Are Digital Assets a Bottleneck to Your Organization?

Image source: Adobe Stock / Nmedia.

by Elliot Sedegah

posted on 11-30-2018

Content creators, from writers to designers, juggle a ton of files every day to get their jobs done.

And today, creative teams are under pressure to create 10x as much content as before — with the same amount of resources.

This pressure is being felt more and more across government organizations, where teams often work in high-pressure environments where they need to deliver mission-critical messages on time to citizens, warfighters, or other governments.

In comes the question of “content velocity,” a fancy term for how fast your team can:

  1. Create content and designs.
  2. Go through the rounds to edit and get approval.
  3. Manage all content assets and centralized operations across your team.
  4. Publish content and share with others.
  5. Repurpose content for other areas.

It’s about how fast you can collaborate, stay organized, and coordinate approvals with each other’s files.

It begs the question: How quick (or slow) is your team today in your creative processes?

Today, most teams create new assets and add them to a shared drive. This drive can be organized by folders that people dig through, layer by layer, to find what they need, when they need it. To approve work, it gets emailed, and edits are tracked via updated file links.

But when it comes to actually finding a file to use or repurpose for another need across the organization, that’s when things break down.

What’s already been posted, and where?

Is this approved and OK to use?

Who approved it, and how long ago?

Every organization feels the pains of disorganization, but how bad is it for your team?

You already create good content. Can you be doing it faster? Can life be easier for your internal creative team?

If you’re doing work that requires you to be on time and accurate — and that impacts people’s lives directly (e.g., the military) — then it becomes especially important to speed up workflows as much as possible.

If it takes weeks to produce one graphic or image with weeks of back-and-forth emails to get approvals — then the answer is yes, you can be much faster.

You may overhear team members say things like:

…and on top of that, we usually kick ourselves later because all this could have been fixed with simply better organization.

The thing is, almost every business feels the pain of disorganization.

It’s easy for bottlenecks over time to become “normal” and “expected.” It’s more exciting to focus on the external trends instead of organizing the internal issues.

Managers can also push it off as something they can’t fix “right now.” Yet turning a blind eye only makes the pile of creative work in a shared drive (or intranet) even more unwieldy. The process can often become demotivating for passionate creatives — and for government organizations, disorganization can also create an added security risk.

If digital assets are organized properly, then it will also be easier to set access rights with specific groups and individuals. This helps keep sensitive files across government protected. Many organizations struggle with this aspect of governance, and, therefore, could potentially have people using assets that they shouldn’t.

To combat this manually, case by case, the organization ultimately wastes time, money, and their best resources — when they could be creatively solving business problems and uncovering new opportunities.

Rid your asset management woes, and get your team focusing on what they do best: creating

Think back to the last high-value creative content that your team spent a lot of resources on. This can be a video, 3D graphic, interactive content, or large PDF that has been printed for an event.

Often, after the hard work is done by a whole team of people, the project ships off or goes to print, and is kind of… done. It goes to random file-ville.

After that, it’s hard for people to connect the dots and remember to repurpose it at a later time or to update other parts of the website to match the new content.

That’s because it’s hard to see the work that’s been made all in one place, visually, along with project status.

The truth is, anything in the realm of content can and should be managed in one easy-to-use place for everyone in one organization.

You can:

These inefficiencies sink a team’s creation process. Ideally, your team will have a single repository that not only stores all digital assets, but lets everyone publish, share, and track edits too.

So as a content owner, you can see what other content creators in your organization are working on, who’s working on it, and share (reuse) that content with other teams and organizations. That way, you can improve efficiency with content reuse, consistency, and governance.

There are many new technology solutions today that make all this possible. But breaking old habits is the toughest part.

It’s just a matter of accepting it as fixable, and not “normal,” and that it’s worth taking action to help your team have the freedom to do their jobs better.

A Case Study: Investing in Faster Content and Asset Management Operations

Let’s look at the University of Michigan — a public research university.

They have 400 workers responsible for pulling content together. From department administrators, to faculty, researchers, and other content creators — they all needed an easier way to manage assets and update the website with ease.

With internal operational efficiency in mind, they now store more than 70,000 assets in Adobe Experience Manager Assets — one central folder that hosts templates, components, images, copy, and other assets available to all users. Because users can share and reuse assets, they can create content faster.

With improved content velocity with Adobe Experience Manager, they were able to scale to support 130 websites, and more than 100,000 pages of content, with fewer people.

“Users are finding Adobe Experience Manager so much easier to use that it’s reducing the amount of training and support that we need to provide,” said Patrick Belden, director of web services for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan.

“[We] also use sophisticated permissioning in Assets that allows each department or unit to upload protected assets,” said Patrick. “For instance, the biophysics department might create a banner image promoting an event meant only for biophysics students. Using permissions, the department can prevent other departments from accidentally seeing or publishing that banner.”

Find the content you Need, When You Need It. Manage All Your Digital Assets Across Your Entire Organization.

Check out a 2-minute preview of Adobe Asset Link to see how this can work for you.

And learn more about how to find assets quickly and collaborate easier with teams with Creative Cloud for enterprise linked with Adobe Experience Manager.

Topics: Government, Digital Transformation, Education, Industry

Products: Experience Manager