Selecting a DAM: An Opportunity for IT to Drive Business Value

Image source: Adobe Stock / jesussanz.

by Mike Carley

posted on 11-13-2018

If you’re a progressive IT organization, you don’t just deploy and maintain the technology infrastructure that supports the business. You’re far more strategic, often working with marketing and business units when it comes to vetting, purchasing, deploying, and maintaining solutions. You strive to ensure that any solution you endorse meets a necessary set of business-related objectives — it must demonstrably help grow the business, expand margins, mitigate risk, and leverage existing resources as efficiently as possible. These same criteria hold true when it comes to selecting a digital asset management (DAM) solution, which can empower your business to create, manage, organize, and distribute its digital assets as efficiently as possible.

With that in mind, what characteristics must a DAM solution have so that, as an IT organization you can support it — whether you’re the CIO, the VP of development, a front-end or back-end developer, a designer, or a web developer?

Why you need to help your organization select a DAM

When it comes to managing digital assets, many organizations fall into the trap of “good enough,” failing to see how their current tools and processes saddle teams with labor-intensive, disconnected inefficiencies. Unfortunately, what was once “good enough” may be no longer. Here’s why:

Until recently, most businesses have managed digital assets with a fairly unstructured, disconnected set of tools. They’re on a server, someone’s laptop, a thumb drive, or spread across all of these. Some may be stored externally with a creative agency or across multiple corporate sites. If you’re lucky, the system may offer permissions, search, or versioning capabilities.

Today’s customers now expect optimized, personalized, and highly dynamic brand experiences. That’s fueling the demand for more content, including content in emerging media formats — and lots and lots of video. That content must be delivered on traditional web and mobile devices, but also in virtual and augmented reality environments, through voice assistants, in smart cars, and other nontraditional digital touchpoints.

As your business produces more and more content, leadership expects a demonstrable return on this investment. That requires marrying your digital assets with data in other systems to provide business intelligence around those assets.

Managing all that content and proving the return on investment (ROI) might seem solely an issue for marketing, but is it really? With potentially tens to hundreds of thousands of digital assets or more, it’s a storage and systems issue. With countless internal and external users of that content, it’s a governance, security, and control issue. And with connections to key business systems to use and monetize that content, it’s a systems integration and solution architecture issue. These issues fall squarely in your domain — IT.

Looking at what matters in a DAM by your IT role

As an IT professional, what you want from a DAM is what you want for any business system you select, implement, and maintain — the ability to demonstrate ROI from it as proof that your team is growing the business. You want to prove that your team doesn’t just deliver run-of-the-mill IT services that any IT team can, but that it delivers tremendous business value by being smart, forward thinking, and innovative.

But depending on your individual IT role, you may also be seeking these things:

If you’re the CIO or VP of development, you want to minimize unnecessary CapEx and OpEx investment and decrease the solution’s time to value. You want a solution that allows your developers to develop applications rapidly in an agile manner with little coding required. You want to mitigate risk by implementing solutions that work in a secure and flexible cloud-native environment, an environment that lets non-technical users easily alter and edit it while still providing technical stakeholders with the visibility, permissions, and control necessary to ensure integrity of the solution. Ultimately, you’re focused on improving the customer experience — and demonstrating that through increased user engagement, retention, conversions, and revenue.

If you are a solution architect, you seek a solution that reduces the complexity of the technology stack. These solutions have preassembled components or modules that you can activate or deactivate based on what you need to speed solution development and minimize customization. You also want solutions that are easy to extend into other modular architectures. That solution needs to be backed by responsive, reliable technical support to help you address specific use cases, maintain the solution, and educate your developers.

If you’re a developer, though, you’ll be working hands-on with implementing, developing applications for, and maintaining the solution day in and day out.

As a front-end developer, you want to work with a solution that makes it easy to quickly develop the applications necessary to meet business requirements. It’s important that the solution lets you easily integrate functionality for AI, contextual awareness, and personalization from the user interface. It must support a wide range of development languages and offer capabilities that support cross-platform development.

