The 3 main administrative tasks in a DAM
A DAM solution is a powerful tool that allows you to organize and share your assets in the most efficient way possible… provided of course that it is used correctly. To ensure this, a DAM solution relies on a key role, that of the administrator, to carry out the main administrative tasks.
One of the most important steps in setting up a DAM solution is undoubtedly the assignment of different roles. These can be divided into 4 types:
- Users. These are the main users of the DAM. They find the content they need for their daily marketing and communication tasks.
- Contributors, who can add new content or edit metadata.
- Validators, whose role is to validate content, though sometimes it is the contributors who play this role.
- Administrators, who organize the metadata (the taxonomy), ensure the structure of the DAM and manage user roles and accesses… in short, key people responsible for ensuring the proper functioning of the software.
If the administrator is in charge of ensuring the proper functioning of the DAM solution, what exactly are the different administrative tasks in a DAM?
To better understand, we have grouped these administration tasks into three main areas:
Management and control
The management of metadata is crucial in the administration of a DAM. If the metadata is incorrectly filled in, it is almost impossible to find the assets you are looking for. The DAM solution becomes unusable. If a taxonomy is too specific, it can prevent the right content from appearing in search results. On the other hand, if it is too general, it can frustrate users who are looking for specific content. For example: “nuclear power plant” (what is being searched for) versus “atomic production unit” (what has been entered).
This configuration of metadata is a crucial step that is carried out, in principle, prior to using the solution. The metadata of content that will be added throughout the life of the DAM will also be regularly monitored. It is the responsibility of the DAM administrator to train and guide contributors in the adoption and monitoring of efficient indexing. He or she will ensure that the “vocabulary” of enterprise metadata is consistent and understood by all users.
The administrator must also take care of the regular cleaning of the DAM (is content still active? are assets still in use? …). Indeed, some assets may become obsolete, including logos or typography. It is a matter of regularly archiving unused content. Without regular administration, there is a risk of turning the DAM into a confusing and not very functional database in which the latest creations are mixed up with the oldest assets. By keeping the DAM solution “clean”, the administrator ensures that it is a trusted tool, a reliable reference for all users.
A DAM is at the heart of the management of various editing and approval workflows. Depending on roles and parameters, some collaborators can submit new content with new tags. Of course, this procedure must be supervised to ensure that the DAM remains a single source of truth (SSOT). Everything in the DAM must comply with regulations and correspond to the company’s graphic charter. To this end, the administrator defines and maintains the approval path(s) involving the various departments of the company, particularly the legal department. To ensure that the content validation chain functions properly, the administrator must be implicated in mapping out the workflows that content must follow.
Communication and organization
The DAM administrator also has to do some coordination work. Depending on the campaigns and periods, the DAM administrator can encourage collaborators to use certain assets that he or she deems more suitable. How can this be done? He or she presents the most popular pieces of content and the best practices, and highlights those that are likely to be overlooked. By accomplishing this task, the administrator stimulates the creativity of users and multiplies the usages. The DAM administrator relies on usage statistics in the DAM solution which enable him/her to detect the most relevant assets, to quickly see any problems encountered by users during their daily use and to find solutions to solve them.
The DAM administrator must listen to employees so that the use of the DAM is successful.
In order to succeed in these administrative tasks, the DAM administrator must communicate regularly with his/her colleagues and ensure that no difficulties hinder the use of the software. By analyzing user habits, he/she can determine whether searches remain unanswered/unsuccessful, which keywords are most searched for or which content is least favored. They must ensure that the DAM works well and meets the expectations and objectives of contributors and users.
While the DAM administrator has to perform multiple and varied administrative tasks, they cannot do everything alone. The technical administration tasks of a DAM can only be performed with the help of IT teams or a technical service provider.
Server administration tasks
If the DAM provides one essential advantage, it is that of security. To this end, the IT team carries out daily updates on the DAM’s servers, which are essential for maintaining both internal and external security. Access to the back-end servers (behind the scenes of the software) is extremely limited, controlled and only a small number of people can make changes. Each update is made as part of a systematic process that is done in such a way as to never compromise or interrupt the use of the solution and support to marketing teams.
Abusive downloads? Suspicious searches? An attempt to modify important files (such as passwords)? The DAM solution is also equipped with an intrusion detection system, which itself is closely monitored. Once abnormal behaviour is detected, the IT team can respond by blocking the user or even cutting off the server’s Internet access in the most extreme cases to prevent any alteration or data leakage.
An employee unintentionally deleted an important file? Don’t panic…Backups are there to make it look like it never happened. Backup tasks for the DAM environment and data are carried out very regularly (at least every 24 hours) and kept for N number of days before being permanently deleted. They make it possible to “rebuild the solution” as it was at the time of the backup. This is obviously an advantage in the event of a serious failure of the servers or the datacenter (cloud hosting space), but it is above all a security measure that makes it possible to compensate for human error.
In addition to these tasks of administering backups and handling DAM data, it should be noted that the teams in charge of hosting regularly carry out “recovery” or disaster recovery tests (BCP). These ensure that it is possible to restore a DAM’s entire production environment and its data, in the shortest possible time, so as not to durably hinder the operation of the DAM in the event of a major disaster.
We can say that the administration of a DAM is actually a team effort!
In order to carry out all maintenance tasks and ensure optimal use of the solution for all employees, the administrator needs the participation of each user, but also the help of technical experts.