resist storing everything!
Your DAM should keep assets that have value to your organization, not just all files your organization comes across.
Review your existing folder structures, assets, and data. Evaluate what you have against what you need.
- Filename conventions
Useful filenames often don't get as much attention as they should. Proper filename conventions can go a long way in benefitting your users in a DAM system.
DAM is an initiative, not just an application
Dedicating the time, effort and resources throughout your DAM implementation pays off! With a clear vision of your organizational needs, you'll be sure to find a DAM vendor who's the right fit – now and into the future.
- Implement in phases
Focus on a single high-value use case for quick adoption, faster ROI, and improved efficiency.
- Usability is key
Try to build a solid foundation for usability during initial implementation. You can always add bells and whistles in Phase 2 once your users are familiar with the basics.
- Be loud, be proud
Change management and user adoption isn't always easy – appoint a few DAM cheerleaders. Let everyone know what's coming and how changes will benefit them.
- We're all in this DAM business together!
Join the DAM community and attend webinars and conferences to hear from those that have gone before you. Have a DAM chat with other organizations in your industry.
What makes DAM different?
Digital assets are more than just files:
- Original files
- Thumbnails and previews
- Metadata (Attributes)
- Renditions (Views)
- Linked assets (Relationships)
NetX is more than just file storage:
- Version control
- Managed access
- Usage history
- System integration
- Workflow and automation
- Transcoding and repurposing
Already familiar with DAM basics? Get a head start with an Introduction to NetX Onboarding.