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Monday, February 20, 2012

Simple Explanation of Digital Assets and DAM

An asset is generally defined as any item or object that is owned and controlled either by an individual or by a business or corporation; assets are further defined in many instances by the monetary value they currently poses. Money in your wallet, your car, your house – all can be defined as individual assets. Property, equipment, real estate – these are examples of business assets. In addition to these two definitions, another type of asset has come to prominence over the past decade; a byproduct of the continued evolution of technology and personal devices – the digital asset.

Assets, as described above, tend to be actual physical objects or items, whereas anything digital is essentially an object or item that has been converted to a binary form.

So what exactly is a digital asset?

Simply put, a digital asset is form of media or content that is owned by an individual or organization, converted to a binary source and stored in digital form. Digital content can include, but is not limited to, items such as images, pictures, video and text documents. It can also include raw data and entire databases as well. Many companies today have vast amounts of digital assets at their disposal; however – an asset only carries value if you are aware that it is in your possession to being with. This is where asset management comes in to the picture.

Digital asset management (or "DAM") is the sorting and organization of digital assets. This is primarily achieved through usage of a specific application or software that assists in making digital assets easy to locate and access. Any business owner in an information economy can surely understand the significance and importance of handling and storage of business data efficiently.

The proliferation and continual advancement of technology in our everyday lives means we've all managed digital assets to some degree – if you've ever sorted and categorized your mp3 collection or transferred the photos on your camera or smartphone to your computer you've undertaken digital asset management (on a personal, smaller scale). In each instance, you've taken digital content from one medium to another and navigated a series of folders, labels and structures to place it somewhere else, all in the name of organization.

Of course, on a business or corporate level the assets number in a much higher volume and have significant value attached; quite often they must be readily accessible by many different people (and quite often over many different locations). This is where digital asset management applications become necessary.

A Digital Asset Management application is a tool that enables organization of digital media assets for both storage and easy retrieval. These tools can be used on an individual basis or they can be company-wide.

Identification of long term objectives can help determine to what scale a DAM application needs to be employed. DAM applications can:
  • Eliminate redundancies and overlap
  • Control brand consistency
  • Assist in locating media content on demand
  • Enable collaborative, creative environments
  • Systemize workflow
  • Manage rights and permissions
  • Track and manage assets
Digital Asset Management systems can help businesses or organizations in saving both time and financial resources while maintaining organization of all digital assets with a great deal of ease. Digital assets are fast becoming the lifeblood of many businesses. If your business relies on production, storage, or distribution of digital information and media, a DAM system is the intelligent choice to assist in successful execution of strategies involving digital assets.

Jake Athey is a representative of Widen. Widen can help ypu take the pain out of getting your business organized. Providing you with web based digital asset management software, scalable cloud service, guided implementation and training, security, and much, much more. For more information, visit us online today.

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