Historically, digital asset management (DAM) has been a niche technology compared with other components of enterprise content management (ECM) and digital experience technology. This has changed dramatically over the last few years as many organizations are using DAM solutions to support digital experience and marketing-focused content and processes. 
In the wake of this change, most DAM vendors have fallen behind. Our latest 2014 DAM Market Overview found a few key areas in which vendors have particularly lagged behind: 
  • Most vendors are selling software technology, not solutions. Most vendors are in a race to support address functionality, scalability, and infrastructure needs. These are the core components of DAM technology, but they don't make it usable to the new marketing and line of business buyers. Usability must improve with features like drag and drop and HTML5 interfaces. Too many vendors have neglected investment in this area or mistake lightweight solutions with little functionality as an "easy to use" option. 
  • DAM vendors treat asset management as glorified Excel spreadsheets. You'll hear most vendors touting their metadata management. This is important, but look for more. For example, most existing vendors require manual metadata entry to manage rights and content renditions, but users need more. Expired content should kick off workflows and business processes to do things like alert content owners, disable the ability to download the asset, automatically watermark the content, etc. 
  • The DAM silo has burst, and vendors are scrambling to integrate.  As DAM moves to support digital marketing and digital experience needs, integration with the existing ecosystem of digital experience tools (e.g., campaign management, web content management, eCommerce) is much more important. But most vendors make this integration manual and painful. Look instead to the few vendors with open platforms and robust packaged integration. 
These are just a few findings from our recent DAM market overview, which also includes findings on key market segments, market trends, and profiles for over 20 DAM vendors. Check out the report and if you have any anecdotes or personal experiences with this changing market, I'd love to hear them in the comments section.