Giving a Dam
In the world of packaging and package printing, digital asset management is also dynamic asset management.
IT HAS BEEN suggested that packaging and advertising will mount the last defense of ink-on-paper against the onslaught of digital and virtual technologies. Try packaging a box of Wheaties on CD-ROM or wrapping a birthday gift in a graphical user interface. Now that the drama has subsided, the rhetoric has also cooled, leaving the industry to deal with new and evolving realities, among them, the proliferation of digital workflows and data requiring identification, categorization, and storage.
What? Why? How?
Any digital media file with value to an organization is a digital asset. Digital assets can include images, graphics, logos, video and sound files, Web pages, PDF documents, application files like Quark and Illustrator; advertisements, marketing collateral, brochures, product packaging designs, and so on. In the aggregate, analog and digital assets are referred to as "content."
The management of digital assets is a fundamental concern of almost everyone involved in the process, from suppliers to ad agencies to corporate end users and everyone in between. It is also an area of growing interest for packaging printers and commercial printers with a packaging profit center. In fact, the need to handle the burgeoning volume of data used to power digital workflows means that most graphic communications firms and their clients are already doing some kind of asset management, even if it amounts to simple archiving on disk or server.
Digital asset management (DAM) or digital media asset management (DMAM) assumes that the volume of data is growing in direct proportion to the need to adopt robust solutions that are capacious and flexible enough to locate and retrieve specific digital content for use, reuse, and repurposing across diverse media.
Digital asset management involves the collection and central storage not only of the data, but also information about the data: formats, size, authors, past usage, location, versions, authorizations, and so on. DAM collects, indexes, categorizes, secures, searches, transforms, assembles, and exports content (digital assets + metadata). Because the value of any digital asset is predicated on its accessibility, any DAM solution worth its salt will be based on software that is flexible enough to integrate with an organization's existing systems and processes. It likely also will feature an intuitive interface that enables users to locate, retrieve, modify, and redistribute the desired assets.