If the rise of remote working has taught the modern business anything, it’s that it pays to be digitally organized.
A whole world of digital assets lives between the wealth of platforms, programs, tools, and devices that your company utilizes on a daily basis, and failing to handle them sufficiently can lead to some astonishingly grave consequences.
From data breaches and downtime to a damaged brand and a lack of consumer trust, digital disorganization can affect nearly every aspect of a company’s wellbeing.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to avoid getting caught up in a web of digital dissonance, and it starts with a little planning (and the right tools for the job).
If you feel as though you’re one absent folder short of a malfunction, or you simply want to optimize your IT infrastructure, here are some top tips to help you get organized and, hopefully, avoid putting your data at risk.
Use the Right Management System
You shouldn’t have to try and get organized all by yourself, not when there are some exquisite tools to help you do it.
Digital asset management (DAM) software should make your online life a whole lot easier in this regard, as it can offer you the opportunity to facilitate the organization of all your assets in one easy-to-reach and safe location.
The best asset management platforms are easy to integrate into your existing workflows, too, so you shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not your new system will support you; it’s designed for that very purpose.
Brandfolder is a prime example of a dependable digital asset management system, so it’s worth checking out for anyone who feels like they need an upgrade to their current setup.
A good system that helps you get organized (and stay that way) can speed up your organizational efforts in no time at all.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
All your organization attempts won’t do too much good if your employees aren’t comfortable with interacting with your DAM, so it’s important to make sure that everyone knows which button to press and which folders they’re supposed to be using.
Digital skills training can go a long way in this regard, and it’ll help raise organizational awareness in your business and potentially work on closing a digital skills gap, a real issue for the businesses of today. If everyone is on the same page, you should be able to reduce the risk of human error, and that’s half the battle.
Make sure everyone is using the right folders and that they can all access the parts of your network that they need to. For example, if your PR team needs to be able to access your marketing assets, it should be easy enough for them to do so without compromising network security, something that well-organized digital asset storage can help you with, so label those folders properly!
Folders are Your Friends
Speaking of folders, it’s important that you have your assets neatly labeled and reachable in secure folders on your digital infrastructure.
Creating a folder structure with a foolproof pathway through each of your asset locations can be a great help in this regard.
The way you develop this structure will likely be unique to your business, so think about what makes the most sense for you. Clarity is key, so try and avoid complicated folder names. This will only make it harder for your team to find assets quickly.
While carefully organized folders are great, you might need to implement a searching system that allows people to bypass manual search and get straight to the asset that they’re looking for. Metadata comes in very handy here.
Say you were searching for photos of lawnmowers – if you write accurate keywords in the metadata of your image files, i.e., lawnmower, mowing lawn, mower, etc., then people can instantly reach the right set of images without spending too much time sifting through irrelevant assets.
Your digital asset collection is probably going to grow continuously, which is why a reliable labeling system and folder structure is so important; it helps you avoid misplacing assets and steers you away from the perils of digital disorganization before they have a chance to materialize.
It’s also worth considering using folder templates to help you speed up the organization process if you’ve got a lot on your plate.
Companies often fall foul of harboring too many unused or unwanted assets in their DAM system, and this can clog up the situation by taking up space, slowing down the software, and obscuring the more commonly used assets.
Spring cleaning is a must, and that means deleting unused files and bringing your more important assets into the limelight.
As your asset collection grows, you’ll need to swing the dead asset scythe with no remorse, so make sure that you periodically visit your storage and get ruthless when it comes to deleting files. Remember, you can always store images on separate hard drives should you need to free up some space, however, so it may be worth investing in some secure detachable hard drives (these are handy for making backups anyway).
Use the Right Hardware
Where software is handily immaterial and straightforward to upgrade, hardware can be a bit tougher and potentially more expensive.
Outdated hardware and software can eventually lead to a vulnerable network and leave your company open to cyber-attacks. Plus, it’ll eventually stop being able to support your software.
Upgrading your computers, servers, personal devices, and any other physical aspect of your infrastructure is a must every now and then. If you don’t know whether or not this is necessary for your company yet, you should consider conducting a business-wide assessment of your IT infrastructure.
It’s important that your team has access to the assets they need, but it’s also important that you keep those assets and the organization of said assets safe and secure.
A good way to do this is to manage permissions properly, which means giving access to the right people.
This needs to be flexible, however, particularly when different teams need to collaborate on projects together at any given time.
Once you get organized, it’s easier to remain that way, so if it feels like a mighty upheaval at first, just think about how good you’ll feel after you’ve done it, there are plenty of business benefits to look forward to.