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Digital asset management vs. Document management

What is the difference between digital asset management and document management systems? Find out which system makes brand content management more efficient and easier across your business


Asset management is now a must

Today’s leading brands have the capability to generate an immense amount of data and content to power memorable and highly personalized customer experiences. Effectively managing and organizing this information has become a critical aspect of success as new digital channels and technologies continue to emerge and change the way customers interact with brands.

Failing to adapt quickly because your digital content is not readily available in the right system can result in losing customers and negative impacts to the bottom line.

Digital asset management (DAM) systems and Document management systems (DMS) may seem similar, but they are two tools that serve distinct purposes and cater to different business needs. In this article, find out the key differences between DAM and DMS features, as well as which system is more efficient for forward-thinking brands.

Chapter 2

What is a document management system?

Document management focuses on the organization, storage, and retrieval of electronic documents within an organization. Documents can include contracts, invoices, reports, manuals, and any other textual or non-digital content. The primary objective of a DMS is to ensure proper document control, version management, information management, and compliance. Examples of document management systems are Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and Microsoft SharePoint.

Key features and benefits of DMS:

  1. Document organization and classification: Document management systems provide structured storage for electronic documents, allowing users to organize them based on folders, categories, formats, or metadata. This enables efficient document retrieval and minimizes the risk of information loss.
  2. Version control and audit trail: Document management systems offer version control features, ensuring that authorized users can access the latest version of a document if stored correctly. Additionally, they maintain an audit trail, recording all actions performed on the document, such as edits and access history.
  3. Compliance and security: Document management solutions prioritize compliance by enforcing document retention policies and regulatory requirements. They also implement security measures, such as access controls and encryption, to protect sensitive information.
  4. Workflow management: Document management systems help internal teams streamline business processes by reducing the amount of paper documents that require physical storage and wet signatures. This eliminates manual handling of documents, reduces errors during file sharing, and enhances efficiency.

Chapter 3

What is digital asset management?

Digital asset management systems offer brands broader benefits by providing a centralized system designed to store, organize, and distribute an organization’s digital marketing materials. Digital files include images, videos, audio files, design files, presentations, templates, and more. The primary goal of a DAM solution is to provide a single source of truth and empower stakeholders and marketing teams to facilitate efficient collaboration across the content lifecycle, create brand consistency, and power digital customer experiences.

Key features and benefits of DAM:

  1. Centralized repository: DAM provides a centralized repository where all of a brand’s assets can be stored, organized, and accessed by authorized users. This eliminates the need for scattered media files across various systems, such as document management systems, and improves accessibility for the entire business.
  2. Metadata and tagging: Digital asset management platforms allow users to assign metadata and tags to assets, enabling powerful search capabilities and alignment with other systems. This makes it easier to locate specific assets quickly and deliver it faster, even within vast collections.
  3. Version control and rights management: DAM systems offer version control to manage different iterations of brand assets, ensuring that the latest version is always available. Additionally, they facilitate rights management, allowing organizations to define usage rights and permissions for digital content.
  4. Collaboration and workflow: DAM platforms facilitate seamless collaboration by enabling teams to share, review, and approve brand assets within the centralized system. Workflow features help teams across the organization streamline the content creation lifecycle, improving efficiency and ROI.

Chapter 4

Key differences between DAM and DMS

  1. Type of content: The primary distinction between a DAM and DMS lies in the type of content they manage. DAM focuses on rich media assets like images, videos, and audio files, while DMS primarily handles documents.
  2. Use cases: A digital asset management solution is commonly used in creative industries, marketing departments, and businesses that heavily rely on an array of asset types to power experience across their websites, social media, and other digital channels. DMS will find broader applications across industries, including legal firms, finance, healthcare, and administrative functions.
  3. Metadata and tagging: DAM systems typically offer more robust metadata and tagging capabilities to facilitate easy search, retrieval, and delivery of brand assets. While a DMS may also support metadata, they place greater emphasis on document classification and categorization.
  4. Collaboration vs. control: DAM systems excel in facilitating collaboration, enabling teams to work together on creative projects and share approved brand content seamlessly. A DMS systems prioritize document control, compliance, and workflow automation to enhance efficiency and maintain data integrity.

Both a DAM and DMS exhibit benefits in their respective areas of focus, but a DAM system provides more robust offerings for global brands and digital marketing teams of every size.

Chapter 5

Learn more about Sitecore Content Hub DAM

Sitecore Content Hub DAM is designed to help organizations efficiently manage rich media and digital content and streamline the content creation processes. Providing a single repository for all digital assets, your teams across the business have complete content command leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) assisted search. Content Hub DAM also offers integrations that empower teams to work within their favorite design tools and apps, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Figma, and Sketch, and easily move the content to and from storage in the DAM.

A powerful platform for digital experiences