People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.
― Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

One of the most polarizing figures of 2019 so far has been Marie Kondo, whose KonMari Method of simplification became the topic of a bestselling book, followed by a Netflix series.

Love her or hate her, it’s hard to deny the appeal of a clean, uncluttered space. Simplicity is _in_.

If your enterprise content supply chain seems complicated and convoluted, you’re not alone. According to a Nuxeo survey of 1,000 creative, marketing, and sales professionals, 74% of workers have re-created content they knew already existed … just because they couldn’t find the first version anywhere they looked.

Simplification is tempting. But what if it’s the wrong goal?

What if a new way of thinking about complexity could change your digital asset management (DAM) habits … for the better?

Complexity Is Not The Enemy — Inflexibility Is

Organizations that employ thousands of people and do billions of dollars in business don’t achieve success by doing something that’s easy, or that just anyone could do. The “secret sauce” at the core of your competitive edge is something unique, and probably involves ways of organizing information that isn’t like everyone else.

So why would you want to fight the complexity of your digital content supply chain? What if you could work seamlessly with content supply chain complexity, managing assets and workflows flexibly to accommodate current demands and adapt to future needs?

For businesses relying on legacy DAM software, the answer is obvious: the solutions they’re using simply can’t accommodate complexity, or they’ve customized them for so long and for so many needs that information flows look like a bowl of spaghetti. There’s a reason that some of our competitors like to talk about simplifying your content supply chain: their software isn’t designed to be highly-configurable and adaptable enough to face complexity head-on.

At Nuxeo, we believe “simplification” is just a euphemism for “adapting yourself to fit your DAM vendor’s software.”

In other words? Trim yourself to fit. Color inside the lines. Lose what makes your company tick.

That’s a compromise that doesn’t make business sense. Your 50,000-person enterprise shouldn’t have to mold itself to fit a piece of software.

Adaptability: The Secret To DAM That Sparks Joy

With a modern DAM solution, the relationships between your assets and information can be mapped in all their complexity, delivering greater insight and intelligence to your content- and data-driven processes and business decisions.

Oversimplification has consequences. Legacy DAM software organizes your information a bit like a file cabinet or a library card catalog. Just like those old paper-based systems, these antiquated DAM solutions force you to make tough choices about how to file your assets and the information attached to them.

Modern DAM solutions offer the potential to represent complexity differently. They recognize that in the digital age, we no longer have to be bound by putting things in a file cabinet, or a closet full of drawers — we can create new ways of organizing information that don’t rely on analog principles.

Sound lofty? Let’s take a look at how this applies in real life.

A single asset, like a high-res photo, can be connected to an astonishing range of information. Let’s take Skiing Simon Speeddemon as an example.

DAM Apparel Example

Simon is a model, perhaps one who appears in several different photo shoots used over the course of multiple seasons.

In a typical legacy DAM, this photograph of Simon could be organized in a campaign folder so that the campaigns team can easily find it and relate it to the campaigns they manage. Or it could be organized in a photo shoot folder, for the benefit of the photo team. Alternately, the asset could be filed according to the products it contained.

But wait — in a traditional, “file cabinet” structure restricted by legacy organizational principles, representing multiple products’ data in a single image just isn’t possible. Perhaps the same image could be duplicated and “filed” under each individual product, but this creates problems when assets are updated or metadata is modified.

A modern DAM system sees each of your assets in the full, complex context of your business.

DAM Apparel

Now, Simon’s image is connected to a “model” object that can help talent management organize and visualize this information by talent record. Each product in the photo is also seen as a “product” object connected to the product information management (PIM) system, allowing changes in the PIM to be immediately reflected across all assets containing products with modified data.

This single image of Simon can also be connected to individual campaigns, to the specific photo studio that created the image, and more. Instead of the product team feeling like they’re looking through a file cabinet organized for marketing when they search for assets, they can see information the way that makes the most sense to them.

Real digital transformation means looking beyond the file cabinets and drawers — beyond the organization we can achieve in the physical world. Modern DAM takes the reins in your transformation initiatives by adapting the organization of your data and content to the unique informational complexity of your business.

Sorry, Marie … simplification is for closets. In the modern enterprise, complexity builds capital.

At Nuxeo, we’ve committed to a modern approach to DAM that meets the challenges of today’s enterprises by adapting to fit you, instead of insisting that you adapt to fit us. The result? A DAM solution that excels not at simplifying the complex — but at turning your complexity into business value.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing content challenges in greater depth — so if you’re interested in learning more about how DAM can fit your business rather than the other way round, sign up here.