Digital Directions: 6 Tools for Digital Success That Won’t Break the Bank
3. OPM (other people's money): Have your development partners 'put skin in the game.'
Publishers need product development partners to get complex products like full-featured mobile apps into the marketplace. That won't change. But publishers can ask their development partners to share in the product development costs. Partners should cover development costs not associated with content preparation—such as software development—in exchange for a share of the revenue. After all, the publisher already has paid for the content creation. If your partner believes in the opportunity, they should put some skin in the game. If they don't see the opportunity, you should move on to the next partner.
4. Don't wait for the DAM system.
Publishers understand that scalable digital product programs rest upon DAM platforms. The acquisition of such systems is often expensive. Without ready funds for software purchases, many organizations do nothing and watch the chaos of their media management escalate. However, DAM has more to do with standards, process and management than it does expensive software. Much can be done with a file system and a simple relational database, if properly configured and managed. You can afford the fancy-schmancy software when your digital product revenue warrants it. So stop sniffling about how much they cut your capital expense budget, and get your DAM act together.
5. Hosted solutions.
SaaS (software-as-a-service) provides applications on a subscription basis over the Internet, and is often a great way to add capability without the costs associated with software acquisition and support staff. SaaS offerings can be found in content management, metadata management, editorial workflow solutions, mobile delivery frameworks, e-commerce—you name it. SaaS is not a panacea, however: You have less customization available to you than if you licensed and installed the software yourself, and you have to keep your data on someone else's server—which gives many publishers the willies. However, it does get you started without a lot of cash. Then, you can prove the viability of your digital programs, which will allow you to make the business case for a capital investment of software.