The Bigger Picture – No DAM is an Island

Before they had dictionaries, John Donne wrote:

No Man is an Island
No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man
is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine;
if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe
is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as
well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine
owne were; any mans death diminishes me,
because I am involved in Mankinde;
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

MEDITATION XVII: Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

The same is true for your DAM. It doesn’t just need the use and involvement of teams of users to influence its ongoing development, regular attention from a Librarian and a developer, and a manager to oversee it all. To realize its full potential, it needs to connect: connect to other systems, to have it’s role in a true workflow, to automate billing and tagging tasks, to be part of the PIM (Product Information Management) system.  On this topic are two recent articles, one from cmswire, and the other, from Widen.

Graphics are always great, as a picture is worth a thousand words.

How DAM and PIM Streamline E-commerce by Nate Holmes speaks to how a proper DAM takes its place among the PIM, ERP, and end-site usage systems in a large organization, say one that has a websie full of products for sale. t discusses a case study with Harman, Inc. Crow-eating time: I scoffed in an earlier post at managing a billion assets, but have recently thought more about how a site like Amazon could approach this number of images when you look at variations in color and size n their inventory. It also discusses some of the differences between a PIM and a DAM, and why it is probably best to let each do its role.

On CMSWire, there’s an related, uncredited missive, Understanding the Value of a Connected Intelligent DAM, talking about how Marks & Spencer and the Smithsonian are using OpenText DAMs and AI to master their assets, and use them to “has fully automated processes to import and deliver thousands of assets daily to a variety of channels.”

Good food for thought when you consider what is next in your DAM journey.

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.