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How big business can solve the agility challenge

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The business world is used to seeing size as an indicator of success and security. Heritage is another one. The bigger you are and the longer you’ve been around, the more likely you are to endure. Or rather, that used to be the case.

Today, bigger is not necessarily better, and for many companies their size is increasingly becoming something of a millstone. The world around them is changing faster and faster and before they know it, they’ve been overtaken.

The legacy issue

Why should this happen to companies that have spent years heavily investing in expertise and technologies that were supposed to keep them ahead of the pack? “It’s easy to believe that you’re too big to fail,” warns disruption expert Avid Larizadeh Duggan on McKinsey.com. “Disruptors slowly gain market share while the incumbents fail to see them as threats.”

But to explain the larger companies’ inability to compete on a modern stage as myopia is too simplistic. Importantly, Duggan continues: “It could […] be the complexity of the incumbent’s legacy technology or processes, or the fact that they overestimate their own ability to innovate quickly because they underestimate the speed at which customer behaviour is changing.”

It’s hard to imagine any organization that isn’t now aware of how quickly the landscape is changing, but Duggan’s argument is absolutely on point – it is a complexity of processes and technologies which is holding them back is.

Through a combination of outmoded practices (“we’ve always done it this way”) and tangled technologies, many organizations simply don’t know where to begin. They view with envy the nimble start-ups with their flat hierarchies and bespoke tech that allows them to turn on a dime. But then, a glance at their legacy systems, less fit for purpose with every day that passes, leaves them unwilling to mothball a product which has seen years of significant investment and integration.

Streamlined, centralized solutions

And yet, the door has not slammed shut on transformation. The key? Centralization.

To maintain a competitive edge, organizations need to find a way to streamline their processes in order to eliminate wastage, speed up turnaround times and liberate resources – human and mechanical – to perform at a higher level where they’re most needed.

The good news is that the many legacy systems that are often viewed as holding companies back are still relevant. They simply need solutions that tie them all together or work in tandem to enhance or refine their performance. These increasingly come in the form of cloud, SaaS or API-based software that simply links to existing technologies without the need for large scale infrastructure investments.

One such solution is a Digital Asset Management system, or DAM. This brings together all the company’s assets, stores them in a centralized hub, organizes them according to use case and need, and creates intelligent links with other assets to help create campaigns quickly and efficiently. Automation assists in this process with intelligent tagging and updating, removing a large volume of mundane marketing admin and freeing executives up to be creative, innovative, and disruptive.

Creative collaboration. Wherever, whenever

But the efficiencies don’t stop there. Workflows are streamlined as each department can access assets whenever and wherever they need to. The approvals cycle is shortened since every user can be confident that the asset they have chosen is the most up-to-date and approved version with all usage guidelines and rights details attached. No more hunting for permissions, no more time wasted.

A centralized DAM solution doesn’t just break down departmental barriers, it also enhances the collaboration between them. In a global marketplace where offices are spread around a number of countries, working together in a streamlined and efficient manner can be challenging, even with the help of video communication technology and other such tools. But with a centralized system, employees can both collaborate across teams and work with agencies and other third parties, in the one place, on the same assets, and in real time.

Efficient content and asset management is the single domino that starts a chain of positive impacts across the business. With staff free of such admin constraints, they have time to think more strategically and creatively, and consequently the organization has a chance to rediscover its innovative core and competitive edge. Such a streamlined approach means of course, a cut in outgoing costs, meaning that there is more to invest elsewhere, for example in product development or customer service. Ultimately, there is a real, measurable impact on an organization’s bottom line, with one US retailer reporting savings of $275,000 annually.

To delve into how a DAM system actually works, the way it integrates with existing systems and how it can streamline your marketing process, download this helpful ondemand webinar Turn Your Digital Assets into Powerful Marketing Content - Introduction to censhare DAM, or hear from censhare customers themselves on how a centralized DAM helped them to create significant efficiencies across their marketing.

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