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Whose DAM is it, Anyway?

Toby Martin
September 19, 2019

Who is a participant in digital asset management? You are. And so is everyone else you work with who touches a digital asset in the course of their job.

Given the broad definition of digital assets these days, and the countless number of places where you can publish, consume, store, and interact with them, virtually everyone shy of the basement janitor is involved in digital asset management.

If you think I’m wrong, I dare you to challenge the sentiment. Let’s ask a few questions:

  • Is your job connected in any way with buying, subscribing to, or tracking down where any electronic asset (ignore hardware for the time being) comes into your company?
  • Do you ever need to use digital files like fonts, graphics, or other imagery in the course of work products you make?
  • Have you ever had to stop work to go and find something like an updated logo or other brand asset to complete a project?
  • Has anyone ever asked you how much to charge a client for work produced or for allotment of time to a contract you or your organization is fulfilling?
  • Do you have a place where you file your work product, or go to find other teammates work products, that is not a file cabinet?
    • If it is a file cabinet, maybe you need to find a new gig … (I’m just sayin’.)
  • Can you easily find your old files for future reference, and could the same be said about others finding your files, or you finding theirs?
  • Is there a well thought out strategy that you pursue for keeping your non-filing-cabinet system cleaned up?

If the answer to any, not even all, of these questions is a yes, then you’re part of the digital asset management ecosystem, my friend. While you may not be a DAM professional or even consider yourself an amateur DAM associate, you’re doing some part of the job and need to view yourself through that lens.

For far too long the roles have been too specialized and too narrow when in fact an increasing number of workers interact with digital assets every day. If you think I’m wrong, look at your workspace and if you don’t consume digital files, produce any digital files like documents or others, then maybe you’re right — but I’d be willing to bet not.