The key steps for a successful DAM migration project

6 Dec


Written by

Marvellous Aham-adi




The key steps for a successful DAM migration project
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Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a tool used by organizations to efficiently store, organize, manage, and share their digital assets. These assets may include images, videos, 3D, documents, etc. The proper use of a DAM system will allow a business to save time, collaborate more efficiently, reduce errors, and guarantee consistency across multiple platforms.

However, to get started with Digital Asset Management, businesses have to migrate their digital assets to a DAM system. And apart from new users, a business may have different reasons for migrating its assets to a new DAM system. One common reason is that the current system in use is now inadequate, resulting in reduced team productivity and efficiency. 

Whatever the reason, the migration of assets to a DAM system or from an old system to a new one requires proper planning and execution to make sure that no assets or data are lost. With a well-planned digital asset migration, businesses can significantly increase the scalability and efficiency of their processes.

So in this article, we see a comprehensive walkthrough of the key steps for a successful DAM migration. 

Let's get started.

1. Define goals and objectives

Defining your goals and objectives is crucial to the success of your DAM migration project. It helps you set the direction and tone for the project, keeping everyone on your team on the same page. Having objectives will also help you to measure the success of the project after completion. 

Here are some questions to help you define your goals and objectives:

  • Do you want to improve usability? Then your goal could be to find a more user-friendly DAM system than your current one. A system with improved usability and interface.
  • Do you want to increase efficiency? Then you need to prioritize DAM systems that automate processes such as the organization or retrieval of digital assets and allow for more efficient collaboration across teams and departments. 
  • Do you want to reduce your operating costs? You can look for a new system that is cost-effective and reduces or eliminates licensing fees, IT overhead, and expensive integrations.
  • Do you work with a lot of business tools? Then you will need to find a DAM system that integrates seamlessly with the other business tools your organization uses, such as ERPs, CRMs, ecommerce platforms, etc.
  • Have you had issues with ensuring data integrity and security? Your goal will be to choose a DAM system with secure data privacy, confidentiality, and compliance with data protection regulations like HIPPA or GDPR.

By defining your goals and objectives, you can ensure that your DAM migration project meets the needs of your organizations and delivers long-term value to your business. 

2. Perform a current DAM system assessment 

Performing an assessment will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current DAM system. When you know this, you can define the key requirements for the new system.

Here are the steps to follow when assessing the current DAM system:

  • Gather information: Collect information on usage and feedback or concerns from IT personnel who maintain the system and your users.
  • Check your data integrity: Assess how your current system manages data integrity, privacy, security, and backup. 
  • Review current processes: Analyze how the current system handles the ingestion of digital assets, metadata tagging, workflows, collaboration, and asset distribution.
  • Evaluate system scalability and performance: Check how well your current DAM system performs when given significant amounts of data or when it has to accommodate multiple users at a time. 
  • Assess integration: Evaluate how well your DAM system currently integrates with other business systems and tools. You should also assess the level of automation of data transfers and whether the process is error-free. 

By carrying out a comprehensive review of your current system, you can identify the weaknesses in your process and define the key requirements for a new DAM system.

3. Select a new DAM system

Now that you've accessed the current DAM system and know the areas you want to improve, the next step will be to evaluate and select a new system. We have written an extensive guide on how to choose the best Digital Asset Management solution for your business.

4. Determine data structure and mapping 

For efficient organization of your digital assets, you need to determine data structure and mapping. This will ensure that your digital assets are correctly organized, classified, and metadata tagged. It will also reduce the time you will spend retrieving digital assets and also reduce errors.

Here are the steps to follow when determining data structure and mapping:

  • Audit your assets and file formats: Identify all your digital assets and categorize them into file formats. For instance, image-based assets such as photos, logos, and illustrations can be categorized into PNG, JPEG, or Photoshop file formats. Rich media assets include videos, 3D models, animations, and 360-degree images. Their file formats can be MP4, WAV, CAD, or MPEG.
  • Determine metadata standards: Find out what categories and tags were used for filing the assets in your old DAM system. This will make it easier to organize data files and speed up their retrieval in the new system.
  • Analyze and test the data mapping: You need to understand the difference between the data models used in your current and new system to avoid compatibility issues during migration. For instance, if most of your files are in the MPEG format, you would want your new DAM system also to support MPEG file formats. 

These steps will allow you to develop a systematic plan for transferring data and files from the old system to the new one.

5. Run data quality and cleanup checks

Running data quality and cleanup checks will save you a lot of time and resources in the long run. If you have a lot of duplicate, inaccurate, or poorly tagged data, migrating it to your new system will slow down your workflow, eat up your database, and make it harder to find the assets you are looking for. 

You also want to ensure that your data is consistent across the board. This means that you need to make sure that all of your identifiers, such as metadata and filenames are properly formatted and standardized.

By cleaning up your data before migration, you save on expenses and make asset management more efficient for your organization.

