Yvan Cohen

Yvan Cohen

Fri May 31 2024

4 Important Things to Consider When Buying a DAM System

business analytics and a calculator on a table Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

What to consider when buying a DAM system? This should be first question anybody thinking about investing in a digital asset management system should ask.

Here are four important things a good DAM system should offer your business:

  1. Security and Peace of Mind
  2. Search Functionality: Finding What You Need When You Need It
  3. Collaboration and Integration
  4. A Future-Proof Solution

You're about to invest in a complicated piece of software. It's expensive. You've managed without one for years, so is it really worth the extra cash? Not to mention the time you'll need to invest in learning and managing this new tool?

What actually are the core value propositions of a DAM?

Businesses invest in software because they believe it will solve a problem, save money, and perhaps even generate revenue. In the case of a DAM system, the initial decision to even consider purchasing a digital asset management system is a recognition that the problem of archive management has become so critical, and the risk to the company's digital assets so severe, that a solution is needed.

two security cameras on a grey wall Photo by Scott Webb

1. Security and Peace of Mind

Using a DAM system will centralise your digital assets, and store them in a context that is secure. For example, LightRocket Enterprise, like many DAM providers, relies on Amazon solutions which are considered the gold standard when it comes to secure storage.

From the moment your digital archive is secure, your DAM platform has reached the baseline of its value. You no longer need to fret about who has which files and whether the hard drives you stored them on are still working or indeed if anyone can even find them. Everything is now in one place, and everybody (if you do a little internal promotion for your new DAM tool) knows where to go.

Now they just need to be able to find what they want when they get there; which brings us neatly to the core value of search.

a woman working on a laptop with a search bar overlaid Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

2. Search Functionality: Finding What You Need When You Need It

Great. Your files are in the cloud. They're safe. “But surely that's something I could have done with a Dropbox or Google account,” you wonder. “What's the use in having thousands, even tens of thousands of files in the cloud if you can't find what you need when you need it?”

Without a doubt, accurate search is one of the most valuable aspects of any media management system. The ability to type in a term, or a series of search terms and for your system to deliver accurate and relevant results is pure gold.

This isn't just about convenience (although it is very convenient), it's about huge time savings. And where time is saved, so is money.

Gone are the telephone calls, the lengthy and often fruitless hard drive rummages, the amateur detective work that would otherwise be involved in trying to find that one file you know exists but can't find.

Accurate search, with fine-tuned granular advanced search options (including AI visual search), of the kind you'll find on LightRocket Enterprise, is the magic wand that releases the value of your archive. It saves you time and money, while allowing you to use the right file for the job at hand.

The one caveat to search is that you'll need to invest some effort into tagging and classifying your assets. This will help release the value of search. AI tagging will give you a thin layer of reference points, but is still an unreliable form of tagging because machines don't know or understand context…yet.

a diverse team of people all putting their hands together Photo by fauxels

3. Collaboration and Integration

It may be obvious, but I'll say it anyway, your DAM system is a tool that needs using. Purchasing a DAM and letting it sit, unused, in the nether regions of your organization, a forgotten whim from yesteryear nursed by a lonely underling, is a waste of time and money.

To get solid value from your DAM means sharing access, making everyone in your organization aware that an exciting new resource is now at their fingertips. The step beyond that is fostering collaboration through your DAM.

How many projects do you have that require media assets, for example? If you think about it, almost anything involving communication (even internally) is more impactful and clearer when used with a picture or video.

Visual assets need to be shared, reviewed, and discussed. Your digital asset management system, should become a hub for reviewing content: create lightboxes, send links to files, download files to try them out in layouts, etc.

Many of our clients start out with their DAM system, thinking it'll be a sideshow. A few months later, they are amazed when almost everyone in the organization has visited the platform and are asking how they can get the most from it. This is what happened with boutique furniture design company, Alexander Lamont.

Which leads us to integration. DAM systems shouldn't exist in isolation. Your DAM system must be able to seamlessly deliver images to your website. At LightRocket Enterprise our intuitive 'embed' feature, allows users to display content from their media library on just about any other online platform. It's simple and powerful, like good software should be.

a person reaching forward toward a light Photo by Mikhail Nilov

4. A Future-Proof Solution

They say 'diamonds are forever', but DAM systems should at least be for almost as long.

But seriously, the point of a DAM system is that it's something for the long term. This is why choosing the right one, and ensuring you get not just excellent software but great service too, is so important.

One of the keys to the value and longevity of your DAM, is the service of the DAM provider you choose. At LightRocket Enterprise, we not only believe that DAM systems should be forever but that clients should be too. Our DAM system is not a just product. For us, it's an innovative endeavour that is always evolving.

To keep pace with changes in the industry, your DAM system should evolve both in terms of its feature set and its core technology. Interface design is important too. How many systems have you seen that have been left to age? The system may still be effective but it feels like a relic from a couple of decades ago.

The beauty of investing in a DAM that is driven by a passionate and experienced team, is that it's an investment that will keep on giving for years to come.

Contact us if you'd like to know more about how LightRocket Enterprise can help release the value of your archives.

Written by Yvan Cohen | Yvan is a Co-Founder of LightRocket Enterprise and has spent the past two decades immersed in the challenges and realities of digital asset management. As a professional photojournalist, Yvan uses his decades of media experience to help shape LightRocket's world-class DAM platform; focusing on collaboration, intuitive workflows and continuous innovation.

Interested in getting to know more?

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help improve your digital asset management.

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