In my last article, I described a digital asset management (DAM) system and laid a foundation for the next series of articles on the implementation of and best practices for digital asset management. Make no mistake, the implementation of a DAM system is not a simple undertaking. The marketing technology landscape as an ecosystem is shown below. The DAM application is highlighted. As you can see, each part of the ecosystem relies on the others and in my case, DAM assets must be made accessible across the enterprise.
As I considered many of these issues from my experiences with our global brand customers, it became very apparent to me even before looking at implementation and best practices that one must consider their corporate culture and its existing digital landscape of how tasking and work is actually done.
The smooth operations and sharing of rich media among a matrixed organization of creatives, marketers, sales, public relations, legal, the C-suite, and customers depends on meeting all their needs to access assets when they need it, wherever they are working. A positive customer experience hinges on it.
A digitally disassociated or siloed workforce operating in a rapidly changing and complex work environment of multiple digital point solutions will create lost productivity, innovation, and responsiveness amidst a mass of communication clutter that makes workload unmanageable. Many of our global brands collaborate from global offices, [work at home], external agencies…. the global team is as dispersed as ever
“It’s DAM difficult”
To add to this challenge, the statistics are already not in your favor. DAM is a major IT software implementation project. Calleam.com provides us with a comprehensive synopsis on the performance of these types of projects across industry. McKinsey’s take on the problem in the Calleam synopsis reveals these facts:
- 17 percent of large IT projects go so badly that they can threaten the very existence of the company.
- On average, large IT projects run 45 percent over budget and 7 percent over time, while delivering 56 percent less value than predicted.
Is your customer’s organization ready to absorb the change that DAM will present?
Gigaom.com looked at the readiness of businesses and corporations to adopt new digital systems in their enterprise infrastructure. Seventy-four percent of respondents said that individuals in their organization are not fully prepared to adapt to an increasingly complex digital enterprise infrastructure, either offline or online.
- Eighty-seven percent said “not enough focus is currently placed on change management in critical projects” to make a more complex digital enterprise infrastructure a reality in their organization.
- Five percent or less of total project budgets is allocated to change management on key projects like an increasingly complex digital enterprise infrastructure.
- Only 40 percent said they have the right skills in place to successfully manage change projects in the future such as the creation of a more complex digital enterprise infrastructure.
As the numbers above suggest, it is more than likely we will not be presented with that ideal digital environment. The implementation and integration challenge will be significant and essentially unique to every customer’s digital architecture.
Digital tools such as a DAM system are advertised to make the digital marketer’s life easier. Other tools, such as email, project management software, and collaboration suites, are among other ways we seek to simplify how we work. Generally, what is found among most customer work environments is a bevy of task/work requests, critical data, and review/approval routing scattered across multiple, unconnected tools. We have all faced the reality of having to re-send an email to put it at the top of the inbox to get priority for your needs or re-sending a meeting invitation to remind people of the importance (to you) of attending. These actions are the digital equivalent to piling more paper onto a stack on your co-worker’s desk that’s already over their head. How’s that any more efficient?
So, how do we make sure our DAM implementation and integration to the other digital tools is as seamless as possible? We look to define the enterprise digital landscape. We must discover the digital ingredients that will make our job easier and customer experience positive.
There are many legacy point solutions to find that span any company’s digital environment. These point solutions are usually siloed in different business units and organizational elements. The objective is to identify them and work with the customer to determine if they need to be included in the DAM implementation as a point of integration or can DAM assume that function and phase out the siloed point solution after migrating the legacy data to DAM.
From our experience, our customers like to talk about integration with process and product systems they have already invested. Here are a few that come up often as major drivers of business value when seamlessly integrated:
- Product lifecycle management (PLM) software, which manages the entire lifecycle of a product from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products. PLM integrates people, data, processes, and business systems and provides a product information backbone for companies and their extended enterprise.
- Product information management (PIM) software, which manages the continuous flow of data throughout the entire product information lifecycle. All product-related workflows and data management needs are handled ─ from the vendors on the “supply” side to customers on the “sell” side.
- Marketing resource management (MRM) software, which aligns the people, process, and technology to support marketing activities and improve marketing effectiveness.
- Business process management system (BPMS) software, which is a field in operations management that focuses on improving corporate performance by managing and optimizing a company’s business processes.
These are but a few of the solutions that we encounter that affect a DAM implementation. Various other print, translation, and document management software pop up as we navigate the digital landscape of most of our customers. With a proper content migration strategy, much of the relevant data from these legacy software point solutions can be made available and unearthed within the DAM. In that manner, content is consolidated and managed as a single source of truth that can be leveraged across marketing campaigns.
In the longer term, digital connectivity is the goal we seek. Asset management is one area to connect with existing applications to ensure the seamless flow of assets among internal teams such as creative, marketing, sales, and other business users. To make this a success (after we define the business objective), we must start with the culture, then define the landscape, then connect the dots with integrations.
What else do you deem as critical system to integrate to for digital connectivity? In next my few articles, we will discuss the DAM integration with key systems for social media marketing, Web content management (WCM), translation and localization technologies, and even analytics.
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