Advice for organisations
Organisations thinking about introducing a DAMS might wish to ask the following
questions before embarking on the investment:
- What new opportunities will a DAM system enable the institution to create? How
will the institution measure whether or not DAM has achieved the objectives?
- What functions of DAM systems are particularly well suited to the needs of the insti-
- How can the institution ensure staff buy-in to DAM technology?
- What will be the cost-benefit ratio?
- Which DAMS technologies best fit the institutions requirements? How will the
selection process be documented?
- Has the institution established that the target DAM system can be optimised for the
data types which the organisation handles, that it supports adequate user profiling,
and that the metadata categories supported are adequate?
- What impact will the introduction of a DAM solution have on organisational think-
ing about and use of digital content?
- What might the implications be in collaborating with other institutions to share a
- What obstacles might be encountered when attempting to introduce DAM
technology? How can these be overcome?
- What metadata are required to support the institution's application of DAM
technology? How will the metadata be acquired and implemented?
- DAMS are based on a combination of technologies and methods, including software
applications and policies and procedures. Have those elements that are software-
based, and those concerned with policies and procedures been identified?
- Have plans to develop, test, disseminate, and validate the application of these policies
and procedures been established?
- Will a DAM system allow recognition of the economic, educational, or intellectual
value of digital assets that have hitherto been overlooked?
- Will a DAM system allow the institution to exploit the economic value of its digital
- What risks to the institution's digital content are posed by the use of DAM
- How will DAM technology be integrated with existing systems like digitisation
- As DAMS cannot help protect intellectual property rights, what are the IPR
implications of establishing a DAM system for the institution?
- As most DAMS do not necessarily provide long-term preservation of digital assets.
How will the organisation address this problem?
These questions should provide a profile of an institution's need for and likely benefit
from DAM technology. A key starting point is requirements analysis. Before embarking
on any development effort, institutions should define requirements precisely in order to
determine whether or how the available technologies will meet the needs.