Of course, DAMS must be used in conjunction with licensing arrangements, entity
and user authentication technologies, and digital asset tracking services.The problem fac-
ing heritage institutions in this regard is that once they provide access to a digital asset
they are likely to experience difficulty in monitoring its use, and in ensuring that it is
only used by the licensee and for the purposes licensed. Few heritage institutions have
the individual financial or legal resources to pursue those who misuse access to their dig-
B e n e f i t s a n d R i s k s
There appear to be many potential difficulties when implementing the current gener-
ation of DAMS for use in heritage sector institutions, including their frequently generic
nature, perceived high costs of purchase and upkeep, the complexities of the technical
infrastructure required to maintain an efficient system, and the difficulties of ensuring
take-up by staff members. Organisations need to assess both their need for DAM tech-
nology and the impact that it could have on the ways they use their information assets.
Digital asset management represents a significant investment, and the ROI factor will
become increasingly pressing. Factors used to demonstrate a healthy ROI prior to intro-
duction may include:
- assessing potential customer requirements;
- projected gains in staff productivity;
- future cost reductions;
- new revenue opportunities revealed;
- value enhancements of existing assets.
Given the fact that most DAMS are built atop commonly available database systems,
there is little risk of future difficulty with portability of information or compatibility
with new finding aids provided these new technologies are backwardly compatible with
existing DBMS.Where the real risk lies is in balancing the cost of integrating DAM
strategy with existing systems and components, and the financial, temporal and user-
focused benefits of this new and improved approach.While market leading solutions can
run to a six-figure sum, many more modest solutions are available.
The temptation to over-adjust the functionality of a standard, off-the-shelf system can
be strong, and organisations should ensure that the introduction of their DAM solution is
kept as simple and straightforward as possible in the early stages to ensure pan-organisa-
tional take-up of the system.