How to choose a DAM software ?

How to choose a DAM software ?

To take advantage of DAM software, you need to choose the right one ! What criteria should you take into account ? For organisations that manage a large number of digital assets, a Digital Asset Management solution is a valuable asset. It allows you to centralise, classify, index, annotate, process, edit, search and distribute assets (photos, images, videos, audio files, etc.), while ensuring that they are used in a way that is consistent with brand image and copyright or usage rights. The question is how to choose the “right” DAM software – the one that fits your needs and those of your employees. What criteria, features and benefits of a DAM solution should you keep in mind when comparing offers ?

Determine your Digital Asset Management needs and constraints

The choice of DAM software is closely linked to the needs of the company and its employees. It is therefore logical to start by assessing them. To do this, you need to ask yourself a number of questions :

  • Why do you need a Digital Asset Management solution ? What issues does it need to address (time wasted searching for assets, difficulties in managing collaborative projects, recurring problems in the organisation of resources, etc.) ?
  • Who will be the users of the DAM software ? (Identifying them will help to assess specific needs: essential functionalities, the role of each category of user in the life cycle of resources, mobility requirements, etc.)
  • What types of files will be handled by the solution ? (To take full advantage of the functionality of a DAM software, you need to ensure that it supports the types of files commonly used in your organisation).
  • Does the solution need to be integrated with your company’s IS ? (If you want to be able to build bridges between the software and your existing media/tools, make sure it has the necessary integration features)
  • What is the user’s level of knowledge of IT tools ? (The question of getting to grips with the DAM software is essential : if you have to spend an hour using a basic function, the tool is wasting more time than it saves).
  • What is your budget ? (Depending on the amount of investment you can afford, you will have to choose a SaaS or on-premise solution, natively complete or scalable, etc.)

Make a list of the features you want in your DAM software

Based on your identified needs, you can draw up a list of features that your DAM software should have. Let’s take a look at the must-haves – the ones that will improve your performance and optimise the efficiency of your asset management.

  • Accurate and efficient indexing. DAM software is primarily used to centralise digital assets in a single, secure platform and then organise and distribute them. But the interest of such a solution lies elsewhere: in the performance of its indexing functionalities (the relevant description of the media, their characteristics and the related rights). You should be able to easily classify and index your content by playing with the metadata, in particular by associating keywords, so as to facilitate navigation in the multimedia library.
  • An efficient internal search engine. Search functionality is the cornerstone of good Digital Asset Management software : it is essential to be able to quickly find the files you need. This functionality can meet different needs, depending on users’ search habits : by category, by author, by format, by specific keyword or phrase, by colour, by expiry date, etc.
  • Collaborative features. DAM software should enable the different departments involved with digital assets to work together by providing a common multimedia library that allows real-time collaboration, creation on any workstation, or synchronisation of changes made. For organisations that send a lot of resources to internal or external recipients, a sharing feature will be welcome.
  • Optimal management of access rights. When many people work with the company’s assets (employees or external partners), it is essential to have a feature that allows access rights to the DAM software to be managed. Through this, the administrator can assign users defined roles and specific access levels with certain rights, depending on the status and use of the assets. In addition, a monitoring option should make it possible to view the history of actions carried out on the various resources (creation, modification, deletion, distribution, etc.).
  • Sophisticated copyright management. When resources have been created by third parties, they may be subject to strict copyright and usage rights. For example, the use of an image may be limited in time, or the use of an audio file may be conditional on compliance with a given framework. Such functionality allows the addition of terms of use to assets, to reduce the risk of inappropriate or unlawful use.
  • Resource security features. The security of digital assets should not be neglected. It is necessary on two levels: to prevent fraudulent use (via a reinforced authentication system when connecting to the platform), and to allow the restoration of assets in the event of a computer or technical problem that would result in the deletion of content.
  • Other possible features : multilingualism of the tool, API, mobile accessibility, activity statistics, etc.

Choose the hosting method for your DAM tool

The functionality of the DAM software is not everything : the chosen solution must also be technically practical and adapted to your constraints. There are two types of Digital Asset Management solutions : on-premise, where the software is hosted on your organisation’s own server ; and cloud (SaaS), where the hosting is external to your organisation and accessible via a web browser. Both options offer advantages :

  • On-site software allows you to retain full control of the tool : choice of updates, security of resources, management of backups and restorations, etc. Moreover, its use is independent of the Internet connection, which can be advantageous if you do not have a high speed connection or if you wish to isolate your platform as much as possible from the outside network.
  • SaaS software is simpler and faster to implement, as there is no infrastructure to provide. It is scalable and offers the possibility of adding modules, benefiting from regular free updates, or increasing storage space as needed. It can be accessed from anywhere, and potentially by anyone, as long as the user has an internet connection… and an authorisation! Finally, the subscription generally gives access to a support and maintenance offer.

You now have all the information you need to choose your DAM software ! Complete your knowledge by consulting the FAQ below.

Share and collaborate work with any partner, while protecting media assets for your brand.

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