Image by on Freepik

6. Set up user access and permissions

In Digital Asset Management, control is everything. You have to maintain control over who can view, access, and edit your digital data. The best way to control access to your digital assets is by setting up user access and permissions. With this in place, you can ensure that only authorized users are able to view and make changes to your assets.

User access and permissions can also be used for accountability purposes. Audit trails and permission logs can help to check who's accessing what data and when. This can help identify potential shortcomings and manage any risks of unauthorized data access, tampering, or deletion.

7. Conduct a pilot test with a selected data set

Conducting a pilot test will help you identify issues or errors that might occur when you start the main migration process. By testing a sample data set, you will gain better insights into how the migration will affect the rest of your data when you move it over to the new DAM system. This will also give you the opportunity to make necessary changes to your migration plan and avoid issues that might occur if you didn’t run any tests.

If the pilot test reveals issues or errors, you can fix them before the actual migration process, saving you time and effort in trying to fix them later on. This way you'll know whether the migration will be successful rather than discovering the issue after the actual migration, which could be costly.

8. Final migration and post-migration system testing 

Before you start the final migration, make sure you have created a backup of the data. This backup ensures you have all the data properly saved in case of errors or malfunctions during the final migration.

After you performed the final migration, these are the tests you should run next to determine the success of the process:

  • Validate the data: Do this to ensure there are no errors, inaccuracies, or lost data. You can perform this validation by comparing the data in the old and new systems. Confirm that the migrated data is complete and accurate, and check that the metadata is consistent and correct in the new system.
  • Test User Access: Check that all users have access to the new system, and make sure they can navigate and use it with ease. Next, ensure all roles and permission levels are set up as necessary, and that the new system is granting the appropriate access levels to each user role.
  • Test Integrations: If your new system integrates with other software, such as a CMS or CRM system, test the integrations to ensure they work seamlessly with the new DAM system.
  • Spot Check: As a final step, perform a spot check by reviewing a random sample of digital assets. Ensure they were correctly migrated and are being displayed as intended. Validate the accuracy of metadata and that all files and folders are correctly placed.
  • Update Documentation: Update the documentation that describes the new system and provide user manuals, guides, and training materials. You’ll want to ensure that everything is properly documented to help users navigate the new DAM system with ease.
Image by Freepik

9. Rollout the new DAM system with training and adoption

After your final migration, the next step will be to develop a training plan for key members of your team on how to efficiently use the DAM system. Your training sessions should cover the different features of the system, touch on policies that dictate how the DAM system is used, and review common workflows.

You should also set expectations and guidelines that explain why the new system is essential for your organization. Explain how the new system can make asset management more efficient, and how it can save time and resources.

Tip: Also have a thorough onboarding process for external users like distributors that may use your DAM system. Explain how the new system works, its features, and recommendations for use. Consider making onboarding sessions flexible by including a mix of in-person, virtual training sessions, and online learning materials to accommodate all learning styles.

You can also create user manuals covering details about the new system, including its use and policies. Also, update your organization’s knowledge base or intranet with the new system's documentation.

By developing a comprehensive training plan, setting expectations, communicating with users, conducting onboarding, creating user manuals, and offering ongoing support, you can ensure user adoption and the success of the new system.

10. Perform ongoing site maintenance after migration

Do not just migrate and then forget about the DAM system. You need to ensure that the system remains functional and healthy. Here are some tips for ongoing maintenance:

  • Organize your assets: Ensure your assets are well-organized and easy to find. Use proper naming conventions, tags, and categories to make searching for assets more efficient.
  • Keep your metadata up-to-date: Update the metadata associated with your assets regularly. This includes tags, descriptions, and other information that helps with organizing and searching for assets.
  • Review user roles and permissions: Regularly review and evaluate user roles and permissions to ensure everyone has access to the assets they need, and nobody has access to assets they shouldn't.
  • Backup your assets: Back up your assets regularly to ensure they're always protected.
  • Train users: Train new users and provide regular refresher training to ensure everyone knows how to use the new DAM system effectively.

By following these tips, you can guarantee an efficient and organized DAM system that helps everyone on your team work more effectively.

Ready to start migrating?

There are many advantages a well-carried-out DAM migration project can provide for an organization. They include but are not limited to enhanced asset organization, streamlined workflows, improved collaboration, better asset security, and enforced brand consistency/standards across departments and channels. 

By successfully migrating to a new Digital Asset Management system, organizations can take advantage of these benefits and ultimately improve their productivity. The key steps stated in this article will help you get started.

If you are still in the market for an enterprise Digital Asset Management solution that will help you efficiently manage, customize, and deliver your marketing assets, then check out Wedia.

Wedia is a comprehensive DAM platform that will help you manage a large volume and variety of marketing assets, consistently offer personalized experiences to your customers across channels, and improve collaboration between your teams and external partners. Try out a free personalized demo now.

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