by Don Willmott Your company lives and dies by its data, and you're in charge of moving it around quickly and securely. Managed file transfer will help you do it right. You definitely don't want to do it wrong. Managed Filed Transfer: An Essential Tool for IT Pros on the RiseWhat could be simpler than moving a file from point A to point B? We all do it every day, dragging, dropping, copying, and sending megabytes of data across the office or around the world. Unfortunately, as workforces have dispersed, files have grown exponentially larger, and business data has become ever more valuable (and therefore subject to both security threats and regulation). So transferring files the right way has become one of IT's greatest challenges. The constant stream of headlines about embarrassing and costly corporate data disasters drives that point home again and again. That's where MFT comes in. IT is increasingly turning to this technology as businesses become more far-flung, data volume increases, and existing infrastructures are pushed to their limits. MFT solutions offer high levels of security, compliance, reliability, speed, and auditing, and the best ones do all that without increasing the burden on an already overburdened IT staff. What you need is a system that can monitor, control, and secure the movement of data between Point A to Point B. That's what MFT is designed to do. It's increasingly in demand because if you take a look at the existing legacy options for file transfer, you see they're woefully inadequate for today's fast, worldwide, regulated business environment. I'm talking about you, FTP. Isn't file transfer supposed to be the job of FTP utilities? Yes, if we were still living in the '70s. FTP came of age before today's Internet was even imagined and before security became a top priority. FTP is cheap and ubiquitous, but it has weak security, can't handle most failed data transfers, offers a manual interface, doesn't compress data, and can't be used for today's auditing and compliance rules. Still, FTP rules large file transfers to this day, which is kind of amazing when you stop to think about it. What about e-mail? We all send attachments, but there are often file size limits, and you know that attachments affect network performance and eat up significant storage space. You also worry that attachments are used in an ad hoc manner and can't be adequately monitored and controlled. They are accidents waiting to happen. And let's not even think about the people who burn disks or fill up thumb drives and then send them via overnight express. Scary! So turn to MFT. It offers:
  • A single point of control for data transfer in the office and out to the world.
  • Complete security, compliance and auditing for your regulatory needs.
  • Guaranteed delivery, which FTP can't offer.
  • Lots of automation to make your job easier.
  • Open architecture that lets you integrate it with other apps.
  • Cost savings that come from the increased automation.
  Look at the wide variety of solutions from Microsoft, IBM, Ipswitch, SSH, Sterling Commerce, and YouSendIt to see if you can find one that meets your needs and budget. One of MFT's advantages is that it's highly scalable, so no matter the amount of data you transfer either interoffice or out to clients and colleagues, you can set up a solution that will ultimately save you time and money and make you an IT hero. It's a tool with which you want to be familiar in today's business environment. If your bosses haven't asked for it already, they will soon.