Digital image management has been in high demand in recent years - and with good reason. If your average smartphone user is storing hundreds or thousands of digital images on their device at any time, think about how many images a business is trying to organize and distribute on a daily basis.
The amount of content that’s being created every single day, coupled with the recent boom in the remote workforce, has caused many organizations to find themselves in need of a way to better manage their images and data. In this post, we will discuss how four different tiers of image management software can help businesses to clean up their workspace and get their content in order for maximum success.
What is image management software?
Anyone with an image gallery on their mobile device knows how overwhelming it can be to even consider cleaning it up, let alone keeping it organized. Imagine, then, overseeing an entire company’s image management...it's near impossible to get organized without some kind of help! This problem is exactly what image management software is designed to solve, not to mention the several other benefits it provides. According to CodeinWP, the goal of image management software is “to organize your photos and other digital media into one centralized location.” It provides businesses of various sizes with a single area to manage, enrich and distribute their high-value images.
Benefits of image management software
Managing images on a single platform means that team members spend less time looking for the photos they need and more time focusing on the work that matters (increasing overall productivity). Image management software also enables users to utilize and share photo files more easily, allowing the company to maximize its ROI of these valuable digital assets. Since everyone has access to the right images when they need them, there’s improved brand consistency throughout an organization. On top of that, good image management software reduces duplicate image files, mitigating poorly used storage space and creating more room for important content.
Depending on specific user and organizational needs, there are a few tiers of image management software available:
- Digital asset management (DAM) software
- File management software
- Professional photography software
- Online image galleries
Below, we cover each in more depth.
Tier One: Digital Asset Management (DAM) Software
A digital asset management solution is one of the more advanced image management software options on the market. In addition to managing photos, DAMs can also manage and preview videos, design files, 3D files, documents and more. This type of platform allows for both manually-added and AI-generated keywords, and offers advanced search filters that enable users to find the images they need faster. DAM offers multiple sharing options, and advanced user permissions for actions and category-level projects. DAM is a comprehensive solution for medium and large teams, especially those with large media assets to manage, and those working remotely.
Best for: Medium and large organizations looking to manage an entire suite of photos and/or other high-value media assets.
Tier Two: File Management Software
Document or file management software is exactly what it sounds like—a platform that focuses on managing more than just photos, but also documents. Document management software can have limited image management capabilities, as its main purpose is document collaboration, rather than media assets. In addition to the file name, it also allows users to search for images using limited, embedded metadata. File management software has some additional permission capabilities that make it a great solution for smaller teams. Not sure if you need Dropbox or a DAM? Find out here.
Best for: Small-to-medium businesses that have a limited number of photos, and require document management and collaboration.
Tier Three: Professional Photography Software
As a relatively specialized option, professional photography software has capabilities tailored specifically for photographers and videographers, such as editing, categorizing and exporting multiple photos at a faster rate. While the metadata functionality is more limited than a DAM, it allows users to edit labels, keywords and ratings to ensure better organization and search functionality. It also typically connects seamlessly with common image editing tools like Adobe Creative Cloud.
Best For: Small businesses or individuals looking to manage and edit professional photography.
Example: Adobe Bridge
Tier Four: Online Image Galleries
An online image gallery is the most basic digital tool for managing images, with capabilities for storing photo and video files. Typically, a photo gallery belongs to an individual but can be shared easily with others via a link. Most libraries have AI-generated metadata tags and facial recognition for easy search capability, along with basic photo editing capabilities.
Best For: Very small businesses or individuals looking to keep photos in one centralized location.
Example: Google Photos
Is DAM the right fit?
If you’re running a medium or large team and struggling to manage your images (or other brand assets) it’s time to consider using a DAM solution. Not only does DAM immediately improve team workflows and asset ROI, but it also scales with your organization and encourages growth. For a quick and easy way to evaluate your need for a DAM, take our DAM Need Assessment Quiz
MediaValet is a leader in cloud-based digital asset management that helps organizations manage, organize and share their digital assets, improving productivity and increasing ROI. See MediaValet in action today.