February 10, 2017
How EXACTLY Does IT Fit in the DAM Puzzle?
Let’s link the pieces between DAM & Information Technology
I’ve received several questions wishing to clarify the roles of IT when involved in Digital Asset Management internally due to the article written in CMS Wire titled “Factors Impacting DAM in the Year Ahead.” So, let’s divide those and break them down by each topic.
First, when it comes to implementation, IT is more important now than ever. Often times, a DAM system was left to someone on the marketing team, marketing operations, or even someone with a ‘technical background’ meaning whomever had done anything remotely similar to implementing software. Now, with the increasing complexity in Digital Asset Management systems, even web based or SaaS DAMs, it’s crucial to get IT involved during the decision making process.
Another interesting trend is the complexity and interconnectivity of DAM into other systems today: IT has to be there to ensure those systems can pass information. Whether it’s something like publishing, media, digital rights clearance, artificial intelligence, e-commerce, or whatever other systems you want to integrate with, those will most often require some technical setup and facilitation.
Have you ever tried mapping together fields in two databases yourself without a Database Admin?> What about that easy API you kept hearing about-is it really that easy to tie together two systems with APIs from two different vendors? Someone in Marketing may be able to do the set up, but that’s not really Marketing’s job and it is IT’s job. The supposition should be that they are more ideally suited for that setup work.
The last thing IT wants to hear, or any of us for that matter, is “…here you go, have this project that you weren’t a part of and I need this up and running in two weeks with 99.999%.” If those expectations of time and stability are to be considered, then that consideration must come prior to any decision on technology. IT as an enabler cannot be setup for failure like this, so it’s incumbent upon us all to not do so.
IT is a trusted adviser in the process so bring them in early, give them a voice in the decision making process, and ensure you have their buy-in. They evaluate and procure software all the time and have both evaluation and implementation best practices to help with the overall project. So, why not leverage those qualities to your advantage?
Next, after you have involved your trusted IT advisers in the process, IT will become a crucial element during the implementation and maintenance phases. Because of their knowledge in server and operating system maintenance, hardware and software life cycles, help desk, and other support systems-they will be your lifeline to a useful and functioning Digital Asset Management system.
Suppose you’re working on a deadline with some large media files and suddenly the system gets hit by a hard drive failure. What would you do to prevent that? The likelihood is that your seasoned IT executive would have your digital asset management system set up with a RAID array (redundant array of independent drives) or other redundancy meaning hot-swappable backups so you won’t even notice the disk failure. If not, their backup protocols would have likely taken a snapshot and given you a backup from a recent point in time. This allows you to revert to a recent copy and continue working towards meeting deadlines.
Supporting the DAM or any mission-critical system is what IT knows best. They’re well-seasoned. They excel in delivering service to their internal customers like marketing. It is what they are there for. So, to ensure the success of any Digital Asset Management initiative like this, it’s always best to involve them in an advisory capacity at minimum and work together to define the support you need to achieve your objectives.
Learn more about putting the DAM puzzle together within your organization. Check out our handy Digital Asset Management Best Practices Guide. It’s jammed packed with ideas on how to define an efficient workflow, organizing assets, and more.