Managing all your assets on an Excel sheet? You're not alone

Square Box systems UI
Dave Clack, Square Box Systems
Report
June 22nd 2017 at 12:37PM : By

Dave Clack, CEO of Square Box Systems, explores the main learnings from the company’s big MAM survey

Square Box Systems surveyed a database of industry experts, customers, prospects and partners to identify their top challenges and priorities for effective media asset management (MAM). The results tell us that most firms have made a start toward a new MAM methodology, but there is still a long way to go! 

Some of the highlights from our results include:

1. It’s hard to find a tool that is both simple and powerful enough to meet all an organisation’s needs

For respondents, the greatest challenge lies in choosing a tool that is powerful and flexible enough to meet their needs, yet not so complex and costly to deploy and use that it never delivers any benefit.

Next, our respondents need the ability to log and tag content quickly, making it easier to repurpose content later on. Companies are also looking at ways to extend search capabilities across the organisation, including the ability to deploy web clients (internally and externally) outside of production or media teams.

It’s clear that different people, interacting with the MAM system have very different needs: one-size-fits-all solutions are not going to deliver the best solution.

2. MAM systems are widely deployed, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to optimise ?

Surprisingly, close to 30 percent of the surveyed companies are still managing their assets manually using spreadsheets or no tools at all. For those with MAM systems installed, more than half believe they could be saving more time and money by optimising their existing deployments.

There are key lessons to learn from this evidence. Firstly workflow design is critical: at Square Box we sometimes see CatDV deployed without a clear view of the end to end media workflow – hardly surprising then that business benefits are not optimised! Then, after initial implementation of a MAM, new demands are placed on media teams, and teams learn more about what is possible with their tool. Regularly stepping back and reviewing the end-to-end content creation workflow, then optimizing the asset management tool, unlocks the true value of a team’s media over the long term.

Surprisingly, close to 30 percent of the surveyed companies are still managing their assets manually using spreadsheets or no tools at all

3. There is a huge amount of hidden cost in media workflow with ineffective asset management

?Of the respondents not using a MAM system, an average of six people in the organisation spend an average of 12 hours each on asset and file management tasks every week – a third of their time!

Taking into account the average costs for knowledge workers in the media space, we can extrapolate that these companies are spending upwards of $100,000 a year on hidden labor costs. Larger teams spend even more, with some spending upwards of $300,000 per year! Clearly, there’s plenty of room for cost-effective, powerful tools that can help companies of all sizes maximize their asset workers’ valuable time, effort, and talents.

4. Asset management is growing in importance as the content landscape grows more complex

More than 90 percent of respondents stated that having a powerful asset management solution has become more important, with close to 60 percent stating that it’s become “very much more important.”

The reasons for this are clear: media assets are growing in size and complexity, the storage landscape (across on premise disk, tape, and cloud) is becoming even more varied, and demand continues to explode for cost-effective, engaging programming. In the face of these drivers, 40 percent of respondents report that they have run out of storage space and that new content is being created faster than they can manage it. Another 40 percent state that their asset storage has become disorganized, and they need tools for taking control and adding order.

Almost half of respondents stated that their organization operates across multiple sites or geographic regions, compounding the challenge of meeting users’ demand for access to media assets. In addition, up to 35 percent of respondents state that they sometimes have to re-shoot content they know exists, but they can’t locate easily in the environment – and, five percent report that they have to do this often.

Respondents recognise that a lack of effective management is leading to wasted time and money; In fact, several respondents confirmed that it’s actually an inhibitor to growth.

5. Cloud storage is getting more of a look

More than half of respondents reported that they are now exploring cloud services for asset storage as part of an increasingly complex storage landscape including tiered disk storage (high performance for production use mixed with lower performance to save cost) plus tape and optical storage. Many stated that they need sophisticated tools that can manage and control content on premise, in data centers, in the cloud. At Square Box we can see that hybrid approaches across more traditional, and object / cloud storage will become the norm in the coming years.

The Upshot

Effectively managing video, audio, images and other assets – finding them, accessing them, and using them efficiently – has become a top priority for many types of organizations, and it’s driving a rapidly growing demand for robust MAM tools. More than 65 percent of our survey respondents have stated that making improvements in their asset management capabilities is a top priority for 2017.

More than ever, we understand our customers’ need for MAM capabilities that are powerful and flexible, while being simpler than ever to use. These requirements continue to shape Square Box Systems’ ongoing development of the CatDV MAM platform.