Yvan Cohen

Yvan Cohen

Wed Apr 24 2024

DAM Systems: The Useful Platform Organisations Never Knew They Needed

Woman wearing a white top holding a smartphone Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Let's face it, digital asset management is niche. For a lot of people, its technical-sounding name, and mysterious acronym (DAM or DAM system), means nothing. To many, digital asset management sounds more like a way of managing your finances than the key to organising your archives and media libraries.

With the exception a few specialists, usually experienced archivists and librarians, DAM systems are rarely front-of-mind in anybody's corporate consciousness. And yet they are one of the most useful platforms many organisations never thought they needed.

DAM systems start out seeming marginal and end up becoming core

In essence, the paradox of digital asset management platforms is that they are systems which start out seeming marginal and end up becoming core. Adopting a DAM system usually begins as an easy way to centralise and manage chaotic file storage, and ends up being an essential tool used by almost every department.

Even for a grizzled DAM practitioner like me, the transformation can be both exciting and startling.

The process is snowball-like. Initially a curious lead wants to know more about a product that can solve their most obvious problems: how to consolidate files scattered on hard drives throughout the organisation, how to manage a resource that nobody has the time or the expertise to look after, how to find valuable assets that can never be retrieved when needed, how to make sure the organisation's legacy is protected.

Woman sitting in front of computer with head in hands Photo by energepic.com

LightRocket Enterprise, the solution for clients' pain points

The 'enlightened' lead sees a platform like LightRocket Enterprise as a powerful solution for all these pain points and more. The lead takes the plunge and becomes a client. Suddenly, the tentacles of what seemed like a side-project start multiplying.

A cascade of queries follows.

How can we integrate the DAM system into our existing web architecture? How can we harmonise the graphic presentation of our DAM with our other online portals? How can we give our staff seamless access to the DAM system, so they don't have to register and we don't have to manage their accounts?

It's fascinating to see how quickly these questions emerge, and equally gratifying to see our clients speedily reassured in their choice (and investment), when they understand that LightRocket Enterprise offers ready solutions to all their concerns.

All our clients have continuous access to support and consultancy

Our approach is one of on-going collaboration. Our team takes the 'software as a service' label literally, making sure that all our clients have continuous access to support and consultancy.

As a project snowballs, it becomes increasingly evident that implementing a powerful digital asset management solution like LightRocket Enterprise saves time and money. All this while also releasing the value of your diverse digital resources which can now be used in the interests of the organisation.

Alongside the dynamic requirements of ingesting, centralising, and serving up assets, one of the core values of digital asset management is conservation. Archives need to be kept safe.

Hands typing on computer Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

However young or old, every organisation has its own unique history, the sum of which is expressed in a myriad of moments recorded in pictures and words. Key events, conferences, contract signings, records of successes, even failures. When these records become dissipated throughout an organisation, they inevitably become vulnerable to loss and misuse. DAM systems, like LightRocket Enterprise, provide a centralised safe place of storage, access to which is controlled and monitored.

Gone is the image of the digital asset management system as a marginal 'nice to have'. For almost all our clients, their DAM system has become a much more vital, comprehensive, and valuable tool than they imagined at the outset.

Our clients are the system's managers. Their clients are the users who log into the system. This includes people, both internal and external to the organisation. Suddenly, the 'marginal' DAM system is capturing everyone's attention. Users start offering feedback which our clients then review with the LightRocket team. Before long, the system that once seemed like a bit of a luxury, feels indispensable.

If you have any questions about how to start organising your archives and/or evaluate the value of a DAM management system, please feel free to contact Yvan at info@lightrocket.com.

Written by Yvan Cohen | Yvan has been a photojournalist for over 30 years. He's a co-founder of LightRocket and continues to shoot photo and video projects around South East Asia.

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