iBase Digital Asset Management Blog

What is Digital Asset Management?

19th December 2014

Welcome to another blog post from the team at iBase Media Services. Over the coming weeks and months we aim to inform you of all the many intricacies and benefits of using Digital Asset Management Systems. However before we delve too deeply into this subject we should probably answer the most obvious question of all.

What is Digital Asset Management?

Digital Asset Management is a methodology designed to overcome the inherent problems that crop up when a user or organisation has built up a large collection of assets. These assets may range from physical exhibitions in a museum, to video files stored on a company’s servers.

Without some form of management this will obviously become unwieldy and typically, resources will be stretched in an attempt to accommodate the ever expanding archive. It will become harder and harder to locate one particular item and productivity will fall sharply.

To solve these issues, a digital asset management system is created with three main components. A repository, a database and an interface.

What is Digital Asset Management

The repository is what will hold the assets themselves or a digital representation. Physical assets can be digitised into videos, photos, audio files or any other format which would adequately represent them.

The database stores all the information you have about the assets in question, typically replacing the thousands of scattered documents found in outdated models. Databases are specially designed to be efficient with both space and speed, increasing the amount of assets that can be referenced whilst simultaneously making sure users can access them as quickly as possible.

Finally, the interface is the portal through which the end-users can search for, modify or otherwise interact with the digital assets. Many times this will be in the form of an on-line application or website, which helps users gain access wherever and whenever they need it.

The interface can also be linked in with other systems to produce integrated solutions. For example a payment gateway can be linked in to allow for the monetisation of assets.

When done properly, Digital Asset Management is incredibly powerful. It’s also amazingly flexible and we’ve found it can be tailored to suit practically all requirements, as each component can be uniquely customised to produce different effects.

Firstly, the repository can be altered to store assets in different formats to suit any given need; an example would be to store different resolutions of a video file so that it may be accessed on multiple device types whilst improving bandwidth efficiency.

After that, through customising the data structure stored in the database, the system architect may choose what information is held on each asset as well as altering asset relationships and how they interact with one another within the system. By doing this effectively it is possible to position all your assets in one place regardless of how diverse they are.

Finally the most obvious customisation to the end-user, will be the interface. Everything from branding to layout to workflow can be modified to assist the user in getting to where they need to be – a well designed interface will significantly reduce the costs of dealing with user queries.

All of these points help lower costs and drastically increase productivity when working with large quantities of assets or attempting to distribute them over a large area.

If you have any queries or comments on Digital Asset Management, feel free to drop us a line at sales@ibase.com.

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