Fresh out of school and at around the same time Netscape launched its first browser, I started working in the small multimedia department of an otherwise very traditional advertising agency. There were two different browsers to take into account, the closest you got to multimedia on the internet was animated GIFs, and back-end programming was limited to processing HTML forms. The tools were basic but did the job.
Our Digital Asset Management needs - although that term hadn’t been coined yet - were handled entirely by shuffling around CD-ROM:s. Distributing high-resolution images was easier and quicker done using FedEx or UPS. Life was simple and uncomplicated.
Today the internet connection on the phone in my pocket is way faster than the 256kbit connection that we shared among 50 people. Maybe a handful of images and hardly any of the videos that are handled today would fit on that CD, and I’m basically wearing the same processing power on my wrist that we had in our SPARCstation server.
Technical challenges of today
For most companies today; websites, mobile and social media are the primary ways of communicating with customers and partners. New technical solutions allow for performance of our content to be effectively measured using A/B testing. Images, infographics and videos improve conversion rate for any content. In e-commerce, product images and video are absolute essential for selling the products. And there is still print. And PR.
Mentioning only a few, all the above activities are hungry for assets, and require you to have adequate tools in place. Tools that help you keep track of not only what you are using, but how you are using it, and where.
Technology advances has made it very easy to create, store, distribute and consume digital assets, at the speed of light. One thing is quite clear - the appetite for digital assets will continue to increase.