5 best practices for DAM migration

21 Jun


Written by

Bella Foxwell




5 best practices for DAM migration
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As businesses grow, so too does the need to deliver original, hyper-personalized content to consumers whose expectations are higher than ever before.

This is when many organizations realize the limitations of existing tools like Dropbox and Google Drive. Whether it’s to accommodate new workflows, improve efficiency or keep up with the latest technology, there comes a time when migrating to a robust digital asset management (DAM) solution is necessary.

However, migrating your entire organization can seem like a daunting task, with the potential for lost files, data corruption and a lengthy onboarding period. 

These 5 steps will help ensure a smooth DAM migration, with minimal disruption to your workflows and maximum ROI for your organization.

Let’s take a closer look at the 5 best practices for DAM migration:

- Define your goals

- Audit your assets

- Develop an organizational structure

- Build your team

- Make a list of all the tools you need

1. Define your goals

You already know the importance of setting goals in business, and implementing a DAM system is no different. 

Organizations decide they want to migrate to DAM for a number of reasons. Some are looking for a more robust content repository, some want to drive global brand consistency, and some companies want a fully integrated MarTech stack, like Decathlon.

The first step is to determine what you need your DAM system to solve or achieve. 

What content challenges or opportunities are you experiencing/missing out on? 

What business processes will your DAM platform improve or support? 

Answering these questions will help you get closer to defining your goals. 

Once you’ve identified these, it’s time to turn them into SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound) goals. You’ll use these to steer your strategy during implementation, creating workflows and standards to help achieve them. 

When setting your DAM goals, consider the following:

  • Align goals with overall business objectives. Is your organization focused on revenue, increasing market share, productivity, or something else? Your DAM goals should contribute to the business’s broader business objectives—particularly if you want to get stakeholder buy-in.
  • Involve stakeholders in the process. It’s important to involve all key stakeholders right from the start of your DAM migration journey to ensure they’re invested in the long-term success of the system. 
  • Break down goals into milestones. You may start with high-level goals like increased creative output or reduced money spent on contractors. The next step is to break these down into smaller goals and milestones so that a) they’re achievable and b) you can track your progress towards meeting the overall objectives.
  • Don’t forget to set long-term goals. Your 6-month DAM goals will look different to your 5-year DAM goals. Make sure you consider both when setting goals to ensure your DAM system produces value for years to come.

2. Audit your assets

The next step to a successful DAM migration is to make a list of all the places where assets are stored. For example, Dropbox, Google Drive, USB sticks and any other storage devices your organization uses.

Next choose a central location that everyone can drop their assets into and invite external and internal parties to contribute. Centralizing all existing assets before you begin organizing and migrating them will prevent wasting money on recreating content that you already have. 

With this stage complete, now it’s time to start asset clean-up. 

Begin by culling duplicates and other unnecessary assets cluttering the library. Next, organize content into tiers based on priority. Some organizations prioritize based on specific usage, file type, or source, whereas others begin with their latest assets.

However you choose to prioritize, doing so will not only make the migration process much less overwhelming, but help you figure out a sensible organizational structure for your new DAM system. 

3. Develop your organizational structure

Once you’ve got all your assets in one place and have given them a bit of a spring clean, think about how you want to organize them.

This is what’s known as building your taxonomy. Taxonomy is how you classify your digital assets into categories or hierarchies to make content easy to find and filter. The categories you choose will be unique to your organization. You might opt for ‘business units’ as your parent categories or group everything by asset type. It all depends on how your DAM system will be used and who it’s used by.

When mapping out your DAM taxonomy, you’ll also need to map the appropriate metadata you wish to migrate i.e. the information that describes the characteristics of images and video. For example, the file name, the date the image was created, usage information, and keywords that describe the contents of the asset.

Mapping out metadata thoroughly and implementing file naming conventions that are simple and descriptive at the beginning of a migration does two key things. It massively improves search and discovery, and facilitates automation and integrations as your DAM system matures. 

4. Build your team

Now that your assets are well organized, it’s time to think about the people that will use the DAM system so you can start to create workflow processes and permissions.

It’s really important that these people understand the taxonomy of the platform so that it meets their needs and is used properly once migration is complete. Their engagement with the platform is fundamental to its longevity and effectiveness. 

Establish the goals and primary ways different groups will be using DAM (if you completed Step 1, you will have done this already). For example, creative teams are going to use the DAM system very differently to those in compliance, so considerations should be made to ensure the platform provides value for everyone.

And don’t forget—not every employee in the organization will need access to digital assets, and those with access may not need permission to edit those assets. It’s a good idea to assign an administrator for each team internally. This person will know exactly who has permission to do what and will be the go-to for any queries once the system is implemented. 

As for external partners, most DAMs offer sharing options so that you can get assets to people outside of your organization without hassle. 

When comparing DAM software, look at the sharing options. Some providers charge extra to send external links, while others have limited tracking capabilities once assets are sent. A good DAM system like Wedia’s will offer built in external sharing and advanced options to share assets.

5. Make a list of all the tools you use

For the last step in your DAM migration, make a list of all the tools your organization uses so you can figure out which integrations you need to make. 

The DAM system you choose should integrate seamlessly with your current TechSack, without requiring you to change processes or adopt new software. Most DAM providers offer out-of-the-box integrations. But some, like Wedia, have open application programming interfaces (APIs) which enable two software programs to communicate for more specific modifications. 

Common integrations include customer relationship management (CRM) systems, project management software, and content creation tools. This is made possible by DAM’s headless architecture—it has no front-end or user interface, which means the centralized asset library can connect easily to any software straightaway. 

When searching for a DAM system, look for one that has an open-source API that can be personalized to your business needs. Our team at Wedia can help you develop custom integrations that support all of your teams’ workflows. 

Set yourself up for a successful migration

Are you preparing for a DAM migration? Book your free demo today to discuss the benefits of moving to Wedia and how our team can support you with a smooth migration. 

Or else, if you’re looking to carry out a call for tenders and compare DAM providers, you might find our RFP template useful. 

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