We’ve been working with graduate programs at Columbia University (Information and Digital Resource Management) and San Jose State University (Archives and Records Administration) for a few years now. Each program's curriculum incorporates digital asset management. We’ve blogged about it before. What better way to be involved with the future of DAM software than to connect our technologies and expertise with those learning and teaching in the field?
Recently, we took that a step further: I visited Mrs. Athey’s kindergarten class. Tell a group of 5-and-6-year-olds they need to start thinking about metadata and taxonomy and they look at you with wide-open mouths and blank stares. Some wonder if it’s a kind of horse or the name of a Transformer. They don’t know it yet, but many of them have futures in digital asset management.
Not too long from now, just about anyone working for a company that “sells things” will be involved or in touch with digital asset management. Think of all the photos and videos we consume and accumulate now, be it through online, on our smartphones or in print (yes, there is still print)! Most of us use some sort of DAM-like service to manage and distribute our own content (albeit lighter, less powerful kinds of DAM).
Gartner nearly had it right when in 2008 they predicted that by 2013, more than 25% of the content that workers see in a day will be dominated by pictures, video or audio. This is evidenced by the fact that YouTube is the second-largest search engine.
While visiting with the kindergartners, I asked them all to draw a picture of their favorite person or animal. Many drew pictures of their teacher or pet, it was amazing that all these five-year-olds drew something purely based on imagination in about five minutes. Tell most of us adults to draw something and many of us turn to Google images or stock photo sites for inspiration, only to come up empty 5 minutes later.
Here’s a look at some of the designs from the digital asset managers of the future:
Meeting with the future of DAM got me thinking about what DAM (and its role in your organization) should look like in the future...
DAM administration still takes training and procedures to make it a success. If and when your organization uses DAM, your admins still need to trained on how to bring together platforms, processes and people. Furthermore, procedures need to be in place to have consistency and security.
DAM needs to be a core part of your organization. People need to use it to see the real benefits of ROI and protection of investment. DAM works best when people use it. Your asset creators need to buy into it and your asset consumers need to turn to it.