State of the DAM

By John Horodyski

Things are getting DAM interesting. It's about time, and it's good for us all. 

"Change brings opportunity." - Nido Qubien

Change is rumbling through the processes and technology in which we operate in business, elevating DAM along with it. Now it's not just digital asset management - it's a critical component of the content ecosystem.

Look at the seismic shifts in the industry: The recent acquisition of WebDAM by Bynder. MediaBeacon being acquired by Esko. And most recently, the acquisition of ADAM software by Aprimo.

This activity is evidence that DAM not only holds the critical position in an organizational content ecosystem, it's maturing, receiving its due praise and being accepted by a wider audience. DAM vendors - large and small, open source, on-premises and cloud - are listening to their users and developing the necessary functionality for the future.

The center of everything
This change forces us to think differently. DAM, both as a technology and as a profession, must anticipate emerging trends and opportunities. Most importantly, we must understand that the definition of "content" has broadened. 

It's not just content - it's the core of a business that must be identified, accessed, repurposed and distributed in order to deliver the business's growth potential.

Accelerating the conversation
An energetic force, DAM will accelerate the conversation between business and consumer. As businesses release products and disseminate brand and marketing messages, they will engage the consumer community. In response, consumers will interact - with their shopping behavior, the online searches they conduct, and their reviews, comments, images, check-ins and other online exchanges that then become your assets and metadata.

When we think differently about DAM, we realize that content is a connection between people, process and technology.  When we think differently about DAM, we encourage the reinvention of digital experiences, most notably through meaningful information architecture and adaptive user experience (UX) design through visualization and virtualization tools.

DAM drives opportunities
DAM is a critical component of the content ecosystem. It's stronger - and a business' potential is greater - when DAM functions as part of the whole. When you understand and define fundamental goals, and identify information and content used by the organization, your data-driven and user-centric DAM foundation can drive new uses for content to meet new and emerging market opportunities.

The future of DAM must not only be synonymous with innovation, but also adaptation and integration. It will encourage the use of assets along new, often consumer-defined channels and content lifecycles while protecting critical content where needed. 

And, while there's a "plug-in" for this, and a "plug-in" for that, the significance and abundance of APIs will continue to rise as DAM is recognized for its key role within the content ecosystem. 

"Connected" is the new raison d'etre for content
Content drives brand, and the demand for digital assets has never been higher. DAM vendors and DAM professionals alike are watching and responding. 

The opportunity for change is now, and it's about DAM time.

John Horodyski


John Horodyski is a Managing Director with Optimity Advisors with 19 years of management strategy experience in Information Management including Digital Asset Management (DAM), Content Strategy, Metadata and Taxonomy design, MarTech, Content Management, Governance, and Rights Management.  John is a world leading expert and has provided strategic direction and consulting for a variety of Fortune 100 and 500 clients in Consumer Packaged Goods, Media & Entertainment, Pharmaceutical, and Insurance. John is also an adjunct faculty at San Jose State University where he teaches a graduate course in Digital Asset Management. In addition to regular training and public speaking on digital media and metadata, John is a Board Member and Metadata Editor of the Journal of Digital Media Management and is a monthly DAM content contributor to CMS Wire.


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