Regardless of your size or sector, your organisation likely creates and manages many digital assets daily. These assets can be anything you store digitally, from videos and images to PDF documents and audio files. They provide more descriptive context and value compared to standard files.

As time stretches on, the number of assets you create inevitably increases. And so, too, do the complexities and challenges of managing these resources. Beyond the hassle of searching through disparate systems, you also face the challenge of updating out-of-date assets and establishing user access controls.

This is where Digital Asset Management (DAM) can make a real difference. With the right solution in place, you can leave these challenges behind you and spend your precious time on more important activities.

When done well, Digital Asset Management allows you to manage your assets effectively, increasing their security and accessibility.

It hinges on using a Digital Asset Management system that stores, organises, and secures your assets in one centralised web-based application. Your teams can then easily upload, access, and share the resources they need.

This is only skimming the surface. Let’s break down what these systems can do for you in more detail:

What does a Digital Asset Management system do?

Improve digital asset organisation

When saving assets on a local drive, you naturally rely on file names. These are useful for organising and finding your own personal assets.

But, for larger organisations with a growing number of resources, the task of enforcing these naming conventions becomes more difficult. The more assets you have, the more creative you’ll have to be.

A DAM system uses structured metadata to categorise your assets. This means you can tag and search for a resource based on its content rather than its name.

Share digital assets in bulk

Long gone are the days of enormous, easily-lost email chains. A DAM enables you to securely share multiple assets at once, both internally and externally, with just a single URL link.

You can easily export assets to your other content platforms (such as YouTube and Flickr) too.

Share digital assets securely

Naturally, security will be one of your top priorities when sharing your resources.

A DAM should allow you to stipulate the level of access you’d like to give your recipients. This includes refining the metadata fields each individual can see. From there, you can generate and send a unique URL link for every recipient, ensuring only the intended audience can view your assets. With access controls, you can designate assets as view only, blocking your audience from being able to download to their own devices.


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Maintain brand imagery

With many employees suffering ‘change fatigue’, it’s important to choose a DAM that’s easy to adopt. The more familiar it is to use, the less daunting it will feel.

The right DAM system will allow you to customise its interface based on your organisation’s brand image, colours, and logo. It’ll also help you maintain and optimise your campaign imagery, offering watermark features and image and video resizing functionality. This will ensure your employees get the asset size they need for the channel they need, all without the worry of overstretched logos and cut-off artwork.

Automate workflows and approvals

A DAM will direct specific user uploads or download requests through an automatic workflow to your platform admins. At that point, your admins can either approve or deny the request. This is particularly important if you need to check licenses or ensure data subject consent before using the materials.

The benefits of a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system

So, now you know what a DAM system is and what it does. But how can this kind of platform benefit you and your organisation day to day?

Let’s explore four of the most significant advantages of adopting a centralised, web-based Digital Asset Management system:

Enhance productivity

With the ability to search for assets using a range of descriptive metadata criteria, your users can find the resources they need easily and quickly. This can boost the efficiency of your internal processes. For instance, if you need to send assets to a client within a set timeframe, the power to find the right materials quickly can make all the difference.

Plus, it’s will save you time in asset management with workflows and automations that free your time up (more on that later).

Maintain up-to-date content

When marketing a product or promoting a new campaign, your teams must have access to the most up-to-date assets. Otherwise, your marketing and communication efforts may prove inconsistent, or you may promote content that lacks relevancy.

With a DAM system, you can keep track of your outdated assets and enable authorised employees to edit and replace them. This reduces the likelihood of someone accidentally downloading and promoting an old resource.

Access from multiple locations

Because the DAM is a web-based system, your users can access your assets no matter where they are. Certain systems even allow your employees to log in using the same credentials they use for your corporate network, which can streamline platform adoption.

To guarantee secure access, a DAM will also offer access management policies to ensure you only give each user the right level of access.

Help with compliance and licensing

A DAM system with automated workflows will notify you when a license needs updating. This saves you the hassle of monitoring license expiration dates. And, if you choose not to renew, it’ll move resources with expired licenses from ‘accessible’ to ‘non-accessible’ without you needing to lift a finger.

This ensures you only use the assets you have the right to own and use.

READ MORE: How a DAM helps you overcome licensing challenges

Four real-world use cases of a DAM

All this sound good in the abstract, but it’s easier to see the benefits once applied to real-world sectors. With that in mind, here are four use cases of a DAM:

1. NGOs

Many non-profit organisations use third-party images in their marketing campaigns and website content. Some of these images feature vulnerable people who, in time, may no longer feel comfortable sharing their faces or identities online.

This makes consent and licensing a complex challenge. And it’s only exacerbated by the fact that many charities use multiple systems to store their assets. This is often the case for NGOs that work internationally or across disparate offices.

Fortunately, this is easily rectified with a DAM.

Using the right system, NGOs can receive notifications whenever an individual revokes consent, allowing them to promptly take down images, videos, or other resources. What’s more, with the use of automated workflows, they can cut off access to expired resources once licenses end.

READ MORE: ResourceSpace and Oxfam International - Case Study

2. Museums

Museum collections aren’t limited to what’s on display to the public. Consider New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which displays only a tiny percentage of its art collections. Only 24 of its 1,221 pieces by Picasso, for example, are on display.

But while they’re hidden from sight, these pieces must be catalogued through high-quality, easily searchable imagery.

A DAM allows museums to easily tag their assets based on visual metadata descriptors and search for them. This is essential when updating website content, creating informative, promotional materials or guides, or preserving an artist’s legacy. Plus, some DAMs will integrate with existing Collections Management Systems, making life even simpler.

READ MORE: ResourceSpace and The Walters Art Museum - Case Study

3. Product marketing

A DAM makes it easier for product marketing teams to search for assets, such as product videos and images, using relevant phrasing or SKU codes. This can boost productivity when generating social media campaigns, updating product pages, or sending materials to distributors.

Better still, they can update these resources easily with a DAM’s version control settings, ensuring that no asset is out of date.

READ MORE: ResourceSpace and Tomy - Case Study

4. Design agencies

While all Digital Asset Management systems will differ, a good platform should offer a package that allows for unlimited users, including individuals outside of your organisation.

This is beneficial for design agencies - or other creative businesses - where you need to give a client secure access to a portfolio of work. It’s even better if you have a long list of clients and require a platform that can scale with this growing list of users.

Is a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system right for you?

With most organisations handling an increasing number of large digital assets, the chances are you could need a DAM yourself, no matter your business’s size or sector.

Of course, moving to a new system can feel daunting. So, to make sure a DAM is right for you, answer the following questions:

Picking the best Digital Asset Management system

If your organisation creates, manages and shares assets regularly, you know the challenges of resource management all too well.

Digital Asset Management systems allow you to easily update and search for resources, boosting productivity and consistency. But, with so many solutions on the market, it can be tough to choose the right system for you.

To help you along, let us introduce you to ResourceSpace: our answer to the complexities of Digital Asset Management. The tool is secure, completely open-source, and provides a range of easy-to-use features, including rights management and licensing workflows and version control functionality.

Better still, you can download the platform for free.

Our free tier offers 10GB of storage without an expiration date or user limits. Try it out for yourself and see how it can bolster your asset management processes.