Web Extra: Digital Asset Management – Making the Most of What You’ve Got

Digital asset management isn’t just for media and entertainment companies anymore. Now, companies from finance to pharmaceuticals are getting in on the act. CIO Insight Reporter Debra D’Agostino spoke recently to Michael Moon, president and founder of GISTICS, an independent research firm that tracks digital asset management use, about the trend.

CIO Insight: Can you give us a quick definition of DAM?

Moon: Digital asset management is an IT-based practice for the systematic reuse and re-expression of pre-existing digital objects that, when successfully done, accelerates business processes and time to market deliverables. That’s the formal definition.

What defines an asset?

Any digital object that follows generally accepted accounting practice for asset recognition. So if you have any kind of digital object that you can show that you have reused for a period of greater than 18 months; have captured the development expenses associated with that particular object; and can directly link the reuse of that object to a discrete sale for a revenue event or a discrete cost savings; and have taken prudent measures to protect this asset, then generally accepted accounting practices will support you recognizing that as a financial asset on the balance sheet.

Why is digital asset management becoming so popular now?

Well, as we have recovered from the dot-com thing, as George Bush has successfully positioned fear as the organizing principle for We the People, eroding consumer confidence to its lowest level in 10 years, and then consumer confidence being the principal driver for economic growth in a consumption-based economy such as America’s, then the war in Iraq and all this kind of hoo-ha—excuse my politics—the net-net of is it that we have been in a long-term economic downturn, and companies are not making investments, and consumers are not spending lots of money. This has forced many companies, even those with strong products and newly revved product cycles and so on, to say, ‘Well, we can’t sell our way out of this process.’ What we have to do is economize. And so this basically has led to really thorough, systematic, ongoing, rigorous cost-cutting measures, understanding that the real costs are in fixed costs.

So now people are saying, ‘Okay, how do we get further economies?’ Well, people are finally discovering, as a function of the middleware, their ability to take broad data out of production data systems and databases, and dynamically create pages on the fly, have them be nice and pretty and template-driven and all that kind of stuff. So the portal people and the middleware people and the enterprise application integration people have started to produce cost there. Digital asset management, when in practice, significantly reduces the cost of doing multichannel business.

Explain how DAM works.

It’s a specialized database for collecting, managing and distributing rich media assets, as well as automating many otherwise expensive, labor-intensive tasks associated with reusing or repurposing pre-existing content.

What about all this resizing and saving to different formats?

That’s dynamic rendering and dynamic imaging. That’s one of the tasks that gets automated. It’s a pretty standard function. But the most standard function of DAM is search and retrieval and review.

CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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