The Top 5 Trends in Digital Asset Management (DAM) Happening In 2021

Digital Asset Management Trends
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Moving into 2021, there are some advancements happening in the Digital Asset Management (DAM) industry.

In 2020 we witnessed massive changes in work habits and consumer behavior due to covid-19. According to Deloitte, the number of people working from home doubled in Switzerland during the pandemic. There is also reason to believe that the crisis will cause a permanent increase in remote work on a global scale. McKinsey also reports of consumers pushing towards an increase in digital services or purchase processes, to a much larger degree in 2020 than before, affecting both B2B and B2C companies.

For these reasons and more, we are starting 2021 on a completely different basis than we would have expected a year ago. Even though digitalization has been an ongoing trend for several years now, there are reasons to expect that the need for it will only escalate in the year to come. And with more people working remotely – and products and services being purchased and conducted online to an increasing degree – we expect to see noticeable growth in the number of digital assets and the need for supporting software. Therefore, it is little doubt that Digital Asset Management Software will be a crucial work platform for many businesses and organizations in the year to come.

In this article, we will look closer at what 2021 has in store for Digital Asset Management platforms and will list the top 5 trends that we believe will be the most prominent for this year. 

Trend 1: Mobility and Digital Asset Management

If 2020 has taught us one thing, it was the importance of dynamic work habits. Being able to work remotely and through a variety of devices, has gone from being an advantage to an absolute necessity for many businesses and organizations. 

While DAM platforms have been helping people and organizations to work remotely for a long time, it is reasonable to believe that software providers will facilitate dynamic work to a larger degree. This includes improving several DAM functionalities, such as the use of mobile devices through apps or facilitating for cloud storage through a Software as a Service (SaaS) agreement. 

At FotoWare, we have already started preparing for consumers wanting greater mobility. In addition to increasing our focus on SaaS, we also launched a new mobile app back in August of 2020, enabling teams to access and use their DAM on the go through their mobile devices

Trend 2: Rights Management and Consent Forms

Ever since the EU GDPR regulations came into force in 2018, there has been an increasing need for businesses and organizations to keep track of their content and approvals. Still, one can find several organizations struggling to find ways to comply with these regulations efficiently.  

The last year we have helped many DAM users configure workflows to solve issues relevant to GDPR, and this should be a prominent focus in 2021 as well. With more organizations prioritizing rights management and GDPR, we believe consent forms to have a top spot on the wish-lists of many stakeholders. 

30% of DAM users considered image rights management as one of the main advantages.

Fotoware

With the implementation of digital consent forms, this should be a functionality of greater power, not just in terms of managing GDPR, but for several kinds of image rights. 

Trend 3: Digital Asset Management Integrations 

The primary function of a DAM is to save time and effort. Integrations are therefore crucial to the DAM’s success, since they enable employees to retrieve assets directly from the platform when working in other programs, which many do a lot. 

High performing brands are moving away from single-vendor suite solutions, prioritizing independent software providers instead.

Gartner

There are undoubtedly many advantages of picking and choosing software instead of being bound to one or two vendors. However, the right integrations must be in place in order for companies to get the most out of their independent software. APIs and plugins are therefore crucial investments for any software provider wanting to stay relevant and will continue to be essential through 2021. 

In FotoWare, we notice our plugins for Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office being especially popular amongst marketers, as well as integrations to the organization’s PIM system or CMS. This is because most marketers will have to use different assets in a multitude of different programs and software. By having integrations in place, we can eliminate the need to constantly downloading and uploading files. 

Trend 4: Artificial intelligence (AI) and Digital Asset Management

One of the more time-consuming tasks when working with a DAM has to do with adding metadata. By implementing AIs – and enabling them to take on this task – time-related costs can be cut even further. As of now, very few DAM users are taking advantage of this technology.

Pie chart AI implementation FotoWare Research

According to the FotoWare industry research from 2020:

  • Only 6% of DAM users had already invested in AI. However, 100% are planning to implement it in the future, which will result in them increasing the value of their DAM.
  • 75% don’t have a selected timeframe for when this implementation will take place, suggesting that they might be waiting for the technology to further improve, or that they might not be aware of the possibilities currently in the market. 

An integration to the third-party vendor and AI-provider, Imagga, is already available in FotoWare, and we believe integrations of this sort will only increase in popularity. Especially since AIs are constantly improving and will continually be able to recognize more subjects as time goes by, and to do this in greater detail.

As of now, they can recognize and tag images with the correct colors, but developers are still working on making them recognize art, which will be a perfect feature for museums and galleries. They can also recognize faces quite well at this stage, but some improvements are still in the works, for example when facemasks are used, and only parts of the face are visible. 

Trend 5: Blockchain Technology and Digital Asset Management

Our fifth trend for 2021 is blockchain technology. This is not just because of the rise of bitcoins, where it is necessary in order to track development and transactions, but because we believe the technology can become more prominent in other areas in the near future, DAM being one of them. 

By implementing blockchain to DAM platforms, users can get even greater control of their assets, tracking every change made to a file. On a larger scale, this can – in time – enable people to, for example, find out whether an image has been tampered with or whether its embedded information has been changed. 

Want to Learn More?

Digital Asset Management is continuously evolving, and in FotoWare we do our best to keep up with the trends. If you would like to learn more about us and what we can offer, you can book a noncommittal meeting with one of our experts:

Book a Meeting with Fotoware DAM Experts

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