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Are DAM software's days numbered?

As companies rely more heavily on rich media, do they need to manage digital assets via a Web content management system rather than DAM software? Is DAM software dead?

Companies have come to embrace multimedia as a central part of their content strategies. But storing and managing rich media, such as video and audio, presents challenges that companies have tried to solve through digital asset management (DAM) software, which stores, tracks and manages the permissions for images, audio, video and so forth.

But these software packages can be another costly silo that companies have to pay for -- and that are separate from other important content management systems and assets, such as Web content management systems.

The question becomes whether, as companies rely more heavily on rich media, they will also want to have a more holistic technology approach to managing digital assets.

Geoff Bock, an industry analyst and principal at Bock & Co. talked about the future of DAM software and the origins of digital asset management in a print-centric publishing world.

"Digital as a product category has been around for a long time," Bock said. "It got its start as a way for print publishers to manage all digital assets, which at the beginning, was really photos for a print process. Ten or 15 years ago, print was seen as the center of the universe and the Web was an add-on. Now we've flipped it. … Most publishers realize that digital is here to stay and print is only one of a series of channels they need to support."

Bock also talked about the prospects of bringing DAM software and Web content management together. "It certainly is a plausible scenario. But then you get into the nasty problem of how organizations work … and the creation experiences among departments can be very different" among, say, editors and writers, marketers and designers. So it can be difficult to create a unified system that works for all these different constituencies.

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This was last published in December 2014

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