In 2020, digital assets such as images and videos will continue to play a key role in supporting communication, consolidating opinions, presenting products in the right light, promoting brands… Companies must also deliver assets in more and more channels, formats and increasingly as part of an atomized content strategy. How does this impact the management and distribution of digital assets? The experts at DAM United in Berlin and Essen have put together some DAM Trends for 2020 that show where the journey is headed in technical and organizational terms.

The trends are based on a survey sponsored by DAM United, which the independent analysts of Research In Action conducted in 2019 with 750 IT and business decision-makers in Germany’s upper midsize companies.

#1 DAM becomes relevant for more companies

Historically, DAM has always been a must-have solution for media and large companies with many products and images. Nowadays, however, medium-sized companies, SMBs and start-ups also need to be able to deal efficiently with a large number of digital assets in various channels and formats – i.e. to find them quickly, retrieve them and use them in compliance with GDPR, but also to file and store them in a way that is easily reusable. Given the increasing amount of digital assets in companies and the trend towards storytelling, content marketing and more moving image communication, DAM 2020 will be relevant for all companies.

#2 DAM becomes more collaborative, agile, fluid

DAM is increasingly becoming a mission critical platform in the architecture of digital experience technology. Enterprises are no longer concerned with rigid, centralized management of many images, but rather with the dynamic use of digital assets in distributed environments – without having to work with copies and without opaque data being sent back and forth. DAM must therefore manage the entire collaborative asset creation process with tens of variants and instances in a traceable manner and support collaboration in internal networks or cloud infrastructures. As a result, more and more DAM providers are offering their solutions in flexible, scalable Software as a Service (SaaS) operation in the cloud. And there are also innovative collaboration solutions such as Media Collaboration Technology, a real-time virtual file system solution developed by BRANDGUARDIAN. MCT enables – similar to a Google Drive, but on a higher level – the collaboration of geographically distributed teams on and with assets. Agile collaboration on and with assets across borders will be one of the top topics in 2020.

#3 DAM becomes more complex; solutions become simpler

DAM activities are becoming more complex, the number of assets and channels is increasing and at the same time marketers have less and less time. As a result, demand is growing not only for DAM systems and services, but also for solutions that make it easier for marketers and DAM users to manage and distribute digital assets in a way that is limitless and traceable. This will create new solutions in three areas:

  1. Simplify: Add-ons and tools that enhance the usability of market-leading DAM systems for specific user groups or application situations. There are dozens of practical examples in which users are simply asked to upload or select images, or in which external users need access to a pool of images, e.g. while on the move. Full access to the DAM system requiring a license is usually like shooting a gun at a sparrow: too expensive, too complex, too much explanation, too error-prone. Simplify your DAM solutions will help in 2020.
  2. Smart collaboration: Corporations, but also the typical, internationally positioned medium-sized company, often work together with several local marketing departments, agencies and freelancers. This distributed working leads to problems. In 2020, smart cloud collaboration solutions such as MCT will significantly complement the DAM system. All participants will then be able to work on shared files in the cloud in real time, saving a great deal of time and nerves. Especially in media production we will experience a quantum leap.
  3. AI Power: AI is also becoming increasingly important in the DAM sector – it can already recognize image content and automatically assign and keyword it. AI can even cut out certain products or persons from larger images and adapt formats. These are useful functions that make work easier.

#4: DAM supports individualization

More and more companies enable their customers to individually design and configure products on websites, kiosks or other POS platforms. To do this, they need to manage and provide dynamic assets and process them in associated processes. In some industries, companies also make dynamic and partially automated use of digital assets created and published by users and customers. Both trends place new demands on the function and architecture of DAM solutions.

Would you like to know more about the DAM market, the trends and the leading providers? You can order the study “Vendor Selection Matrix™ – Digital Asset Management 2019 – Germany” here free of charge.