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What is a digital asset, and what factors impact how you store them?
12th June 2023
Many nonprofits and businesses rely on a variety of digital assets every day. But what exactly is a digital asset? And what factors impact how you store them?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is a digital asset?
Any file that exists in digital form has the potential to become a digital asset. It could be a digital image or a scan of artwork. It could also be an audio or video file. Other potential digital assets include:
- Written documents
- Brand logos and design elements
- Illustrations and animations
These files become valuable once you’ve included the context required to use them well within your organisation. Essentially, a file becomes a digital asset once you add information such as usage restrictions and licensing details.
To offer an example, an e-commerce business might hold an extensive collection of product photos that they use for their marketing campaigns. A nonprofit charity, however, might have multiple sensitive documents related to donors or partner companies. Each will add the information necessary to turn these files into digital assets. The business will likely include details of where teams have used the images before, for example. The charity, on the other hand, might be more focused on details of third-party consent.
While some assets are more sensitive than others to the organisation in question, every digital asset holds value. And so, safety is paramount – protecting these assets is typically a business-critical agenda item. As is making them accessible and usable so everyone in the business can make the most of their value.
As a result, regardless of what the digital asset is, many organisations will benefit from storing their collections in a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution.
What to consider when storing your digital assets
Chances are, you and your teams create and use multiple digital assets daily. The type of asset and its sensitivity will determine how it should be stored. Here are a few key considerations:
1. The volume of assets and the specifications required to store them
Size matters. So does volume. If you work in an industry that requires a variety of high-quality digital assets, chances are you’ll need a tailored DAM solution to meet your storage needs.
Many industries rely on scalable Digital Asset Management systems to store and file digital assets. And for good reason – out-of-the-box solutions like Google Drive often aren’t large enough and typically don’t meet expectations.
Instead, collaborating with an asset management partner helps you navigate the unique complexities of your industry and allows you to configure your DAM to meet your needs. Working with a partner means you can ensure your digital assets are as searchable as possible. You can also guarantee their safekeeping, reducing your risk of data loss.
When it comes to storing digital assets, access is critical. Remote work is now more popular than ever and many employees prioritise having the option to work remotely at least one day per week. Access is also essential if your organisation operates across multiple offices.
A centralised and accessible Digital Asset Management solution empowers employees to work flexibly and without bottlenecks.
Moreover, this solution should cater to various search capabilities, allowing employees to search for assets as they see fit. Some employees might search by file creation date, for example. Others might look for the SKU code. You’ll need a system that considers this and is available 24/7/365.
Many digital assets contain sensitive information that is unsuitable for certain employees. Consent data for images of under-18s, for example, shouldn’t be accessible to everyone in the office.
A digital asset storage system should, therefore, come with role-based restrictions. This lets you operate on a ‘need to know’ basis and limits who can see the resources.
Resources should always be shared with internal and external parties via the DAM. The right system will let you generate a unique URL, which acts as a link to the resource. This is more secure and enables you to share extensive collections of digital assets without worrying about file size and download times.
4. The industry you’re in
When it comes to filing digital assets, different industries have different requirements. For example, if you’re a museum, you might have to actively manage and maintain an extensive digital archive to ensure the safekeeping of high-value and unique assets.
If you’re a healthcare charity, you might need a Digital Asset Management solution that factors in industry-specific regulations, like the data protection act. You might, however, be a product marketer for a startup and simply need to locate the most up-to-date version of your brand’s logo.
Regardless of your role, every organisation will have unique needs for storing digital assets. Finding a system that solves your challenges – while remaining compliant with your industry’s regulations – is what counts most.
Digital assets are the lifeblood of modern organisations
Storing digital assets in the most efficient, effective and secure way will look different for everyone. The assets you use and how you use them will determine which Digital Asset Management solution is right for you.
From there, the configurations you need for access and workflows will help tell you what support you need. ResourceSpace, for example, offers a range of support options, from essential set-up through to advanced workflows and configurations.
Growing organisations with an expanding database of multiple assets need a solution that offers a tailor-made, user-friendly and compliant Digital Asset Management solution. To learn more about what a Digital Asset Management system (DAM) does and how it could benefit your organisation, read our blog ‘What is Digital Asset Management?’.