Managing content in a rich media world


The problem vexing the Dallas Museum of Art is one shared by a growing number of organizations. Creating images, audio, video, and other types of digitized content is easier and less expensive than ever. Faster bandwidth and cheap storage systems that house mammoth amounts of data are resulting in an onslaught of digital assets (see also " ").

But those assets have to be managed effectively in order to retain their value and future potential for profit.

"Digital asset management systems are no longer seen as nice to have," says Mukul Krishna, an analyst who follows DAM for the research firm Frost & Sullivan. "The perception is changing to ‘must have'."

The art of retrieval

The proliferation represents a double-edged sword. For the first time, corporations have the capability to store and manage branding, marketing logos, promotional and training videos, and other digital content in-house -- instead of paying outside agencies to store those assets in geographically dispersed, hard-to-access locations. That creates new revenue opportunities by making it easier to repurpose those assets for distribution on Web sites, kiosks, cell phones, and other channels. Those benefits can only be realized, however, if the right assets can be searched and retrieved by the right people -- a big "if" when talking about tens of thousands of images and other sorts of unstructured data that consume terabytes or even petabytes of space.