The DAM Sequel: The Future of Digital Asset Management

A number of vendors in the DAM industry were asked one question: “What innovative new features and technologies will you offer in the future?” Despite the diversity of the DAM and MAM industry, four clear trends emerged.

In my last post, I covered the plans for reimagined user interfaces and approaches to making video more accessible, so today I’ll explore how vendors will achieve interoperability between systems and meet the demand for built-in business intelligence and analytics.

Interoperability between Systems

Many DAM vendors describe DAM as a central component of any organization. The act of making it work within the parameters of the buyer’s existing system is, therefore, driving DAM innovation.

The interoperability goals for users in 2015 and beyond are:

    • Enable DAM systems to integrate with enterprise software
    • Make DAM systems work more like end-user solutions
    • Improve APIs and provide connectors within the DAM

Chris Hall, founder and CEO of Bynder, said, “DAM is dead. It’s all about having an integrated solution.” To Hall, the term DAM is a siloed technology term for a type of database. It’s quickly evolving into something that should be invisible to users.

My understanding of what Hall means by this is that traditional DAM was an archive, but today DAM is an important component of a larger ecosystem of connected tools that must have the ability to work together. Without an integrated solution, a siloed DAM is essentially a lost opportunity for the business.

Chris Williams, Senior Vice President Worldwide Sales at Evolphin Software, had his own take on the trend. “We see companies reducing their investment in IT,” he said, “so they are not able to manage complex software ecosystems.” This means there’s a need for vertical and horizontal integration of disparate systems and the ability to provide federation with multiple asset management systems. The expectation is that this will allow companies to be more efficient with the systems they have in place.

Business Intelligence and Analytics

The DAM of the future must account for assets in a way that allows companies to improve on their business strategies based on those assets’ performance. As such, vendors expanding on the insight that DAM systems provide is becoming increasingly common.

The business intelligence and analytics goals for users in 2015 and beyond are:

    • Track the use of assets across channels
    • Mine data to make content smarter
    • Accelerate return on investment (ROI) reporting

Mimi Thigpen, CEO at North Plains Systems said she is, “working to develop models that help clients understand the ROI and make it easier for the customer to understand the true value of their DAM.” Its new business intelligence and analytics tool will help asset managers understand how assets are being used, and provide standardized reporting on the DAM’s ROI. One of the challenges, Thigpen explained, is getting the market to understand the value of these solutions.

Deanna Ballew, Director of Product Management at Widen, drew a comparison between this trend and her intention with a tool called The Media Collective. “The Media Collective is a core business tool for connecting content across all channels and helping determine its value,” she said. “Our goal is to help marketers and creatives capture, organize, share and analyze their marketing content, so we’re providing insights that will help them make better decisions about each piece of content, based on its efficacy.”

By tracking all asset usage, including number of downloads and posts to social networks, the tool provides administrators with relevant data on how assets are performing.

The DAM Road Ahead

As you can see there are many exciting new features in DAM’s future. The DAM industry is working hard to improve the usability of DAM, provide better interoperability, address the demand for more videos and provide much better analytics that will empower the DAM owners to understand the true ROI of their systems.

This article is a summary of the original published by Jeff Lawrence on