What to know before your DAM migration

We’ve talked at length about the benefits of digital asset management and the ways organisations can use DAM platforms to protect and maximise their digital assets.

But how do you actually go about migrating to your new DAM platform? Every organisation will be different, of course. Different assets, different use cases, different workflows. Large projects with complex requirements (who may need platform adaptations) will always get the full attention of our technical and customer success teams.

So whilst no migrations will be the same, there are a few practical steps you can take to make onboarding your new (or first!) DAM platform easy.

Here are 3 things you should consider before your DAM migration. 

1. Give your assets a thorough audit.

Not only will this step be a satisfying “spring clean” of any outdated, irrelevant, or old versions of your assets, it will also make the migration process a lot easier. 

Decide which assets you’ll be taking over during your migration, and which can be left behind. This process will obviously look different depending on how you’ll be using your DAMS.

If you’re a heritage organisation using the platform to showcase a digital collection, you’ll want to collate the relevant assets for that topic.

If you’re an enterprise, decide which assets are the most crucial to your team and therefore must be prioritised during the migration.

Consider your overarching goal for the platform and then determine which assets support that goal for the initial upload. As new assets are created your DAMS will continue to grow, but you do need to decide on a starting point for launch. 

2. Determine your taxonomy and metadata structure.

When your assets are ready to go, you need to decide how they will be classified. Again, the Aetopia team can help here, but it’s always a good idea to start thinking about it beforehand. 

You’ll want to decide how you use metadata within your platform, and also the taxonomy of your digital assets. Chances are you’re already familiar with these terms, if not, here’s a recap.

Metadata is essentially ‘data about data’. It is information about the attributes and provenance of individual assets. Metadata can include the date published/created, the creator, file size, category, licence information, and much more.

Taxonomy is all about classification. In DAM, taxonomy specifically refers to the label used to classify and categorise digital assets into related groups that users can navigate. This helps you to establish a hierarchical structure which you can then use to arrange, organise, and distribute content easily. It’s all about making your DAMS intuitive to navigate by whoever uses it. So you should be thinking about what categories of information are most important to your end users.

Thoroughly defining your taxonomy protects you from any hiccups during and after your DAM migration as it allows you to be flexible. If the hierarchy is well defined, files will be easy to locate and amend during the move to your new DAM.

Your metadata should also be extensive enough to capture all the applicable information your users may want to know. So take some time to really think about how your DAM users will be interacting with the platform.

3. Get the team involved.

As you can tell already, communication and information gathering are hugely important when implementing a new DAM system. 

Identify who within your organisation will be using the platform the most. It’s vital that these people are aware of and engaged with the taxonomy of the platform, to ensure it meets their needs and is used appropriately once implemented. 

If different teams within your organisation will be using the platform, establish their goals and the primary ways they will be interacting with it. Charities, for example, may use the DAMS for storing fundraising collateral as well as sensitive information pertaining to vulnerable groups. The teams in charge of these departments will most likely interact with the DAMS differently, so considerations should be made to ensure the platform provides value for everyone. 

It’s not a bad idea to nominate one individual to be a DAM Manager, they can be responsible for maintaining order within the platform and be a go-to for any queries once implemented.

Aetopia operates one of the most adaptable DAM platforms on the market. We love a challenge and have worked with clients from a host of different fields who all have their own exacting DAM requirements. If you have a DAM challenge, we want to hear it. Reach out here.

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