For most businesses, 2020 and 2021 were about survival. Faced with a sudden change in how we work, teams invested in essential collaboration tools – like Zoom, Slack and Teams – to keep everyone connected while working from home.

These were initially temporary solutions, but now it’s clear the landscape has changed for good. According to PwC, a whopping 83% of US offices plan to transition permanently to remote or hybrid work.

To succeed in 2022 and beyond, companies need to create a hybrid environment in which they can perform at their best long-term. That means going beyond the basics like Zoom and adding more specialized collaboration tools to their tech arsenals, so teams can work efficiently, strategically and seamlessly from anywhere.

For teams that work with images, videos and other digital content, good digital asset management (DAM) software like Canto is more essential than ever before. As you start annual planning for 2022, don’t overlook this strategic investment in your team’s productivity.

Canto media library gallery view and phone app with asset information.

Digital content poses unique challenges in the hybrid environment

For newly hybrid teams, managing and sharing digital content is a major challenge.

A year and a half of muddling through with Dropbox, Google Drive and WeTransfer links has exposed the limits of systems that aren’t designed for the complexities of managing digital content at scale. Sending large files back and forth is cumbersome, and with team members more dispersed than ever before, it’s become hard to maintain oversight of digital assets.

Digital asset management (DAM) tools like Canto offer a solution. More than just cloud storage, they’re designed to help teams of all sizes manage and share digital content – while keeping track of all the information that goes with it.

Canto admin controls for digital rights and asset approval.

With features like advanced search and image recognition, digital asset management systems help teams find what they need when they need it – whether they’re in the office or not. With everyone working from the same library, DAM systems simplify collaboration and enable decision-makers to approve, activate or deactivate content universally with the click of a mouse.

Brands on top of their digital content can use images, video and other assets more intentionally, leveraging them into concrete strategic wins.

“It’s been an absolute saving grace,” says Meg Reinhardt, Photography Director for This Old House. This Old House started using Canto in March 2020, just before pandemic lockdowns sent their team home from the office. They’ve been working remotely ever since.

“It’s good we got Canto when we did, because otherwise I couldn’t have done my job this last year and a half,” says Meg. “Our VPN was horrible, and it was so hard to find things. In Canto, I can find what I need and send it out quickly, even when I’m working from home or traveling for a shoot.”

Face recognition identifies This Old House host in Canto library.

So why is digital asset management important to consider for your 2022 budget?

Though it’s constantly evolving, digital asset management software isn’t new. Companies have been using it for years to strategically manage their growing content libraries and share assets more effectively – both internally and externally. However, as brands find ways to make hybrid work a success over the long term, investments in digital asset management have become essential.

Teams that aren’t set up to excel in this new business environment have started to see it holding them back. In a 2021 poll – a year into lockdowns and remote work – 55% of marketing professionals said they lack the digital tools they need to achieve peak performance.

For companies that rely on digital content, a DAM solution is essential for driving success and scaling as a business. By making a modest investment in DAM, you set your team up to be productive and efficient in 2022 and beyond as the digital world continues to evolve.

Want to learn more about how Canto can help your team succeed? Read our guide to organizing digital content, with examples from top brands that got it right.