What is Digital Asset Management?

Digital Asset Management is about creating, preserving and appreciating the value of the digital assets that your organisation has invested in.

What is a Digital Asset?

A digital asset is any self-contained and uniquely identifiable digital object.  These could be photos, diagrams, training videos, brochures – and they are called assets because they can be re-used.

Common types are marketing or content-oriented, but they could be used for other purposes, such as operations, culture or heritage, sports or even law enforcement.

Digital assets have intrinsic and extrinsic value.  Intrinsic value is the core data, like the pixels in an image.  Extrinsic value is the metadata or contextual data.  You can consider intrinsic value as ‘what an asset actually is’ and extrinsic value as ‘why you might want to use it.’

To successfully manage and use digital assets, we need to think about their extrinsic value or metadata, as well as their intrinsic value.  An asset’s metadata is critical to success with Digital Asset Management as its extrinsic value helps us to find the right asset for the job at hand.

What Does Managing Digital Assets Involve?

Whilst an asset might be created elsewhere, the metadata needed for digital assets will often get entered or generated inside a Digital Asset Management or DAM system.  The DAM is where everything is bought together to create the digital asset. 

The process of adding descriptive metadata to digital assets is called cataloguing or tagging. 

Once a digital asset has been catalogued, users can search for it, add it to collections, and download or request it for use in their projects.

How Else Can Digital Assets be Used?

An area of growing importance is enabling digital assets to be distributed to marketing channels or other technologies, such as websites, mobile apps, or email campaigns. 

Many activities require controls or checks, like approving requests to use copyright-restricted digital assets.  This is sometimes referred to as ‘governance’ and a workflow is needed to manage this.

All this activity generates auditing data that can be used to gain valuable insights into digital assets; such as what people are searching for, who is using them and why.

Human Resources for DAM

Digital Asset Management involves a lot of different activities.  To control all this requires at least one administrator – a human Digital Asset Manager, who oversees everything.

The Digital Asset Manager needs a good knowledge of Digital Asset Management and DAM technology, plus a deep understanding of the organisation where a DAM has been implemented.

Find Out More

This is just a basic introduction to Digital Asset Management and its role within an organisation. To learn get in touch with us to discuss your needs in more detail or find out more about our expertise

If you are interested in buying a DAM system, read our special report: How To Buy Enterprise DAM Systems.