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With 2012 on the way out and 2013 on the way in, we took some time here at Extensis to look back on the passing year, reflect on the big trends, and make predictions for what’s coming ahead.

2012: DAM Gets Integrated

2012 was the year that DAM systems became more integrated with other business systems and found interest beyond marketing groups. Companies sought ways to leverage the files and metadata in their DAM into and out of other systems to minimize redundant work and data storage. In turn, more customized solutions came to market to help DAM talk with the Content Management Systems, Enterprise Content Management Systems, Customer Relationship Management Systems and other IT business systems.

Additionally, organizations sought more nimble DAM solutions that would integrate into the larger enterprise DAM workflows. This was due in large part to demand for DAM solutions beyond marketing and creative workgroups, and a need to have these solutions up and running quickly with little end-user training required.

2013: The Year of the Adaptable DAM

So what’s in store for 2013? We think it’s going to be the year of the adaptable DAM, and here’s how and why:

  1. Increased Server-Side and Cloud Processing
    The cloud computing trend will extend into DAM as organizations seek ways to utilize available computing resources and move data processing and storage away from the user’s desktop. Moving processing and storage workloads into the server room or the private cloud promises benefits like reduced costs and scalability.
  2. Automation of Processes
    Multiple-step processes will be simplified. Now that DAM has been tied into other business systems, processes that had previously required multiple actions within multiple systems will be solidified into a one-click step.
  3. Differentiation of Interfaces
    Users will interact with digital assets using interfaces that are adaptable to each user’s needs and environment. Users will use the type of interface that is most convenient for them, whether they are working from the web, desktop or within a third party website or application. The interface will also be customized to show a view that provides the most relevant information, assets and options for the user.
  4. Automation and Streamlining of the Asset and Metadata Ingestion Process
    As DAM is no longer a tool used solely by creative professionals or subject matter experts as seen in 2012, casual users will need easier ways to upload and tag assets. Users will rely more heavily on automatic metadata generation and extraction and capturing upstream metadata by using forms like custom XMP File Info panels.
  5. Growth of the Heritage & Culture Market
    Extensis expects continued interest in business system integration, with particular attention from the Heritage & Culture market as it seeks ways to integrate their collection management systems with DAM. In 2012, major institutions such as Courtauld, The Fitzwilliam Museum and National Army Museum migrated to DAM systems. In 2013, these institutions will benefit from partnerships that help integrate DAM with their collections management systems, and anticipate more institutions in this market to do the same as they look to manage and preserve their collections.

It’s some pretty exciting stuff, especially to a DAM enthusiast like me. Now that you’ve heard our thoughts, we’d like to know what you think. How did 2012 treat you and your digital asset management processes? What are you hoping for in 2013? Maybe you’re a forward thinker and already have thoughts about 2014! If so, please let us know in the comments.

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