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DAM Best Practices

5 Steps to Migrating Digital Assets Efficiently

Ben Owen

By Ben Owen | Sep 16, 2021

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Migrating digital assets can be daunting and overwhelming, but with these 5 steps, you’ll be confident when tackling the big move.

Since the importance of digital content has increased dramatically during the past few years, managing it effectively has become vital to an organization’s success. Digital asset management and the tools that go with it make this process significantly easier.

One of the best ways to implement digital asset management is to utilize a DAM platform. These platforms come in all shapes and sizes. They can be cloud-based or on-premises and include all sorts of bells and whistles. Before you purchase a DAM, be sure to determine what kinds of features and workflows are important to your team.

After you’ve selected a DAM, you’ll need to migrate your assets from your current system to your new platform. Migrating an entire library is an overwhelming task, especially when you’re dealing with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of assets. Below, we outline five steps to follow to make this project more manageable.

Migrating Assets

5 Steps to Migrating Digital Assets Effectively

Gather Assets in One Place

If your assets are scattered across multiple servers, hard drives, and cloud-based storage services like Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive, it is important to gather all your assets together in one “Storage Bin.” Be sure to invite both internal and external contributors to drop any assets they have into the bin as well. There are several benefits to this task.

First, collecting all your brand’s assets in one place helps you identify assets you may not know about. Finding these assets saves your organization time and money since you will not have to pay photographers and designers to recreate assets you already have.

Second, you can easily analyze the number of assets, asset types, file names, and metadata currently on your assets. This will help you make decisions with full awareness of what you’re working with. Lastly, you can cull duplicates and other unnecessary assets cluttering the library.

Tier Assets Based on Priority

When all your assets are in your “Storage Bin,” their sheer number can make it difficult to determine the best way to move them into your new DAM. The best way to approach this problem is to organize your assets into tiers based on their value and importance to your organization. Some organizations begin with their most recent assets and divide the rest into groups to be handled later.

Other methods include prioritizing assets by specific usage, file type, or source. When it’s time to move assets and apply standards, you can use these groups, to deal with high priority assets first. This makes the overwhelming task of migrating terabytes of data far more manageable.

Develop a Fresh Organizational Structure

Before migrating assets from your old system, it’s important to review your workflow and processes. This is a great opportunity to restructure how your assets are organized if needed. Does your folder structure make sense? Is there room for growth? If you met or doubled the goals you have for growth this year in terms of the use of content, would it put a strain on your system?

Once you’ve created your folder structure, test it out. Place an asset within it and ask a potential end-user with no experience in the new structure to find it. Pay attention to their feedback about the ease of use. If it’s better than before, you can begin creating the other folders you need within the new system.

Create and Apply Standards

The task of developing new standards does not end at a folder structure. You also need to develop standards for file names, metadata tags, upload and download methods, visual standards, file sharing, and permissions management. As you create these requirements, apply them to your assets, focusing first on your high priority group, then on your backlog.

Creating these standards will take time and thought to develop well. Without them, however, your new platform will be nothing more than an expensive “Storage Bin,” without many of the benefits your new system could provide. It’s worthwhile to consider contacting a DAM consultant or searching for other resources to help you with this task.

Break Up the Migration Process

Once you’ve selected your new DAM platform, gathered your assets, analyzed and divided them, and established new standards, you can begin migrating your assets. The work you’ve already done makes this task the easiest one.

Start by migrating your most important assets to the new DAM platform. Take the time to ensure that the standards you’ve developed and documented are working well for your team. Once you’ve gathered feedback and made any necessary adjustments, migrate the rest of your assets. Now, you’re up and running!


Once you’re effectively managing your digital assets, your team will no longer need to spend valuable time searching for them. Instead, they can use their talents to create excellent content to share with your audience and generate business for your organization. Want help making this dream a reality? Contact us today!

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