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What is Image Management? An Overview

What is Image Management? An Overview

Image management is the storage, organization, centralization and distribution of digital images, assets and graphics. Despite the name, image management can also over a lot more than just digital photos. Photo organizing software and other digital libraries are becoming increasingly effective at managing other digital assets, including videos, presentations, PDFs, design files and more.

Proper image management is important for every company. In this post, we’ll touch on why and what to look for in a solution.

Why is Image Management Important?

Proper image management helps to solve a number of common pain points, such as image loss, effort duplication and productivity loss. More on these below:

  • Image Loss: When important images go missing because of improper storage and/or distribution processes, there's an ROI loss on those assets.
  • Effort Duplication: If access to assets is limited or confusing, team members may end up recreating the same images again and again, wasting time that could be spent being productive on other projects or tasks.
  • Productivity Loss: When team members have to resend the same photos or assets to others, there's a loss of productivity due to wasted time.

What is an Image Management System?

An image management system is an end-to-end solution for the storage, organization, centralization and distribution of digital images, videos and graphics. These systems help companies deal with images and other digital assets in an efficient way, increasing ROI and productivity. As a baseline, an effective image management solution should enable these four key features:

Organizing: The solution should centralize and organize digital assets in a single, easy-to-access library where they can be easily found by everyone that needs the images.

Searching: The solutions should ensure digital assets are easily discoverable through advanced search capabilities, such as keywords, attributes, categories and other metadata. The time saved retrieving assets from using an image management system really adds up!

Downloading: An image management system should make it easy and simple to download digital assets, in the file format and resolution you need (for example, it should be able to transform a JPG into a PNG).

Sharing: When teams collaborate on large projects, sending files over email becomes a problem. An image management system should streamline this, allowing users to share large files by sending a link to an online gallery or a downloadable zip file.

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What is Corporate Image Management?

While the features above can be valuable, managing images for a large department - or an entire organization - requires more advanced systems, workflows and processes.

There are a number of other features that an advanced image management system, such as a digital asset management solution, can offer to help manage your images at a corporate level. Corporate image management adds additional layers of customization and security that enable you to open your images up to a wider pool of people. Some key features include:

Additional Permission Groups: User roles are incredibly important when dealing with corporate image management. In addition to a set of default user roles, a corporate image management system will allow you to fully customize what each user group can access and which actions they can perform (such as download, share, etc.) This ensures users will only access images that are relevant to their department or job function.

Watermarks: Typically, watermarks are used to protect content and to claim ownership of an asset. Without watermarks, valuable digital assets can be susceptible to content theft or unauthorized use. A corporate image management solution will enable you to add watermarks for specific users and categories - or a combination of both!

Advanced Search Capabilities: Sophisticated search capabilities like auto-tagging, filtering, transcription and custom attributes can help a larger group of users find the assets they need faster.

Custom Sharing Options: A corporate image management system will provide additional ways to share assets. Here are two examples of advanced sharing options:

  • Web Galleries can be used to share and access curated assets. Users have the ability to manage access to these galleries, using passwords and expiry dates. These galleries can be shared via email or an automatically generated URL, making them easily accessible to fellow team members.
  • Branded Portals can be used to share collections of assets while staying on brand. Users have the ability to fully customize portals with their preferred highlight colour, header photo and logo. In addition, these portals can be shared via a customizable URL, providing another way to maintain their brand identity, while sharing assets with external users or the public.

Benefits of Image Management

The benefits of an effective image management solution are vast for pretty much any industry. Some of the many advantages of employing image management include improved image retrieval time, and improved sharing - both aspects that require time and effort. When retrieval and sharing times are reduced significantly, projects can be completed in a more timely manner.

Another benefit worth noting is improved brand consistency and brand association, as current brand assets are easily accessible for everyone in the company. As an enterprise solution, image management should scale with the company as its need for storage grows.

Choosing the Right Image Management System

As the number of digital assets being produced by companies continues to grow exponentially, it’s not a matter of if you need an image management solution - it’s which one to implement. It’s important that whatever system you choose can scale as your organization grows, and can help alleviate the major pain points like image loss, effort duplication and productivity loss. The right solution will help achieve brand consistency across the organization, will help everyone do their jobs better, and overall, just make everyone’s lives a little easier.

Not sure which image management solution is right for you? Here are some of the best photo organizing solutions on the market today to help you decide.

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.

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