DAM homework in 2016
Digital Asset Management constantly needs to be improved and customized to keep up with users' needs and technical possibilities. Here are some decisive factors we think DAM vendors should focus on in 2016.
Understanding DAM as part of a process chain
DAM is no separate data silo but an important link in the chain, a part of a lively system in which assets are created, added, searched, used, and reused. Understanding DAM in this way helps understanding how a DAM has to perform and where assets have to be available to work with. Accessability of assets and functionalities should not only be given within the DAM, but also within applications linked with the DAM via API.
DAM vendors should consider to think about which functionalities are better used in connected applications because being more useful there. Or in other words: Which functionalities should be implemented in a DAM that are valuable in other places of the process chain?
Specializing on specific target industries
A big step towards higher user-friendliness would be to focus more on specific industries instead of targeting a broad audience. By providing specialized functionalities and customized workflows for specific industries vendors would be able to address and serve customers in a more targeted way than their competitors - a chance to strengthen and expand the market position. A precondition for that must be the courage for innovation instead of copying functionalities from one another.
Enabling 21st century search possibilities
Many DAM vendors still use data base functionalities from the 90s which barely provide capabilities for analysis and intelligent searching, for example searching based on relevancy scores like it's possible with NoSQL systems like Solr. Better textual analyzing of assets, getting more out of asset information, and developing more intelligent functionalities should be at the top of the agenda. But this is not enough when it comes to visual assets. DAM vendors should consider to use visual information to provide state of the art search functionalities like they are standard with Google already. These are for example a comparative search for similar images, a color search or the possibility to upload an image to search for in the DAM database.
This last aspect leads us back to the first one. DAM vendors are well recommended to provide up-to-date functionalities to their customers, not only because customer satisfaction is of high importance, but also because DAM has to keep up with constantly evolving applications they want to connect with. Because DAM has to avoid being the weakest part of the lively system.