Turning Digital Media into a Company-Wide Asset and Saving $5 Million A Year

Lookinglass developed a Digital Asset Management solution to support the day-to-day needs of a rapidly growing company and save the business $5 million a year in reduced operational and capital costs.

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A rapidly expanding creative business had outgrown its method for managing digital media and information. Employees spoke openly of their frustration and the time wasted using the current systems and many had resorted to Google and YouTube as more effective alternatives.

The IT department had invested in an expensive Digital Asset Management (DAM) system that had been rejected by the staff, and IT was also struggling to satisfy the company’s back-up needs, despite spending heavily every year on additional storage.

The Lookinglass Consultancy was hired to analyze the impact on the company’s workflow and financial performance, to assess the business risk of the current shared server strategy and to provide specific recommendations for a long-term solution.


The Lookinglass team’s challenge was to determine the real impact on the company’s performance and to understand why previous initiatives had failed.

Any solution would have to integrate the specific, and sometimes unique, needs of a wide range of departments and disciplines on a single platform.

And given the independent nature of the company’s staff, it was clear that any system that required formal training or a sudden change in individuals’ work habits would fail.


Lookinglass interviewed senior managers to establish a hierarchy of company-wide business priorities that were not being met.

We then conducted a sensitive discovery process which analyzed the impact of the current situation on key individuals in each department through participation in their day-to-day processes, and included a detailed analysis of IT’s shared server structure and data back-up issues.

Lookinglass then developed a company-wide DAM strategy that incorporated the steps necessary to re-deploy the company’s existing DAM system and overcome staff resistance.

The strategy was supported by specific recommendations and analysis including:

  • A centralized, ‘one-to-many’ data storage strategy that collects all metadata through the company’s existing workflows
  • A summary of the unmet needs of each of the major departments and the cost of lost time
  • A company-wide storage and back-up IT strategy
  • A risk analysis that demonstrated the potential liability of the current strategy at $11,000,000
  • A three year projection of the savings in capital and operational costs versus the current strategy

Current Situation

The plan was approved and funded. The Lookinglass Consultancy was then hired to support the initial implementation of the plan which has already achieved the following:

  • Establishment of a company-wide strategy for digital media and information management based on specific and prioritized business goals
  • Completion of a comprehensive RFP resulting in a final decision to re-invest and re-deploy a re-engineered version of the company’s existing DAM system
  • Capital Cost Savings:
    • More than $1.5 million saved by re-deploying existing system versus the best alternative DAM system, with no compromise in functionality or performance
    • Reduced IT capital spending on storage needs projected at more than $4 Million over the first three years
  • Operational Cost Savings:
    • Projected against staff time spent searching for correct versions of media and up to date information:
      • Year 1: $1 Million
      • By Year 3: $5 Million p.a.
  • Collection and cataloging of all historic company media created during the last five years
  • Greater collaboration between departments
  • Increased utilization of the company’s historic portfolio in new business pitches
  • Increasingly pro-active management of the company’s clients
  • Foundations for a company-wide capability accessible from any existing or future office

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