What is a DAM Pro’s Career Path?

The coming DM Crisis is a worthy, interesting article by  . It discusses the value of an internal DAM Pro, their role in understanding a company’s workflow, challenges, and ongoing development; as we have pointed out, a DAM is not a project, with an end – it is an ongoing, living system that needs to adapt to an organization’s innovations… unless your organization doesn’t change, in which case it will probably not be in business in the foreseeable future.

According to news reports, Digital Asset Management is booming: one report assured me that “we’ll be managing $5.36B worth of digital assets by 2020.” It’s certainly a great space to be in for DAM vendors and should be for experienced digital asset managers. So why is it so hard to find any DAM pros? I see DAM positions sit unfilled for months or, worse, searches are abandoned because the right candidate could not be found. Sure, some folks have transitioned to different careers, gone back to school, or decided to retire. But most have gone to work for vendors or become DAM consultants. In the past month alone I know of at least three DAM superstars who’ve left careers at growing companies to work for DAM vendors. Though I can see the attraction of helping guide vendors towards more user-focused features, I think the underlying reason is more worrying.

Companies don’t know what to do with digital asset managers. To what position do you promote a DAM manager… DAM director, chief asset officer? Unless C-suite understands the great value DAM brings to the company, these staff may be the first to be let go during a restructure. They may think “why do we need folks to run our DAM program if we have a vendor’s professional services to do this for us?” To my fellow DAM professionals, this is what we need our DAM conversation to be about.

 

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