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5 Pitfalls of Legacy Digital Asset Management Platforms


digital asset management platforms

As enterprises move forward to keep pace with technological evolution, the management of digital assets is also undergoing a transformation in terms of speed, size, and scale. Most organizations already have a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution in place – be it custom, commercial, or tool-based management of several technology stacks. Designed to solve a pool of data-related business problems; if these solutions are not modernized in time, they can become unwieldy enough to create burdens that cost businesses both time and money.

The inability to find required assets at the right time usually stems from an outdated or legacy system with unreliable search or unintuitive structure. Further, poor tagging and metadata practices or even data access issues impedes businesses’ ability  to be able to really use the resources they need. As more and more organizations are reaching for modern systems for productivity, workflow automation, application interfacing, and integration with existing applications and repositories, legacy systems don’t move at the required speed or scale of current business needs. Taking into account their monolithic architecture, legacy systems cannot just change or replace one system module to make a small update. This results in multiple conflicts across the system. Additionally, they usually have vast amounts of documented as well as undocumented features which makes it risky to interfere with its source code.

Therefore, to integrate core business processes and systems with global distribution of digital assets, and to deliver real-time content personalization—a modern DAM solution has become a requisite for success in the MarTech ecosystem.

Here’s diving deeper into the challenges and risks organizations face due to continued usage of legacy DAM software –

1. Ineffective customer engagement

Originally, DAM systems were intended primarily as repositories for finished assets. Today, DAM is increasingly linked to providing enhanced customer experiences. Without an automated and modern DAM system in place, organizations find it difficult to simplify the creation, review, and publishing of new, personalized content using atomized assets. Slow and outdated search tools associated with legacy DAM systems make it difficult to identify, find, and re-use high-performing assets. This further results in discrepancies in approving of content and managing of rich-media assets and creates overall inconsistency in the customer-facing content. It, therefore, leads to disruptions in campaigns and engagements. So, while legacy DAM software helps in storing and identifying, digital assets, they miss out on some key elements required for modern-day selling. Modernized DAM solutions, on the other hand serves assets directly to end-users, while maintaining effectiveness at every level from consolidating data assets to enrichment, and standardization— all leading to fulfilling customer engagement.

2. Inconsistency in brand interactions

Mostly all digital content needs to fit perfectly with the categories of any DAM system. But what if the content doesn’t match the mould, or if each customer facing channel where content is syndicated, has their own specific requirements? This can severely restrict a brand’s effectiveness creating inconsistency in interactions with customers. For instance, a product category manager at a marketplace who only needs to see an image with specific dimensions may have to wade through irrelevant metadata fields and image renditions accrued from several touchpoints, causing a delay in product launch. Moreover, legacy DAM systems are not intuitive or flexible enough to support object-based asset management, leading to patchwork or inconsistent cross-referencing of these assets. Most importantly, adaptation in such systems is not possible without recourse to the software provider or IT team – both of which can drive up the cost of ownership of an outdated DAM system (or set of systems) besides resulting in costly delays.

3. Delay in product marketing

One of the most significant challenges for advertising and marketing in the 21st century with an outdated DAM solution is atomizing and reusing asset material to custom-fit the product campaign bracket. With just a few basic compilation tools and a limited number of active brand properties in these legacy systems, creating and deploying content to market the product may turn out to be not just time-consuming but ineffective. From the inability to manage multiplying design needs to approval workflows, traditional DAM platforms can create a significant lag in personalizing product marketing output as per channel or customer need which further delays the campaigning delivery. Moreover, enterprises want to communicate with their customers through customized content that speaks directly to them, making a modern DAM solution a must have for personalized product marketing based on data driven insights and customer behavior patterns.

4. Struggle in integrating with new-age technology

Legacy DAM solutions have their limits when it comes to providing the right interoperability with different applications used by various departments. Whether it’s about integrating and interacting with latest technologies or matching up with state-of-the-art shopping software, traditional DAM platforms fall short enormously. This includes the inability to support Artificial Intelligence (AI) or IoT based customer facing touchpoints that enables automatic tagging and metadata creation. By not integrating the interface with new-age technologies, organizations fail to go beyond basic metadata and catalogs. They seldom have any scope of upgrading their software versions, which turns them into monoliths that aren’t an ideal choice for digital asset management. As a result, it affects the visibility and deployment speed of digital assets across channels in a content-heavy shopping atmosphere.

5. Global deployment issues

Managing media and digital assets with legacy systems is tricky within a single department. But the complexity of multiple business units in different geographic regions with differing native languages, regions, currencies, is much more. Legacy DAM systems offer organizations very little control over data versions that are deployed in multiple regions. An outdated DAM platform cannot support these needs as it fails to govern, control, and create a unified view of digital assets downloaded to multiple local folders, controlled by different departments, and revised during internal/external reviews. Furthermore, usage rights become more challenging to manage internationally as organizations have to purchase and use completely different resources to track global projects or take intellectual property compliance risks to reuse creative content from other geographic regions. Here, a modern DAM platform solution can help standardize, control, and maintain content processes to meet globe-spanning, game-changing collaborative capabilities.

Why should your DAM platform be modernized?

From managing rich media assets such as images and videos to centrally automating the storage, sharing, and organizing of digital assets, a modern DAM platform amplifies and enriches the deployment of digital assets in an organization. Modern and dynamic DAM solutions not only enable functional teams to seamlessly and efficiently work on assets, but also takes collaboration on assets, dynamic manipulation, and dynamic publishing across devices and channels to the next level. Further, the emergence of cloud-based DAM solutions has opened even more possibilities, like:-

  • Asset management scalability by rapidly accumulating digital assets
  • Web-hosted range of upgrades, maintenance, and system backups that are fast and flexible
  • Security and risk management with strict cloud-scale architecture policies within the business
  • Cost optimization with no extensive purchases or replacement of hardware or software

Earlier, DAM platforms were replaced by ones capable of streamlining creative workflows and facilitating collaboration. With modern DAM platform solutions, replacements are not required as organizations can move digital assets efficiently through an integrated pipeline, from creation to distribution while delivering personalized and optimized assets to end-users. Furthermore, these systems eliminate functional silos and bridge the gap between asset management and customer delivery.

Author Bio:

Vandana Singal is Director, Solution Consulting at Pimcore Global Services (A Happiest Minds Company). Pimcore is an open-source platform for product information management (PIM/MDM), digital asset management (DAM), content management system (CMS), and eCommerce. She has extensive experience in managing presales, product development, and multifunctional teams.


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