The Creative Ops Tech Stack

Introducing The Creative Operations Technology Stack

by Chris Ransick

The Creative Operations Technology Reference Model (COTRM) is a comprehensive catalog of the software tools and capabilities used by creative operations professionals to manage and create print, video, and digital content. It is designed to provide a unified reference for all the tools and capabilities needed to support the entire creative process, from input and execution to output and delivery.

The COTRM is organized into three core domains: Input, Execution, and Output. These domains reflect the overall process that all creative work goes through, from gathering and organizing information and materials to creating and refining the final product, to delivering it to the intended audience.

Within each domain are five sub-domains: Data, Engagement and Operations Management, Creation, Delivery, and Channels. These sub-domains break down the process into more specific focus areas: data management, project management, and distribution channels.

Each sub-domain is further broken down into specific capability categories: asset management, workflow management, and analytics. These capability categories provide a detailed look at the tools and capabilities needed to support each aspect of the creative process.

The COTRM is a constantly evolving entity based on creative operations and creative technology professionals' current thinking and input. It is not intended to be a definitive guide but a starting point for creative operations professionals to use as they build and manage their creative technology stacks.

DAM Ops Consulting developed the COTRM to provide a comprehensive catalog of tools and capabilities for creative professionals. Providing a detailed listing of all available tools and applications aims to help creative operations and technology professionals make informed decisions about which tools to use and how to use them effectively.

The Creative Operations Technology Reference Model (COTRM) is a valuable tool for any creative professional looking to optimize their workflow and streamline their creative process. It provides a comprehensive catalog of software tools and capabilities and helps creative professionals stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices.

Creative Operations Technology Reference Model Description

Input: DATA

Input Data tools are solutions which house the data used in the creative process to execute. The capability categories are: Digital Asset Management, Work-in Progress Repository, Content Repositories, Product Information Management, Recipe Management, Font Management, and Creative Ops Data& Marketing Data

Execution: Engagement and Operations
Engagement and Operations Management

Execution Engagement and Operations are software tools used to manage the creative processes and resources. The engagement and operations management categories are: Work/Project Management, Collaboration, Review and Approval, FinancialManagement, Video Management, Freelance Management, Development Management,Content Marketing Management, , Translation Management, Sample Management, andRights and Royalty Management

Execution: Creation
Creation Tools

Execution Creation are the software tools used to create the images, video, content and layouts. The creation categories are: Image Tools, Illustration Tools, UX Tools, Video Tools, Page Layout Tools, AI Tools, CGI Tools, Augmented Reality Tools, 3D Modeling Tools, and Structured Content Tools.

Execution: Delivery
Delivery Tools

Execution Delivery are the software tools used to version and deliver content to output channels. The delivery categories are: Versioning and Distribution, Translation Management, Creative Management Platforms, Pre press Tools, Dynamic Publishing, Social Engagement, CDN, Content Management, Apps, Email Management, and Fabrication/3D Printing.

Output: Channels

Outputs Channels are the media channels creative materials and content are presented in. The dimensions shown here are a broad swipe at all the possible channels. The Output Channels are: Print, Packaging, Point-of-Sale, Broadcast/Video, Event, Mobile, Web, Streaming, Social Media, and Email.


Developing a creative operations and digital asset management strategy is a complex and multi-faceted process that requires time, energy, and careful consideration of your organization's specific needs and goals.

When you are done, you should have a solid plan for moving forward. And while plans don't guarantee success, having one certainly tilts the odds of a positive outcome in your favor.

DAM OPS Consulting is available to help

DAM Ops Consulting has decades of experience assessing enterprises' current creative operations technology state and providing them with a strategy for operational success based on best practice experience.

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