Yvan Cohen

Yvan Cohen

Mon Jun 24 2024

Busting the DAM Migration Myth in Three Easy Steps

Pelican and seagulls flying. Photo by Dan Cristian Pădureț

Migration means change, disruption and uncertainty. In the geopolitical realm it's the explosive issue of the day. But mention migration to an organization considering adopting a new digital asset management (DAM) system and hearts are suddenly all aflutter.

Here are three simple steps to migrating your files to a DAM system:

  1. Knowing what digital assets you have

  2. Knowing if you need a legacy (from an existing provider) or basic (you're new to DAM) migration

  3. Making the actual migration

After all, doing nothing is much easier than implementing a comprehensive plan for change, interacting with a new vendor and learning a new system and interface.

Where digital assets are concerned, however, inaction is your enemy. Allow files to accumulate without secure storage and with no plan for classification and indexing, and the risk of loss rises. Files become scattered and archives fragmented. A valuable resource is put in peril, it's potential remains untapped.

Once you've cleared the hurdle of doubt, and have finally placed your faith in the concept of digital asset management, with all its advantages in terms of efficiency, security and access; the prospect of actually finding and migrating thousands of digital assets can still cause many organizations to slam on the brakes.

So, breathe deeply and let's take a calm look at the process of migrating your archives into a new digital asset management platform.

For clarity, we're going to divide migration into three easy steps:

Person using a laptop and looking at images. Photo by picjumbo.com

Step One: Know What Digital Assets You Have

For organizations whose archives have become fragmented and scattered, performing an audit of what actually needs to be migrated can be challenging.

If you suspect the task of locating your digital assets is going to involve some lengthy detective work, start with the 'low hanging fruit'- the files you can find most easily. Remember, you don't have to upload everything in one go. Populating your DAM platform can be a gradual task. Some organizations complete the migration process over months or even years, often editing content as they go.

To facilitate the ingestion of your archives, it's best to audit what types of files you'll be uploading. At LightRocket Enterprise, we always ask new clients for an overview of what file types they have and how much data (usually in gigabytes or terabytes) they plan on transferring into their new system.

This will help us draw up a plan for storage and computing requirements. For example; if you're going to have lots of very big video files, we'll need to take that into account when configuring your service.

Step Two: Legacy Migration or Basic Migration?

There are basically two types of migration scenarios: one where we have to migrate content from an existing DAM system (we've encountered this a few times J), the other is what one might call a 'basic migration, where the digital assets have not yet been integrated into any kind of system and are simply held on a server or on hard drives.

At LightRocket Enterprise, we've often encountered clients who believe that moving from an existing DAM platform is going to be hard. Simply the idea of migrating a collection to a new platform can be a disincentive to change.

Indeed, some DAM providers are keen to propagate this myth as an argument against their clients moving to a new system. They want their clients to feel that changing to another platform is just not worth the hassle.

Believe us, when it comes to adopting a system that is easy-to-use, efficient and comes with attentive professional service (I'm thinking of LightRocket Enterprise here), change is most definitely worthwhile and it can be easy too.

We've had clients who have moved from legacy services, have been amazed at how easy the transition was, and by how important great service and consultancy is.

The 'basic' move is, well, basic. With LightRocket's drag and drop uploader and our S3 bulk upload functionality, transferring thousands of files into your new LightRocket Enterprise platform is as 'easy as pie'. Our record-breaking uploader managed to transfer over 40,000 files in just three days. Using our S3 uploader, you can even maintain existing folder structures when uploading.

Man carrying moving boxes. Photo by Artem Podrez

Step Three: The Actual Migration

The way it works is like this: if you're migrating from a legacy platform, the LightRocket team will need to have access to your system. Our technical team will then analyse how your metadata is stored and write scripts to ensure the transition from your old platform is smooth and hassle-free. The key is ensuring that metadata fields are carefully mapped between systems, so any existing metadata is displayed in the appropriate corresponding fields in your new DAM system.

When it comes to a 'basic' migration – where your assets are not held in a legacy system - our team will advise you on the best way to move your files. This might involve sending us hard drives, or simply uploading your files directly into the LightRocket Enterprise platform using our S3 Uploader or even just dragging and dropping files into your archive (as noted in 'step two').

Size does matter, because a very large archive can take appreciably longer to move, but at the end of the day, migration should be seen as a process and not an obstacle.

We absolutely understand that change can be daunting, but when it comes to releasing the value of your archive and preserving the digital legacy of your organization, making the move to a powerful digital asset management platform like LightRocket Enterprise is one you definitely won't regret.

Contact us now if you'd like to know more about migrating your archive into our world-class DAM system.


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.


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