WCM And DAM: Increasingly Competing For The Same Budget?

In “Despite its allure, digital asset management not always the right fit” Jonathan Gourlay writing on the Search Content Management section of TechTarget.com suggests that organisations may not necessarily require a DAM system if they have WCM (Web Content Management).  He refers to Forrester research and other consultants (in WCM and some in ECM also):

You need to understand the problems you’re trying to address. … Don’t just assume you need digital asset management,” McLaughlin said, explaining that unless the business has sophisticated video and rich media needs, it might take a second look at its Web content management strategy. “Lots of WCM systems are not being used fully.” [Read More]

The basic thesis of the article is that enterprises should consider their usage scenarios for DAM before choosing product and implementing one and often their WCM products contain sufficient facilities to handle rudimentary DAM.

The article does come off (to me at least) sounding like it’s telling prospective DAM users to not invest in DAM but to try and extract more value from their WCM.  That sort of makes sense but a lot of organisations I come into contact with either don’t have a WCM or if they do, it’s owned/managed by either an external vendor or some other ‘web department’ who aren’t going to be keen to allow the ‘media library’ capabilities of the WCM to be appropriated for other uses that a DAM system would generally offer.

Given that most companies are scaling up their online operations, however, one would anticipate further DAM/WCM convergence.  In an era of tightened budgets and ‘fiscal responsibility’ I would see the ‘allure’  referred to in the title as being more about cannibalising potentially unsuitable technologies to deliver DAM and save money rather than doing it properly with a fully considered DAM strategy and a decent solution to underpin it.  My current opinion might become rapidly out of date as we head into 2012 though.  As noted in the comments to this article many are keen to use WCM tools like Drupal or Episerver to do DAM and there are tools like MediaMosa which aim to help them in that regard.

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