Cloudinary Blog

Change Is Hard, But Adopting a Modern DAM Might Be Easier Than You Think

The Modern DAM: What’s Holding Brands Back?

Like people, companies are creatures of habit that tend to continue doing things the way they’ve always been done, especially if the processes seem to be working just fine. Consequently, businesses are at times unaware that more effective and efficient ways exist.

I observed this tendency at a recent roundtable I hosted for specialists in digital asset management (DAM) and asset creation in partnership with Henry Stewart, a global provider of DAM-related content and events. The attendees included professionals from leading CPG, fashion, and technology sectors, most of whom create, manage, distribute, and archive media assets with traditional DAM systems. However, those solutions cannot cater to the demands of today’s digital-first world.

At the event, I explained how the new generation of DAM tools deftly enable multiteam collaboration as well as dynamic manipulation and publishing across devices and channels. In turn, the guests shared their challenges, best practices, and wishlists vis-a-vis DAM. The discussion brought to mind why some businesses don’t upgrade to modern DAM solutions despite those solutions’ obvious benefits. Two key misconceptions often play a role:

→ If it ain't broke, why fix it?

Again, it’s human nature to perpetuate a certain way of working and to accept a degree of inefficiency or tediousness, such as this old-school approach of producing different asset versions:

  1. You share a file from the DAM repository with a graphic artist.
  2. The artist manually creates the variations required with Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.
  3. The artist shares the updated files, which are then placed in the DAM for manual distribution.

A modern DAM, however, can intelligently create multiple versions of source files for you through automation, simplifying processes and eliminating repetitive, mindless steps. As much as people sometimes have a knee-jerk reaction against automation for fear that it will wipe out jobs, outsourcing mundane tasks to technology actually frees up time to focus on meaningful and stimulating projects, such as the creation of engaging customer experiences. Furthermore, shorter cycles reduce time to market, which is paramount in the modern age, whose audiences expect companies to continually enhance their content.

→ Interconnectivity is expensive or impossible

Integrating a traditional DAM platform with key business frameworks—such as CMS, PIM, and creative cloud applications—can be challenging and costly, requiring ongoing maintenance. It’s much simpler to build an end-to-end workflow with a modern DAM, which can impressively boost your teams’ efficiency, productivity, and morale.

For example, in addition to certified, prebuilt integrations with several popular platforms, Cloudinary offers a robust API that easily integrates with almost any system. On top of that, with the Cloudinary Media Library widget, you can cut and paste code snippets into a website or system to generate a DAM interface that facilitates search of assets.

Another misnomer is that you must pay for a DAM’s entire catalog of features. With Cloudinary, you can turn features on or off and subscribe to only those you want to use. In other words, no way must you buy a 10-bedroom home if you need only two bedrooms.

As hard as it often is to embrace novel approaches, factors beyond our control leave us with no choice. Fact is, consumer expectations have changed; e-commerce is booming; and companies need more quality content than ever before for an ever-increasing number of channels and platforms.

That recent roundtable reminded me of just how busy and hardworking creative and DAM teams are. When you are head down in the weeds, keeping up with technology advancements that could dramatically benefit your company is tough to do. I hope the roundtable attendees enjoyed learning about modern DAM solutions and that they passed on that insight to their peers. I certainly relished meeting them and came away invigorated by the vast opportunity offered by the latest DAM improvements.

Ready to experience the benefits of the modern DAM for yourself? Contact us for a demo.

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