5 considerations ahead of choosing your DAM software

If this is your first time shopping for Digital Asset Management (DAM) software, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Vendors often target specific industries. This means their software won't always work for you--although that's not always clear at the start. There are some great solutions on the market, but most require significant investment, time commitment and a serious shift in your organisation's existing processes.

Introducing the wrong DAM could have long term consequences. For example, a clunky or insufficient onboarding process may result in low user adoption - that first impression is crucial. Sometimes, issues with the software are revealed once you start tackling more complex projects or try to integrate with certain tools that are unique to your sector.

To help you make the right DAM software choice, we've listed the five key considerations you need to keep in mind.

1. What does the DAM need to do for the business?

Making your Digital Asset Management process more efficient is usually the top priority. However, each department may have a different idea about what that looks like.

Have conversations early on to make sure that the software you're considering can fulfil what you need and meet everyone's expectations.

Your decision will be based on how the software solves your main problems. For example, inefficient workflows, security concerns or poor searchability. Start by documenting everyone's ideas and objectives so that you can come up with a coordinated plan to evaluate each proposed DAM solution.

2. Who'll need access to the DAM software?

Most organisations deal with a mix of internal and external parties. Marketing agencies may outsource freelancers, while museums and galleries have to share resources with academics and patrons. Depending on their seniority or role requirements, internal stakeholders may need different editing rights and permissions.

It's essential to identify who will be using your DAM, their connection to the organisation, and their location--remote or on-site. This will help you shortlist the DAM software solutions that allow for more complex user access specifications.

3. What type of assets will you be managing?

Videos, photographs, audio files and documents are just some of the different digital assets you might need to manage and organise with your DAM - and these resources are likely to come in different formats and be in various categories as your library expands.

Build a scalable digital asset management plan by identifying the asset types you already make use of, as well as what might be included in the future. Some DAM software solutions will be better suited to images, while others may have greater multimedia functionality. Be sure to ask and check with the provider that they have experience in serving your particular digital asset requirements.

4. What will the DAM software be replacing?

At ResourceSpace, we're used to onboarding clients with varying degrees of DAM experience. Some have outdated legacy systems and need a complete overhaul. Others are looking to integrate with existing digital asset management platforms, while others have no DAM or similar system in place at all.

Perhaps you're taking the opportunity to streamline your organisation's workflows and introduce new processes that are going to make significant improvements. You'll need a strategic migration plan to ensure everything happens on time and within budget--this includes how you'll train users and build their confidence in using the new DAM system.

5. Differentiate between must-haves and desirable features

Some DAM systems come with plenty of impressive tools and features--but are they beneficial to your business? Having a list of non-negotiable criteria will help you get genuine value for money from your DAM provider--rather than feature-rich software that doesn't necessarily help your organisation.

To help you, we've outlined five essential DAM requirements you won't want to compromise on:

  • Is it scalable?
  • Are there simple integrations with existing systems?
  • Can the interface be customised for your brand?
  • Is support and onboarding from the provider included?
  • Are the server facilities suitable for your organisation?

In 2021 there will be an even greater need for organisations to optimise their digital asset management. Consider what changes are in store for your sector and how your DAM system will support you to grow as your needs change.

A critical feature that you need to assess is the user experience (UX). Will your team find the platform easy to use? Our Knowledge Base walks you through common tasks and explains how you can get the most from the features.

Metadata tools are also becoming increasingly more sophisticated, so be sure to choose a DAM system that can evolve to improve search accuracy and reporting.

Once you've put together a list of potential DAM solutions, we recommend having a look at our Digital Asset Management Comparison Checklist.

Extra tip: Try before you buy

The best way to establish whether DAM software is truly right for you and your team is to try it.

A free trial will provide peace of mind that your expectations will be met--if not exceeded.

ResourceSpace is trusted by a wide range of industries to provide a flexible DAM solution that works for them. Get started with our free trial here.