This is the eighth and final post in my series on beliefs the DAM community has developed over time that need to be reassessed.

- In part 1 of this series, I gave an overview of those beliefs. - In part 2, I went into depth on the first of those beliefs, highlighting how the need to manage content across silos is becoming both more critical and easier. - In part 3, I highlighted why the time has come to set aside a purely handcrafted approach to content creation. - In part 4, I explained the importance of holding on to ephemeral content in the DAM to enable reuse and recombination. - In part 5, I focused on the growth and importance of video to DAM relevance. - In part 6, I wrote about the changing role of DAM, from an archival repository to a living, breathing, critical business application. - In part 7, I focused on the potential for one critical technology that’s sweeping the software world–artificial intelligence–to assist DAM users throughout the campaign lifecycle.

Today, in my final post of the series, I tackle the false believe that, with legacy enterprise DAMs increasingly outmoded, the only escape is to simpler, department-level solutions.

“Legacy DAM will strangle your ability to innovate and change; they only escape is to a department-by-department approach.”

Company after company has told us that the first part of that is true–but does that necessarily mean the second part is too? In fact, what we’re seeing is a lot of interest in replacing legacy AND departmental systems. To understand why, we have to start by stepping 20 years back in time.

The promise of DAM has been pretty consistent over the whole period from then to now: it’s been that you could unlock the value of your assets by having one place to collect them, from where everyone could find, transform, and distribute them.

promise of DAM

Vendors promised to bring you control over your assets so people only used the right ones, to consolidate and simplify your creative process, to reduce the costs you spend creating or buying assets by making it easy to find and reuse what you already have, and to improve collaboration across the organization.

next-gen DAM solution

The reality of DAM has been something else, as this architecture from a major CPG illustrates.

CPG DAM architecture example

For many large organizations, the DAM universe remains a mess. Assets are everywhere, multiple systems are connected in a spaghetti diagram they can’t untangle, keeping everything running is expensive, and change is really hard.

Consequently, many enterprises, where they can, have escaped Legacy DAM, and taken a departmental approach, adopting simplistic off-the-shelf systems that aim to help specific departments.

What they may not realize is that they’re giving up on the larger organization’s needs to scale, collaborate across silos, and deliver the end to end experiences I talked about in the second post of this series. A lot of users of departmental DAMs have come to this conclusion after giving those systems a try, and are now looking for a better path.

best digital asset management

So now we’ve looked closely at 7 common beliefs in the DAM community whose time has come to be reconsidered, overthrown, discarded. Are you ready for a new world of DAM? For DAM that reflects the reality of marketing and customer experience in late 2017? If so – I hope you’ll reach out to learn more about how we can help!