Key Criteria for Evaluating Digital Asset Management (DAM) Solutionsv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. DAM Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take
  8. About Sue Clarke

1. Summary

Digital asset management (DAM) solutions manage, organize, and store digital assets, normally in a dedicated repository. DAM solutions support many file types, including photos, 3D images, animations, video, audio, and PDF files. Many organizations also store catalogs that combine content and images in a DAM solution.

Digital assets tend to have very large file sizes, and large enterprises with multiple brands can have millions of live assets at any one time. This means that DAM systems must be highly scalable and ensure that assets are easily searchable; therefore, metadata management is an important factor. A DAM solution cannot be used in isolation; it needs applications to build experiences and also to deliver the assets, which means that integration capabilities must be built into the solution. Other core capabilities that should be included with a DAM solution are collaboration, library services, search, and at least basic workflow capabilities.

The ability to manage digital assets has been a requirement for many years, but the growth of streaming services emphasized the need for dedicated repositories for storing and managing vast libraries of assets. The COVID-19 pandemic was another important factor as retailers and organizations in services industries suddenly found themselves having to adopt 100% online models. Without the ability to showcase goods in a physical location, retailers had to find new and innovative ways to provide immersive experiences online. Although digital assets have always been an important element in delivering engaging experiences, they became much more prominent during the pandemic as spin sets (the ability to turn an image through 360 degrees) and video became more prevalent. Innovative companies also turned to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to gain a competitive edge.

DAM is an integral part of a digital experience platform (DXP), but while the DAM capabilities within a DXP allow digital assets to be stored and managed and will suit the requirements of organizations with modest requirements, they do not include the capabilities required by organizations with large libraries of assets and complex needs. Some DXP vendors have acquired standalone DAM solutions, and while these have been integrated with and included as part of the DXP offering, they are also still sold as standalone solutions, and several of these are included in the accompanying Radar report.

DAM is continually evolving as new asset types are developed and additional delivery platforms such as the metaverse are created, and DAM vendors must ensure their products support them. The latest innovation is generative AI, and vendors are already starting to productize it to enable marketers to create images without the need for intervention from a creative team.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report details the capabilities (table stakes, key criteria, and emerging technologies) and nonfunctional requirements (evaluation metrics) for selecting an effective digital asset management solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those capabilities and metrics.

Together, these reports provide an overview of the category and its underlying technology, identify leading digital asset management offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

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