A Modern Life Digital Asset Manager
A Modern Life Digital Asset Manager
Posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Without us noticing, modern life has taken over – we shop online, travel the world, track our physical activity, all of which leave behind some kind of digital footprint. Some digital information is more valuable than others, and some have substantial investment in time and resources attached to them.  Not all assets are created equally. In the corporate world, the differential between assets values can be enormous and those important files are very suitably called “assets” because they contribute to the value of an organization. These assets do need to be well managed in order to benefit from them over time.


Regardless of their value, digital assets exist in a wide variety of formats, such as; image, text, video, web and audio files, which are used in many different contexts including; marketing, sales, media broadcasting, web development and education – just to name a few.


The volume of digital assets are accumulating at a quick and steady rate on hard drives everywhere. For example, some of the momentum of the big names (Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Rackspace etc…) that participate in the ‘cloud’ reflect and demonstrate  this intense growth. Management of these assets becomes increasingly difficult when trying to ensure that members of the organization are able to easily retrieve and utilize those resources.


Do you ever find yourself imagining (or dare I say swimming) in vast wastelands of unwanted and neglected data? I do, and like most people, I’m an advocate for the “3 R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle) when it comes to resources.  In the digital world I find myself asking what the 3 R’s can do to organize, reduce and reuse my files and how much of that data can be put back into action – and how efficiently?


It is truly worth examining how much time and money can be saved by reusing what you already have. I have asked around and gathered some general statistics reported to me by Southpaw customers:


  • An animated television series typically reuses about 80% of their characters, props and special effects.
  • A busy 3D production studio saw a 10 fold increase in efficiency across their entire production by knowing exactly where their data was in the pipeline at all times.
  • Marketing departments typically reuse and re-purpose 80-90% of content for use on campaigns for different platforms or distribution methods.
  • Two broadcasting companies reported a 25% gain in work orders completed within a few months of using the right digital asset Management system, and noted an increased speed of the iterative process across their organization.


All this points toward an immediate need for a Digital Asset Manager. What should you look for when searching for the right Digital Asset Manager? One thing is for certain, if I can’t organize easily, and I can’t retrieve anything because I can’t find it, what is the point?


Here are some key digital asset manager features to consider:

DAM Feature Why is this important?
Map to any database When you combine data from multiple places it provides users with a unified view of all that connected data.
Automatically create organized file structures A folder structure can be as unique as the company itself. Ingest a folder structure that makes sense to your organization.
Check in / Check out/ Versioning Always know the status and the most up to date version of a file.
Custom views for interacting with data Create custom views for specific users so they can concentrate on the right data.
Search by keyword The ability to add, approve or reject keywords added to the system.
Tag assets and group related files All your assets can be organized by grouping and tagging – another method which improves search time even more.
Define user access Security of your assets is paramount – add users to specific groups so they may only have access to the data assigned to them.


The purpose of DAM is the ability to find your data quickly within the constraints of your particular workflows. A common strategy employed by corporations looking to become more workflow efficient is to maximize automation in an effort to reduce valuable labour hours on repetitive tasks. Automating process workflows becomes a lot easier with the right DAM system which contain tools like a Workflow Editor, triggers, notifications and an open API.

Modern life requires a modern solution and without a Digital Asset Management system in place, it becomes increasingly difficult for a company to organize their projects, provide accountability for each task, maintain file versioning and ensure security is met across users and teams.

Many of us are all too familiar with the frustration of trying to locate the most recent version of a digital file. TACTIC Workflow avoids this issue entirely and makes finding the right asset quick and easy in any size of organization. Though it is proprietary to Southpaw, it is itself built on the battle-tested and open-source TACTIC platform. This makes for endless extensibility and flexibility as needs evolve.

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