What is Digital Asset Lifecycle? The Complete Guide

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Digital Asset Lifecycle
Image showing the digital asset lifecycle stages

Digital asset lifecycle is the process of creating, using, and maintaining digital assets. It starts with the asset being created and ends with the asset being disposed or archived.

Digital asset lifecycle refers to the stages that each digital asset must go through and be managed during its lifespan. The lifecycle of digital assets consists of four major stages: creation, use, maintenance, and archive/disposition. 

A digital asset can be anything that can be digitally stored, like an email, a file or an image. It’s important to know when it’s time to retire your digital assets so they don’t clutter up your system and create confusion among your audience.

There is no question that digital asset lifecycle management (DLM) is an important part of any organization’s overall strategy. By properly managing digital assets, an organization can ensure that its data is secure, compliant with regulatory requirements, and easily accessible for current and future use. DLM also helps organizations optimize their use of digital assets, as well as minimize the risk associated with these assets.

One of the key benefits of DLM is its ability to streamline the process of managing digital assets. By automating key processes, DLM can save time and effort for both organizational staff and individual users. Digital asset lifecycle management can also help organizations to comply with different rules and regulations.

Various digital asset management activities occur at various stages of the asset lifecycle. The duration of the life cycle is comprised of the phases taken together.

What are the Four Phases of Digital Asset Lifecycle?

We utilize the digital asset lifecycle to track the flow of assets through their various life stages. There are several interpretations of the major phases in an asset’s lifecycle, but they all begin with the same ones.

The 4 phases of a digital asset lifecycle are creation, usage, maintenance, and disposition.

1- Creation

The first phase of the digital asset lifecycle is creation. The creation phase of the digital asset lifecycle is when the asset is first created. This can be done by either creating the asset from scratch, or by digitizing an existing physical asset.

Once the asset is created, it needs to be properly formatted and stored so that it can be used later in the lifecycle.

It begins with the birth of an idea. This idea is then fleshed out into a concept, which is then developed into a prototype. The prototype is then refined and developed into a final product.

Multiple users may access, download, and manage your digital assets using a DAM system.

2- Usage

The usage phase in the digital asset lifecycle begins when the digital asset is put into use. This phase ends when the digital asset is no longer needed. During this phase, the digital asset is used to create value for the organization.

In addition, you will be focusing on content management. Making certain that only authorized personnel have access to the asset and that unauthorized personnel cannot view it.

A decent DAM system allows to give roles and permissions to users so that they only view what you want them to see. In addition, they enable you to provide download links to non-users in order for them to readily access certain files and folders.

3- Maintenance

The maintenance phase in the digital asset lifecycle is when you keep your digital asset updated and working properly. This includes tasks such as monitoring the asset for changes, troubleshooting problems, and making sure the asset is compatible with other systems.

This is a critical stage to correctly plan and execute in order to maintain the assets available to consumers, workers, and other entities.

4- Disposition / Archival

The disposition phase of the digital asset lifecycle is the process of securely removing or destroying digital assets that are no longer needed. This phase includes activities such as purging data from storage devices, shredding physical media, and de-commissioning servers.

Disposition helps ensure that confidential information is not leaked and that digital assets are not left behind when an organization changes systems or goes out of business.

If digital assets must be kept available for a longer length of time but are not often used, they should be archived.

Archival is the process of storing digital assets in a safe and secure location for long-term preservation. This can be done either online or offline, depending on the asset and the desired level of protection. Once digital assets are stored in an archive, they can be accessed and used by future generations.

Other Asset Life cycle Stages

The lifecycle shown above represents the four most popular phases that businesses should follow while maintaining their digital assets. Some firms, however, require additional stages to meet their business requirements. For example, some companies need an approval cycle when creating a digital asset before it can be utilized by the public.

Let’s look into some of stages that you can include in your asset lifecycle.

1- Approve

Organizations typically add the approve stage to the lifecycle in order to obtain approval from the direct supervisor or manager of the digital asset producer before it is utilized by the public.

This step might be used to evaluate the quality, format, and accessibility of a protected digital content.

2- Planning

In the planning phase of the digital asset lifecycle, organizations develop a clear understanding of their digital asset needs and how those needs fit into the overall business strategy. They also create a plan for how the assets will be acquired, managed, and delivered to the intended audience.

This phase also includes developing policies and procedures for digital asset management.

The planning stage, when introduced, usually becomes the number one stage in the lifecycle.

Why is It Important to Manage Digital Asset Lifecycle Properly?


There are a few reasons why it is important to manage the digital asset lifecycle properly:

1. To ensure that your digital assets are properly protected and backed up.

2. To ensure that your digital assets are accessible and usable when you need them.

3. To ensure that your digital assets are properly organized and labeled so you can easily find and use them.

4. To avoid losing track of your digital assets or having to recreate them from scratch if they are lost or damaged.

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