Digital Asset Management Concepts

Digital Asset Management Concepts

Ramesh Subramanian (Quinnipiac University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch176
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Abstract

“DAM. Looks like something you might say if you couldn’t find a photograph you needed for a front-page story. But DAM—digital asset management—is actually designed to preempt such frustrated outbursts. In an age when oodles of media, including print, images, video and audio, are stored in computers rather than file cabinets, newspapers and other groups need a way to organize, manipulate and share those media quickly and easily.” (Grimes, 1998) Dramatic changes have occurred on the corporate front in the last few years, as more and more businesses have started to conduct commerce on the Internet. New business concepts and products are being developed on a daily basis. The accent is on speed, and changes occur quickly – daily, hourly or even minute-to-minute. Two major facets of these changes are: 1. Large amounts of data are created and stored in digitized forms in organizations, and 2. New “digital products” are created. As more and more information is created in electronic form, organizations are faced with the following problems: • The volume of digital data has become cumbersome to manage and reuse (Sharples, 1999). • Organizations have struggled to reduce cycle time, maintain brand consistency, and coordinate crossmedia publishing as well as one-to-one marketing efforts. • The number of digital assets that an organization may manage has exploded. • Gistics, a California-based research firm that has studied media asset management for several years, estimates that approximately 30% of all media assets in organizations are misplaced, and then reworked or duplicated. A 2001 Frost and Sullivan market indicator report by Subha Vivek forecasts tremendous future growth in the U.S. digital media management market (Vivek, 2001). The three market segments that will be affected represent the capture, storage and access, and distribution of digital media, respectively. The promise of digital asset management has attracted a lot of commercial enterprises and software research laboratories, and several products have been introduced commercially in the last few years. However, due to the “newness” of the field, there is not much academic research literature in the field. A good source of academic thought in this field can be found in the online proceedings of the Annenberg DAM Conference, held at the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California in 1998 (Annenberg DAM Conference, 1998).
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Introduction To Digital Asset Management

“DAM. Looks like something you might say if you couldn’t find a photograph you needed for a front-page story. But DAM—digital asset management—is actually designed to preempt such frustrated outbursts. In an age when oodles of media, including print, images, video and audio, are stored in computers rather than file cabinets, newspapers and other groups need a way to organize, manipulate and share those media quickly and easily.” (Grimes, 1998)

Dramatic changes have occurred on the corporate front in the last few years, as more and more businesses have started to conduct commerce on the Internet. New business concepts and products are being developed on a daily basis. The accent is on speed, and changes occur quickly – daily, hourly or even minute-to-minute. Two major facets of these changes are:

  • 1.

    Large amounts of data are created and stored in digitized forms in organizations, and

  • 2.

    New “digital products” are created.

As more and more information is created in electronic form, organizations are faced with the following problems:

  • The volume of digital data has become cumbersome to manage and reuse (Sharples, 1999).

  • Organizations have struggled to reduce cycle time, maintain brand consistency, and coordinate cross-media publishing as well as one-to-one marketing efforts.

  • The number of digital assets that an organization may manage has exploded.

  • Gistics, a California-based research firm that has studied media asset management for several years, estimates that approximately 30% of all media assets in organizations are misplaced, and then reworked or duplicated.

A 2001 Frost and Sullivan market indicator report by Subha Vivek forecasts tremendous future growth in the U.S. digital media management market (Vivek, 2001). The three market segments that will be affected represent the capture, storage and access, and distribution of digital media, respectively.

The promise of digital asset management has attracted a lot of commercial enterprises and software research laboratories, and several products have been introduced commercially in the last few years. However, due to the “newness” of the field, there is not much academic research literature in the field. A good source of academic thought in this field can be found in the online proceedings of the Annenberg DAM Conference, held at the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California in 1998 (Annenberg DAM Conference, 1998).

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Background: Digital Asset Management (Dam) Concepts

This section is adapted from our earlier paper on the subject (Subramanian & Yen, 2002).

A. Definition

A digital asset is any asset that exists in a digitized form, and is of intrinsic or commercial value to an organization. Digital asset management can be defined as a set of processes that facilitate the search, retrieval, and storage of digital assets from an archive.

B. Basic Features of DAM

The basic features of any DAM system include: storage, search and retrieval, and “thumbnail browsing” (Rosenblatt, 1998). A good DAM system will also include the ability to perform object check-in and check-out.

Other desirable features include:

  • Integration of the DAM system with content creation applications on the desktop.

  • Enterprise features, that is, features that are necessary for a digital media management system to be useful in a large-scale deployment at a large media company (i.e., an industrial strength, scalable database).

  • The ability of a DAM system to have a user interface that can function in a cross-platform environment (e.g., the Java language from Sun Microsystems, and the development of XML technology).

  • The ability to extend the functionality of the DAM system through programming interfaces.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Asset: A digital asset is any asset that exists in a digitized form, and is of intrinsic or commercial value to an organization.

This work was previously published in Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology: edited by M. Khosrow-Pour, pp. 864-869, copyright 2005 by Information Science Reference, formerly known as Idea Group Reference (an imprint of IGI Global)

Search Extenders: Methods that facilitate content-based searching of digital files.

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