As a back-end developer, the solution must let you rapidly customize the application architecture, customize AI algorithms, and leverage functions as a service. You also want it to offer integrated security and the ability to manage performance. The solution needs to support a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) framework.

If you’re a designer, you look for a solution that supports agility and rapid user experience (UX) prototyping. It should help you easily create adaptive and response designs, support A/B and multivariate testing, and let you use AI-driven storage, organization, and retrieval of assets.

Web developers, you want the freedom to focus on actual development and higher ROI activities, not just configuring the solution. The ideal solution supports low-code application development and provides automation that reduces tedious, repetitive tasks. And you want the solution to abstract AI, IoT, and functions as a service. You want everything you need to help you develop applications more quickly and free up your time to innovate.

That list might seem exhaustive, but few DAM providers can prove they truly understand that an “IT Team” can’t be addressed by a one-size-fits-all value proposition. That’s something we certainly recognize here at Adobe, and it’s why we’re so excited about the transformational effect Adobe Experience Manager Assets (AEM Assets) can deliver to you in IT and marketing stakeholders.

Adobe Experience Manager Assets (AEM Assets) — a DAM for everyone

AEM Assets is a next-generation enterprise DAM that can be included as part of a managed services implementation to meet the needs of every stakeholder on your IT team and the organization’s marketing teams. And it does this while delivering on the broader needs of the business as a whole.

For IT: As a true enterprise platform, AEM Assets provides the flexibility and configurability to address all use cases the business has for a DAM, while providing the necessary scalability to support enterprise-wide use. It also offers you the requisite performance, reliability, and availability, on a modern technology stack, that minimizes time to value and maximizes ROI.

Beyond that, as a managed service, AEM Assets reduces the time you spend managing the environment, increases your staff productivity and efficiency, reduces system downtime, reduces support tickets, and speeds ticket resolution.

It does all this while combining all the features of a traditional DAM that you care about, with those that define a next-generation DAM. So that means you have a customizable UI, tools, and processes to streamline time to value and track ROI. It also has robust workflows, governance and collaboration features, extendibility, and strong native connections to Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Experience Cloud solutions to ensure your organization is set up to address both today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.

For marketing: AEM Assets provides all the features of a traditional DAM, while simultaneously future-proofing the solution with support for emerging media formats. It offers critical, advanced features such as customizable smart tagging using AI powered by Adobe Sensei, automation to create multiple renditions of a single asset, and robust support for video.

As a solution in Adobe Experience Cloud and part of Adobe Cloud, AEM Assets provides strong connections to complementary solutions, both upstream to the Adobe Creative Cloud, and downstream to solutions like Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target, to help your marketing team unify its marketing stack.

In fact, organizations using AEM Assets have leveraged these core benefits with overwhelming success, achieving a 366 percent three-year ROI, while launching campaigns 20 percent faster. These successes are in addition to the more general benefits of increased productivity, more quickly creating new and rendering existing assets, and empowering digital marketing teams to deliver content faster than ever before.

For the business: AEM Assets enables the organization to more effectively monetize digital assets, speed time to market, reduce total cost of ownership, increase ROI, and boost revenue. In addition, it protects the business from the risk of using unlicensed or noncompliant assets by providing comprehensive digital rights management (DRM) capabilities.

All of that from a trusted vendor with a global customer base spanning all industries, and with comprehensive support services, training, accreditation, and a far-reaching developer community ecosystem that provides everything your team needs to support a successful solution deployment. There’s a reason Adobe was named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Digital Asset Management For Customer Experience for its AEM Assets solution.

Learn how you and the business can benefit from a DAM solution

Want to know how your organization’s current means of managing digital assets measures up? Curious how much ROI it stands to gain from a DAM solution? We’d love to further discuss how AEM Assets can help you, your marketing team, and the business unlock the full value of your company’s digital assets. Contact us here for more information.

Topics: Digital Transformation, Content Management

Products: Experience Manager