When managing digital assets, understanding the overall asset lifecycle and how this applies to your business and your asset management process is essential.

The asset lifecycle follows a digital file from the initial conception to the use of the asset to its preservation. Curation and preservation are the two main goals of managing the asset lifecycle. It's really important to understand this process when determining how assets are going to add value to your business, now and in the future.

One of the most popular digital asset lifecycle models is The DCC Curation Lifecycle Model. Following this model helps you plan everything from conceptualizing and creating an asset, to using it, preserving it and eventually reusing it.

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So what does this have to do with DAM?

A digital asset management system is more than a simple repository for storing your assets and, when managed correctly, can have a direct impact on how your business operates—increasing time management, productivity and a bringing higher return on investment.

This structure of viewing this process as circular rather than linear, emphasizes the reusability of assets and the need to store them in such a way that will make this possible.

The process also emphasizes the fluidity of the asset lifecycle. Not all assets need to go through the entire lifecycle, so adding disposal steps throughout the asset journey helps to keep the cycle as effective as possible. 

Archiving within the asset lifecycle

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We’ve emphasized the importance of preservation before and for good reason. Digital assets are multi-dimensional, and can provide value months or even years after the initial creation and use. Without this preservation process in place, your team could be wasting a lot of time recreating exisitng assets.

While it's easy to get caught up with your team's current demands to create new content, preserving and archiving assets should always be a major part of your process.

How can I improve my asset lifecycle?

Take a step back and look at your internal asset lifecycle process and ask yourself a series of questions:

  • Where does it begin? Do you receive assets from an agency, create them in-house, or buy them from external vendors?
  • What is your selection criteria based on? Are you making selections based on what you need right now or are you also considering what you might need in the future?
  • How are you adding these assets into your DAM? Is this process robust enough to be effective, yet simple enough to be streamlined?
  • Have you even thought about preservation? If you're preserving assets, why? Are you doing so in a way that is both cost-effective and sustainable?

For further reading about archival collections in DAMs, check out "Archival Collections in DAMs - Preservation."