Living in ever fast changing and the complex modern world, we all strive to live up to the maximum productivity, and there’s no shortage of software and tools that are ready to save us from misery out there. Cloud-based DAM (Digital Asset Management) software has a proven track record for increasing productivity, reducing costs, streamlining workflows, and scaling, which ultimately helps marketers and designers as their organization grows.
Fundamentally DAM as any other software is an investment, hence what would be the return of that investment on your business? DAM’s capabilities plus with your business workflow to make the maximum out of it. The ROI (Return On Investment) could be operational, technical, monetary, marketing, and competitive based on your incremental gains in the overall business process.
When you evaluate which DAM you want to introduce to your team or organization, there are tangible and intangible factors to take into consideration. Those factors have a direct impact on your ROI, hence productivity and opportunity cost.
1) Flexibility and Versatility in a DAM
To accomplish efficiency and effectiveness in achieving your business goals, the DAM system you are require should be flexible and versatile enough to reflect organization specific structures and workflows. For example, abundant metadata can enhance the way assets are categorized significantly so that they become searchable to serve any re-use purposes. Having easy sharing capability with internal as well as external collaborators such as freelancer photographers, partners, and resellers who don’t even need to hold access to the system will bring instant results in productivity at no cost.
2) DAM System That Scale With You
You want a solution that grows with you. DAM systems can reduce cost, increase speed, scale globally, accessible, and distribute assets. The best DAMs – cloud-based, on-premise or hybrid – would provide security guarantees, global infrastructure, third-party integration, backup solution, and storage redundancy.
3) Costs for DAM
Even though the nature of SaaS product is the pay-as-you-go principle, often there are additional costs involved such as initial import, professional services, consulting, training and additional set up costs. In the case of on-premise systems, hardware and OS systems are costs to factor. In general, look for all-in package or at least go for the providers who set out their pricing transparently. Always ask for additional costs from the respective support team of the software solution you are choosing and any professional services.
4) DAM Support and Client Success For Resource Saving
In terms of business continuity, support should be robust and always there for you. A few DAM system providers will charge you for the on-going support and some will provide it for free. Clear this out before buying the package and understand the Services Level Agreement (SLA) and scope. A feature-rich DAM without the full support will be very difficult for you to maintain without a power user in-house, who has expertise in that field. Without the necessary on-boarding, the learning curve of a DAM software can be steep and demanding a lot of your resources. DAM providers who offer free on-boarding would save you tremendous time and effort, however also prevent unnecessary troubleshooting, which will directly affect your ROI in a negative way.
Some vendors offer on-going managed services to maintain the DAM and environment, automate DAM upgrades, train users and provide higher tiers of help. Managed Services can augment teams by providing on-demand product and DAM expertise without the cost of salaried resources. When discussing managed services, understand the scope of the SLA; most vendors offer SLAs to fit your specific needs.
5) User-Friendly DAM
Learning a new software requires time and energy. Ease of use is vital to increase user adoption and satisfaction. User-friendly UX and simple navigation make it easy for the users and team members grasp the tool quickly so they can start increasing operational effectiveness fast. An intuitive DAM with ease of comprehension will help everyone who will use the software as well as those who will be indirectly using it for shared content.
However, most Enterprise DAM (e.g. OpenText Media Management) and mid-tier DAMs (e.g. 4ALLPORTAL and Elvis) have configurable UIs so that you can create a UX that specifically fits your team and their specific roles and workflows. The configurable interfaces makes user adoption and training easy, but it requires budget and time to produce the best end result. If you cannot invest extra time, budget, energy to learn again a new tool, or have the budget to configure the UX and time to conduct proper User Acceptance Training (UAT), a lite-tier DAM or SaaS DAM might be a better fit. Whatever DAM you select, teams are likely to use that particular software more and stick to it for a longer time if the user experience is excellent.
List up what matters most critically for your organization that can help your team achieve their business goals – for example, shorten time to market. The marketplace is full of DAM solutions with loads of features. You need to look for the one fitting your unique needs, which will be the most ROI-generating tool for you eventually. Try Swivle’s ROI calculator in order to realize where your scarce resources are allocated and how much return can be expected by opting to use a DAM. Start to increase your efficiency and get a return from today with a free trial of Swilve. If you want a more advanced ROI calculation tailored to your specific needs, contact us.