2020 and Beyond: Digital (Asset Management) Transformation 2.0

Welcome to 2020! It’s amazing how far Digital Asset Management as come in the last decade! As one of the founding leaders in the space, we began the 2010’s entrenched in print, publishing and on-prem installations. Today, we still count some of the biggest media companies as customers, but now they are accompanied by others from almost every vertical - most often in the cloud. How to manage millions - if not trillions - pieces of corporate content: files, documents, images, audio, video, web and everything in between - is a universal problem every business is facing.

The majority of businesses have spent a good portion of the last decade moving, refining and creating new digital-based business processes and procedures. On top of that, they’ve improved their ability to respond to changing technology demands. According to Accenture’s 2019 Technology Vision survey, 94% of all respondents indicated they'd accelerated their pace of digital innovation over the last three years. We’ve seen non-profits and Fortune 500 leaders make the transition to cloud-based DAMs, so what’s left for 2.0?

The Asset Tsunami will Continue

It’s hard to decipher exactly how many new assets marketing departments are producing each year. Antedotectly, we have seen storage requirements from Customers and Prospects more than triple in the last ten years. At the same time, the annual volume of data created worldwide has exploded by 20x, from 2 ZB in 2010 to 41 ZB in 2019, according to Statista, who forecasts it will quadruple again by 2025 to 175 ZB. Omnichannel marketing and personalization will continue to grow throughout the 2020s, further fuelling the fire. Video, the fastest-growing requirement of any modern marketing organization over the last five years, alongside the resurgence of podcasts and other emerging channels (think connected cars, IoT, live video, etc.), are contributors we’ve only just begun to explore and utilize for marketing purposes. If you aren’t yet using something more than DropBox to sort, store and share your marketing assets - now’s the time to start!

A Foundation for Everything

We’ve long known DAM had the potential to support more than just marketing. In 2019, Forrester confirmed this when they acknowledged that DAM had gained a broader adoption in more organizations. Throughout the 2010s and digital transformation 1.0, we saw the lines between DAM, MRM, PIM, WCM, CMS, ERP, etc. gray as capabilities and requirements began to overlap. Simultaneously, customer engagement, smart content delivery and personalization are demanding digital asset management systems ‘feed’ your marketing technology stack directly. Will one system survive while the others fall to the wayside? At this time, we aren’t predicting that. However, we do see large enterprise organizations adopting a much narrower assortment, if not a single platform that supports every department within their organization before the end of the decade.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) - More than Tagging

Digital asset management systems have long-benefitted from machine learning. In recent years, AI is being applied to DAM to bolster ingestion through smart tagging and audio transcription. Like every consumer and business in 2020, DAM will continue to look to artificial intelligence to assist in the completion of simple tasks, faster and without human intervention. As AI technology grows and systems are learned and trained, we see it's application delivering a much higher degree of engagement, be it with a user who simple search queries will return ‘just the image I’ve been looking for!’ to a consumer being fed a high degree of personalized content as they explore a business website.


4G LTE enabled companies like Airbnb, Slack and Uber to become mainstays in our lives. Have you ever been in a patchy service area and tried to get a ride? It can be impossible! Could you imagine uploading and downloading assets? 5G (which began rolling out in Q2 2019) is widely believed to be smarter, faster and more efficient than 4G. It promises mobile data speeds that far surpass the fastest home broadband, with speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second, as much as 100x faster than 4G. 5G will enable your users to access your DAM from anywhere. Coupled with the availability of feature-rich mobile applications like Adobe CC that more closely mirror traditional desktop capabilities, larger device screens/storage and an ever-growing remote workforce - we predict the next digital transformation of DAM will be highly mobile.

2020 and the next decade is going to be an exciting time for digital asset management (DAM). We’re rising to the challenge to help businesses work better, faster and smarter. Contact us to find out more.