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How to design a collaborative workspace with digital asset management

by Canto  |  July 14, 2022

5 min. read
Two persons consolidating assets in a collaborative workspace.

Organizations rarely rely upon one person to create content. Generating consistent, quality content over time requires effective collaboration between people with different skills, such as copywriters, graphic designers, video producers, and social media specialists. That’s why some of the world’s most successful brands have invested in technologies that allow them to create more collaborative workspaces.

Collaboration in the hybrid workplace

With so many organizations around the world shifting to a hybrid work model that combines in-office employees with remotely distributed workers, collaboration has become much more complicated. A person who works relatively autonomously may not be greatly impacted by the situation, but anyone who needs to share content and feedback with others will quickly run into potential communication and coordination issues. The situation might be complicated even further if no one feels comfortable asking questions or reaching out to teammates due to unfamiliarity.

It’s easy to imagine cases where a remote employee is looking for an asset but can’t determine which one is the most up-to-date or approved. If they’re working in a different time zone, there may not be anyone available to answer their question. Even if someone is available, they may not know who to ask or the best way to reach out. Everything in this situation, from the initial search for the asset to determining who to ask about it, undermines productivity and increases the likelihood of mistakes being made.

From the organization’s perspective, it may sound like putting a few processes and guidelines in place would be enough to manage assets effectively. Unfortunately, the tools they’re using for collaboration are seldom up to the task. Shared storage drives can quickly become confusing and labor-intensive to organize. Communication channels like email and messenger platforms also tend to break down into a chaotic mess that makes it hard to stay on track.

Benefits of a shared collaborative workspace

Consolidating all work related to digital assets into a specialized collaborative workspace is the best way to maintain clarity and consistency. Digital asset management (DAM) platforms provide a single source of truth for everyone working on a hybrid team and make it easy to find and access assets, follow the status of projects, and communicate effectively.

Keeping assets within a single environment also avoids the problems associated with version confusion and miscommunication. All information about the asset is stored within the system and updated automatically. Comments, edits, and approvals can be incorporated into workflows and even individual assets to ensure that projects remain on track. Enhancing visibility helps to cut down on mistakes and oversights, allowing everyone to be more productive.
A digital asset in a digital asset management system with pop-up notifications for asset approval status and comments.

5 steps to designing a collaborative workspace with Canto

Canto is a robust DAM platform that stores all of an organization’s digital content in one place and makes it much easier to organize, find, and share a variety of file types. The Canto platform provides several powerful features for streamlining collaboration when it comes to working with digital assets. By following a few easy steps, teams can build a dynamic workspace that allows them to work together effectively no matter where each member is located.

Step 1: Get organized

After implementing a DAM platform, the first step to making it collaboration-friendly should be organizing existing assets. When files are uploaded into the system, they can be labeled with keywords and tags for easy sorting in the future. Canto streamlines this process with a template feature that automatically adds metadata to imported files. Keywords and tags can also be bulk added to sort existing files after they’ve been uploaded. This makes it easy to locate files when they’re needed, which significantly cuts down on the amount of time people spend searching for assets.

Step 2: Create portals

Although placing files in various folders and libraries is a good way for an organization to manage its assets, it’s not always the best approach for sharing materials or actually working with them on a regular basis. Canto uses portals to share content to specific users under specific conditions. Fully customizable and brandable, portals are curated mini-libraries that only contain materials that someone with access has a reason to use. They’re a great way of creating a collaborative environment where people can quickly find the assets they need and not have to worry about whether they’re approved for use.

Step 3: Collaborate within workspaces

Portals are great for sharing approved assets from the content library, but that material is often being used to generate content that hasn’t been approved yet. Canto allows contributors to create workspaces to collaborate on assets that are still in development. Anyone with access can provide notes or comment on the content, but it remains hidden from the main library until it’s finalized. This ensures that incomplete projects won’t be shared with anyone not directly working on them.
Screenshot of a portal and a digital asset with pop-up information about digital rights management.

Step 4: Customizable user groups

Rather than managing permissions on an individual basis, Canto allows organizations to include multiple people into a single user group. When a group is granted access to a specific portal or workspace, everyone in the group can use that library. This is particularly useful when working with external collaborators. Instead of tracking which asset libraries those contributors have access to, administrators can simply add or remove people from groups as needed.

Step 5: Use comments and follow assets

As team members begin accessing approved assets through portals and developing new content within workspaces, they need to be able to communicate and track the status of various projects. Canto allows users to leave comments on individual assets and tag other people to notify them that they need to respond to a question or review something. Administrators and managers can also follow a specific asset to be alerted to all comments and changes associated with it, even if they’re not tagged. It’s a great way to get better visibility into how collaborative projects are unfolding.

Improve your collaborative workspace with Canto

As more organizations expand their teams to incorporate external contributors and take a more hybrid approach to content creation, they need a DAM platform that breaks down barriers and have the features to leverage the full value of their digital assets. Canto provides a single source of truth for all your assets and enables dynamic collaboration that enhances productivity and fosters true creativity. With multiple enterprise integrations and robust security features, Canto’s cloud-based platform is easy to incorporate into your existing operations so you can start managing your assets more effectively.

To learn more about how Canto can power collaboration in your organization, sign up today for a free trial.