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Why Should I Use Digital Asset Management in Project Management Software?

Digital asset management (DAM) is the process of organizing, storing, and distributing digital assets across a project or organization. By choosing a project management solution with digital asset management functionality, you can create a central hub that will store and allow access to all your digital assets.

A digital asset is any virtual file that provides value to the organization. The most common formats are images and videos. However, digital assets can also include documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. Here are some examples of digital assets:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Audio files
  • Graphics
  • Logos
  • PDF files
  • Illustrations
  • Animations
  • Screenshots

With new file formats emerging every day, the list of digital assets continues to expand. According to MediaValet, any file that has the following three key components should be considered a digital asset:

  • It has to be a digital file.
  • It must provide value to the company.
  • It must be searchable and discoverable (usually with metadata).

When to use digital asset management

There’s no question that every business, project, and employee is under increasing pressure to become more efficient and productive. The pace of work is increasing every day.

More projects, more tasks, more goals needing to be completed by end of quarter, end of week, end of day. It can be dizzying for both project managers and their team members, whose time is being spread thin across multiple projects.

Plus, increasingly distributed project teams, an overwhelming array of new technologies, and a globalized, always-on workforce make managing teams’ workloads more complex than ever before.

All of this contributes to more stress, greater turnover, project inefficiencies, and higher costs.

Over the last three decades, digital asset management (DAM) tools have continued to evolve to meet the needs of high-volume creators. With roots in media and content management, DAM has become an essential part of nearly every marketing technology stack and is a trusted system for storing, organizing, and distributing marketing assets around the world.

Digital asset management has become a key player in the entire digital asset lifecycle, from creation to editing and approval to distribution and storage. This shift in use made DAM a viable option to address the centralization and storage issues faced by a wide array of project teams.

Basically, if your projects require the creation of digital assets or use a lot of them, you should be using a digital asset management system.

As our world becomes more global and technology advances, it seems like businesses in every industry are going online. You can even create, authorize, and complete entire legal agreements digitally, without ever having to print a piece of paper or physically sign in front of a witness.

Construction projects can have digital blueprints and designs that need to be reviewed, approved, stored, and managed online. Marketing projects have campaign files including graphics, visuals, and ad copy.

Almost any project results in the creation of digital files, whether they’re project reports, requirements documentation, virtual prototypes, or records of changes and client approvals.

Even short projects can result in a large number of files that need to be managed and accessed as needed. And as your projects expand and progress, so do your digital assets.

For example, what if your client suddenly wants to review an earlier mockup or asks why a change was made? If your team can’t find the asset in question quickly and easily, it results in lost time, confusion, potential rework, and an unhappy customer.

Benefits of digital asset management

Digital asset management helps your team quickly find and maintain the right files for every project.

While your project management system can help with the coordination of people and projects, if you don’t have digital asset management functionality, you’re still missing an effective way to ensure each team is using the right assets. This increases the probability of delays or using the wrong assets.

Files such as company logos, color palettes, photos, and videos are all frequently shared across marketing and branding materials. Too often, old logos and outdated photos are used simply because there was no way to efficiently distribute the refreshed versions.

Having a central repository for all on-brand assets ensures teams, partners, affiliates, agencies, and clients always have access to the latest approved versions of files.

A digital asset management solution also helps boost productivity and efficiency by eliminating the need to request assets every time they’re used. With all illustrations and images housed in one location, time isn’t wasted searching for files. This reduces asset creation requests and prevents any rework on assets that have already been completed.

Plus, with DAM, you can write metadata to tag assets so they’re easy to find. For example, if you have assets that were created for a product launch, you can tag files with the name of the product so other teams can easily search for them.

When images and files are left floating around in emails and documents, it’s impossible to know who has access to what, which is a serious security concern. You don’t want your assets or those of a client getting into the wrong hands.

Digital asset management helps centralize and manage control over digital assets by setting up permissions and different access levels to files. This allows you to control who has access to which files.

Why select project software with digital asset management

When a DAM system is integrated into your project management solution, your team can quickly access the assets they need on their own within a system they’re already familiar with. Plus, they can use tasks to share assets and files they’re working on with other employees and stakeholders, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Even when organizations have both a DAM system and a project management system, if the two solutions can’t communicate with each other, your final assets may not actually make their way into the DAM system for distribution. This is because, despite having storage processes in place, people still have to download the final project assets from the project management system and upload them into the DAM system.

That means that if someone misses a project-completion notification or assumes that storing the asset has already been taken care of it, that asset is now stuck in limbo until someone notices it’s missing. This oversight can lead to missed deadlines and a flurry of emails.

When working on projects, the name of the game is streamline and simplify. By investing in a project management system with DAM capability, you’re adding the final piece of the puzzle to ensure all of your assets are properly maintained and never get lost.

Plus, you can rest assured that assets are always properly linked to the tasks, projects, and files they relate to. This eliminates version control issues and reduces time spent switching tools and searching for the right files.

Further reading
blog post

What Is Digital Asset Management (DAM) & Why Should Marketers Care?

blog post

Overcoming the Challenges of Resource Management in the Digital Era

blog post

Building DAMs: Integrating Project Management Solutions With Digital Asset Management