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When your resources are digital, ERP and DRM must work together

13th May 2021 Print

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms are critical tools for many businesses, allowing them to carefully monitor and organize the resources at their disposal for maximum profitability and productivity. In most cases, however, ERP platforms are used to allocate equipment, keep track of staffing, and integrate elements like financials, reporting, and supply chain concerns. 

Of course, in today’s marketplace, only a portion of businesses deal in physical materials, and that means many of the core concerns of ERP platforms are null and void, but that doesn’t mean digital-first and tech service industries don’t have a use for them. 

Rather, when used in conjunction with a digital rights management program, these tools can work together to manage, distribute, and protect digital resources.

Protecting Critical Assets

While ERP programs are largely about tracking physical resources and connecting these resources with key documentation to see larger trends, digital rights management tools are fundamentally about information security. These programs help businesses establish who can have access to a file, easily revoke access when needed, and control whether documents can be copied, shared, or otherwise distributed. Great digital rights management tools can even counter attempts at screenshotting the contents of a document, which is vital when dealing with data, schematics, and other important internal information.

More businesses have gotten wise to the importance of using digital rights management to protect information in recent years, but there are still significant gaps between how businesses classify their documents and how they protect them. As a result, it’s common for businesses going through mergers and acquisitions processes to suffer data loss – they failed to protect their documents before sharing them with others.

Finding The Connection

Given the above information, the next question businesses should be asking is how they can sync up their digital rights management practices with their ERP tools because, if there’s anything that constitutes an enterprise resource, it’s key documents. This connection can also be reframed through more specialized digital asset management (DAM). A digital-first parallel of ERP, DAM platforms provide the same sort of outcome tracking support ERP platforms are known for, but with a focus on businesses with few material resources to worry about. 

Whether your business is using a more traditional ERP program or has opted to emphasize the tech element with a DAM platform, the main goal of connecting such tracking practices with the security functions of digital right management is to protect the value of those digital assets. When digital assets are released into the world, whether that asset is something as simple as an ebook or as critical as data and charts outlining client information, you need to know where they’re going, what value they’re generating, and protect them from being replicated or held longer than authorized. Failure to do so will cause them to lose value.

While digital rights management tools will generally allow businesses to know where their documents are at any given time and manage privacy and access settings, ERP or DAM programs ensure that your business can maximize their value through careful use. 

You need to be able to both protect your documents and track their paths for the best possible outcome. The question is, do you have the right tools to create those links?