Be it for a marketing campaign or an important business presentation, it is never easy to find the required images or videos (digital assets). Some of them are so deeply buried in emails or file locations that you feel creating a new image is faster than looking for the existing one.

This digital asset hide-and-seek wastes valuable time and leads to an overwhelming accumulation of content leading to content sprawl.

It is an organization's rapid and disorganized growth of digital assets, such as images, videos, documents, and other files. It occurs when there is a lack of proper management and organization for these assets, making it difficult for employees to locate and use them efficiently.

A huge 80% of content never gets used, which shows that content sprawl is a big problem for many companies.

For businesses with a large inventory of digital assets, content sprawl can lead to several issues, such as:

  • Employees spend valuable time searching for the right assets, which could have been used more productively.
  • With assets scattered across different platforms, collaboration becomes difficult, leading to a slower and less efficient workflow.
  • Unable to find existing assets, team members may create new, similar content, leading to redundant files and wasted resources.
  • Disorganization can result in outdated or off-brand content being used, affecting the company's brand identity and messaging.
  • Content sprawl may lead to storing sensitive information in unsecured locations, increasing the risk of data breaches and brand compliance issues.

In this blog post, we'll explore the causes of content sprawl and see how a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system like Imagekit can help organize and manage digital assets effectively.

Causes of content sprawl and how a DAM system can help control it

No matter what you do, you are always drowning in the sea of digital assets, becoming a victim of content sprawl.

So, let’s get to the roots of this by understanding the causes of content sprawl. We’ll also discuss how a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system can help control content sprawl by transforming your chaotic digital environment into a well-organized and efficient workspace.

Cause #1: Lack of Centralized Storage

In today's fast-paced work environment, employees often need to access and share various files, such as images, documents, or videos. When storage is decentralized, files are scattered across multiple devices or systems, making it difficult for team members to find what they need. This causes frustration and lost productivity as people waste time searching for assets, which can lead to duplicated work and increased costs.

For example, a marketing agency works on multiple projects for different clients. They have a team of designers, copywriters, and project managers who all contribute to creating marketing materials, such as logos, brochures, and social media content.

Without a centralized storage system, each team member stores their files on their devices, personal cloud storage, or emails. A designer might save logo drafts on their computer, while a copywriter stores text drafts in Google Drive, and the project manager keeps track of deadlines and deliverables in an Excel sheet on their laptop.

This can hamper the efficiency and productivity of the marketing agency.

How DAM can help: It offers reliable cloud-based centralized storage

A Digital Asset Management (DAM) system can help control content sprawl by consolidating all your assets in one secure location — a cloud-based centralized storage. This makes it easy for team members to access, share, and collaborate on files, reducing the time wasted searching for assets and improving operational efficiency.

Cause #2: Inefficient Workflow Processes

Disorganized workflows can lead to confusion, slow response times, and an increased likelihood of errors. Inefficient processes can result in lost or misplaced assets and miscommunication between team members, impacting brand consistency and raising costs due to rework.

A software development company specializing in mobile applications will have a diverse team of developers, designers, quality assurance testers, and project managers, all working together to develop and launch new applications.

The work is often delayed, and the team cannot meet client deadlines. It is because of the inefficient workflow process. The development process has become ad-hoc, with team members working on tasks without clearly understanding project priorities or deadlines.

How DAM can help: Well-defined DAM workflows that remove ambiguity and improve stakeholder accountability

Building and managing a workflow on your own can be challenging. But it can be easier by using an efficient DAM system. It can help you create well-defined DAM workflows that improve efficiency and accountability by standardizing how assets are created, reviewed, and approved. This streamlined process ensures all stakeholders are on the same page, reducing errors and ensuring a consistent brand image across all channels.

Cause #3: Lack of Asset Governance

Without proper asset governance, it's challenging to manage and track the lifecycle of your digital assets. This can lead to outdated or incorrect assets being used, resulting in brand inconsistency and potential legal issues.

Imagine a global consumer goods company with a vast product portfolio, each with its own branding, packaging, and marketing materials. The company's marketing department is responsible for creating and managing many digital assets, such as product images, promotional videos, and marketing collateral.

Managing all these digital assets without a comprehensive asset governance system can lead to issues like outdated assets, brand inconsistency, and legal issues which could jeopardize the brand's reputation.

How DAM can help: Streamlined metadata management and version control

By using a DAM system that can streamline metadata and version control can help you maintain accurate and up-to-date assets. Metadata tagging in a DAM system helps you quickly find and retrieve the right files. Further, version control ensures that everyone uses the most current and approved version, maintaining brand consistency and reducing the risk of legal complications.

Additionally, it can enforce policies, control access, track usage, and provide analytics to make data-driven decisions. In this way, a DAM system provides a secure and reliable platform for digital asset governance.

Cause #4: Rapidly increasing asset inventory

As your organization grows, so does your asset inventory. Managing a vast and diverse collection of assets can quickly become overwhelming, leading to disorganization and wasted time searching for files.

Consider a fast-growing e-commerce company that started as a small online store selling a limited range of products. And over the years, the company has expanded its product offerings to thousands of items across various categories like clothing, electronics, and home goods. As a result, the company's asset inventory has grown exponentially, comprising product images, descriptions, banners, and promotional content.

Without a proper system in place to manage the rapidly increasing asset inventory, it can be really difficult.

How DAM can help: Organized file hierarchy and asset tagging

But a DAM system can help you implement an organized file hierarchy and enable asset tagging to help you control your growing inventory. By categorizing and tagging assets, you make it easier for team members to find and use the right files, improving efficiency and reducing the risk of content sprawl. For example, you can implement a well-defined marketing folder structure to simplify asset accessibility and retrieval for marketing teams.

Cause #5: Siloed Systems

When your organization relies on multiple, disconnected systems for managing assets, it can lead to inefficient workflows, duplicate files, and inconsistencies in branding. Siloed systems create barriers to communication and collaboration, impacting operational efficiency and driving up costs.

For example, a large multinational corporation has various departments, such as marketing, sales, human resources, and IT. Each department uses its own set of tools and platforms to manage its digital assets.

The marketing team uses a file-sharing service for storing promotional materials, the sales team uses a separate CRM system to maintain client presentations, the human resources department stores training materials on an internal server, and the IT department manages software documentation on a different platform.

This siloed approach to managing digital assets can lead to inefficient workflows, duplicate files, branding inconsistency, and communication gaps.

How DAM can help: Seamless integration with third-party systems and software

DAM integrations can help you avoid these siloed systems by seamlessly integrating with third-party systems. It can help break down these silos, ensuring a smooth flow of information between all relevant platforms. This integration enables better collaboration and streamlined workflows, ultimately reducing content sprawl and improving brand consistency.


Navigating the ever-expanding sea of digital assets can be both challenging and overwhelming. Content sprawl, with its disorganization, wasted time, and inconsistent branding, is a hurdle many businesses face. But luckily, using an efficient Digital Asset Management (DAM) system can help you effectively manage content sprawl.

You can have a well-organized workspace where accessing, collaborating, and managing your digital assets becomes a breeze. ImageKit DAM offers centralized storage, streamlined workflows, robust asset governance, and seamless integration to foster collaboration, reduce costs, and maintain brand consistency.

So, why wait any longer? Discover ImageKit DAM now and embark on a journey toward efficient digital asset management.

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