The Role of Governance in Digital Asset Management

5 min readOct 30, 2023
The Role of Governance in Digital Asset Management

Digital assets like documents, images, videos, and other media are increasingly important in businesses today. As companies generate more digital content, properly governing and managing these assets becomes critical. This allows organizations to fully utilize their digital assets while controlling costs and risks.

In this blog, we will examine the role of governance in digital asset management (DAM).

What is Digital Asset Management?

Digital asset management (DAM) is the systematic collection, organization, storage, and retrieval of digital media assets. DAM systems centralize rich media like images, videos, PDFs, and other files that are used across an organization.

Typical uses of DAM include:

  • Storing, categorizing, and retrieving marketing assets like logos, brochures, product images, etc.
  • Organizing corporate documents such as reports, presentations, manuals.
  • Archiving important media like executive communications, training videos, and webinars.

DAM gives companies a single source of truth for digital assets, meaning all files will be stored in one place allowing for easy access. It eliminates duplicates, ensures brand consistency, and makes it easy to find and reuse files. Users can quickly share assets from DAM rather than recreate them.

Overall, DAM maximizes the value of digital assets while minimizing costs.

Why is Governance Important for DAM?

With DAM storing valuable enterprise digital content in one place, governance provides the policies and controls for managing it properly. DAM governance establishes rules, processes, and accountability to align DAM usage with business needs.

The key reasons for why governance is crucial for DAM include:

1. Optimize DAM Investment

A business invests significant money and effort in implementing DAM. Governance helps optimize this investment by:

  • Setting guidelines for adoption and training. This promotes extensive use of DAM capabilities.
  • Defining asset workflows. This streamlines ingestion into and distribution from DAM.
  • Identifying metrics like usage, user satisfaction, and cost savings. This proves DAM ROI.

2. Reduce Business Risk

DAM contains sensitive and proprietary digital assets. Governance minimizes risk by:

  • Having backup, recovery, and version controls. This prevents the loss of important media.
  • Securing assets by user access permissions. This avoids unauthorized usage.
  • Enforcing asset deletion policies. This deletes unused, redundant, and obsolete files.

3. Ensure Compliance

Governance helps comply with regulations related to digital assets by:

  • Retaining media appropriately for legal and compliance needs.
  • Managing personally identifiable information (PII) properly per privacy laws.
  • Applying records management consistently across assets.

4. Control Costs

Governance controls expenses by:

  • Eliminating unused licenses and subscriptions.
  • Preventing wasteful recreation of assets.
  • Right-sizing storage to balance costs and performance.

Elements of a DAM Governance Program

An effective DAM governance initiative contains policies, processes, metrics, and organization.


Documented policies provide the foundation for governing DAM. They should cover:

  • Asset workflows — Standardized procedures for creating, reviewing, approving, publishing, distributing, archiving, and deleting assets.
  • Metadata — Conventions for titles, tagging, categorizing, and describing assets to optimize search and retrieval.
  • Storage — Guidelines for asset quality, formats, and size limits to control storage volumes.
  • Security — Access controls, user permissions, and restrictions to appropriately protect assets.
  • Compliance — Rules for retaining assets to meet legal, regulatory, and business requirements.
  • Contingency plans — Backup processes, disaster recovery, and emergency procedures to prevent asset loss.


DAM governance processes help implement and enforce policies. Key procedures include:

  • Asset lifecycle review — Evaluate usage and value of assets to guide archival, retention, and removal.
  • Storage optimization — Analyze storage consumption and performance to avoid excessive costs.
  • Policy audit — Periodically review policies are met and update them as needed.
  • Risk assessment — Identify and address risks related to assets, data loss, systems downtime, and copyrights.
  • Vendor management — Coordinate with DAM software vendors and IT on system maintenance, upgrades, and optimizations.


Metrics provide visibility into how well DAM governance is working. Helpful measures include:

  • Asset volume — Growth rates of assets in DAM.
  • Asset utilization — Percentage of assets used in the past year.
  • User adoption — Number of active users and frequency of logins.
  • Storage capacity — Current utilization versus limits.
  • Cost savings — Reduced expenses from lower asset recreation and licensing.


A governance structure with clear roles helps enforce policies and drive DAM optimization. Key roles include:

  • IT — Manages infrastructure, access controls, and system integrations.
  • Records management — Defines asset retention rules and supports audits.
  • Business units — Supplies assets to DAM and governs usage within departments.
  • Executive sponsor — Provides leadership and oversight for governance initiative.
  • DAM manager — Implements governance controls and processes.

Benefits of DAM Governance

Implementing a sound governance program provides many advantages:

Cost Savings

  • Lower expenses by reducing duplicate, redundant, and unnecessarily licensed assets
  • Cut overhead by preventing recreation of assets from scratch
  • Optimize storage costs by controlling retention and growth

Risk Reduction

  • Minimize risk of non-compliance with regulations
  • Avoid penalties and liability from improper use of assets
  • Prevent data loss from gaps in disaster recovery

Improved Efficiency

  • Faster retrieval of assets with consistent metadata and organization
  • Greater usage of assets across the enterprise
  • Streamlined workflows with documented asset processes

Higher User Satisfaction

  • Users can easily find and share needed assets
  • Less frustration from searching through uncontrolled assets
  • Clear responsibilities prevent duplication of efforts

Better Decision Making

  • Metrics provide visibility into asset usage and program effectiveness
  • Identify areas needing policy updates and process improvements
  • Support expansion of DAM into additional business units

Best Practices for Implementing DAM Governance

Following best practices helps organizations implement DAM governance for maximum benefit:

Get executive support — Make the business case for governance and get executive sponsorship. This provides authority and funding.

Involve stakeholders — Include IT, records, legal, business units, and power users when forming policies. This increases buy-ins.

Start with foundation — Begin with asset workflow, metadata, security, and storage policies. Expand from there.

Review metrics frequently — Measure and report on metrics regularly to identify issues quickly.

Audit periodically — Review conformance to policies every 6 to 12 months and update them.

Automate processes — Use DAM workflows and AI to automate governance processes for efficiency.

Educate users — Train staff on governance program elements to allow users to understand the benefits.

Enforce accountability — Ensure governance responsibility is clearly defined and performance reviewed.

Revisit policies — Re-evaluate policies annually to keep them current and optimal for the business.


As digital asset management becomes more critical, governance provides the essential checks and balances for DAM success. Governance policies, processes, metrics, and organization align DAM usage with business priorities. They help manage risk, control costs, and get the most out of DAM capabilities.

With a sound governance program, companies can fully utilize their investment in DAM. This governs digital assets securely and efficiently throughout their lifecycle. It enables businesses to maximize the value of their visual content.

To learn more about leveraging digital asset management, see ioMoVo ( ioMoVo is an AI powered DAM platform for complete control of your digital assets. Sign up for a demo today!




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