How to Evaluate Managed File Transfer Solutions: A Comprehensive Guide
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How to Evaluate Managed File Transfer Solutions: A Comprehensive Guide with Progress Software and emt Distribution

What are the features you need to consider when evaluating a managed file transfer solution that will help support your business needs?

As the name suggests, a managed file transfer (MFT) solution facilitates inbound and outbound file transfers. These secure file transfer solutions help organizations centralize, automate and streamline data (file) transfers across the organization, inside a private network or to external users (hello decentralized workplaces!).

Transferring files from one destination to the next is a crucial business element and numerous existing applications aid this process. A secure MFT solution helps businesses:

  • Improve security
  • Streamline server-to-server file transfers
  • Save valuable time and money
  • Help meet compliance requirements

Simply put, an enterprise MFT solution makes file transfers (and your life) easier. That said, you need to know which MFT software is the best fit for your business needs.

File upload illustration
Source: Pixabay (Memed Nurrohmad)

Establish What Your MFT Solution MUST Accomplish

You must ask yourself all relevant file transfer-related questions to narrow down what your ideal managed file transfer solution must accomplish:

  • What is your daily/weekly/monthly data transfer volume and how large are these files on average?
  • Do you need to secure the transfer of large or sensitive files?
  • How much time does an employee at your organization currently spend on menial, manual file transfer-related tasks?
  • Do you require additional modules for forms and emails?
  • How sensitive is the data you typically transfer?
  • Do you meet or need to meet compliance/regulatory requirements?
  • What is your budget for a secure MFT software?
  • Are you looking for external help or will you manage and set up the software on your own?

Answering these questions will help you compare top MFT vendors according to your specific requirements.

MFT Features to Look for

A secure managed file transfer solution centralizes and streamlines the creation, scheduling, monitoring and processing of all file transfers. Here are some important MFT features to consider:

  • Simple and speedy implementation
  • Regular updates available
  • No need for custom scripting or programming
  • Budget-friendly customization
  • Ease of scalability
  • An option for deployment to several environments or operating systems (OSs), if needed

These features are a bare minimum. A robust MFT solution is secure and easy to use, automates file transfers, encrypts activities, can be deployed across multiple platforms and helps you meet all necessary regulatory requirements.

A Managed File Transfer Solution Can Support Your Increasing Business Needs

Listed below are the common features of a managed file transfer software to help support your business needs:

  • Advanced tracking and auditing: It tracks your daily data transfers, takes note of all file transfer activities and provides detailed reports as necessary.
  • Cloud support: MFT solutions may be on-premises only, 100% cloud-based or hybrid (with varying deployment options). By the day, organizations are resorting to a cloud-first approach and your MFT solution should be capable of cloud support.
  • Clustering: It supports load balancing across several systems and allows you to disperse a heavy workload for higher availability.
  • Large-scale security controls: The ability to help authenticate users with identity and access management (IAM) features and set password policies is crucial.
  • Remote MFT agents: Remote agents can live on-premises or in the cloud to help you automatically monitor remote file transfers.
  • Web browser and mobile compatibility: Whether you are at your desk or taking a walk, your MFT software must be able to deliver mission-critical alerts more quickly.
  • Form and email security: Protecting forms and emails can be just as important as protecting sensitive data at rest or in motion.
  • Integrations: MFT software should be able to integrate out-of-the-box solutions such as Dropbox, SharePoint and Salesforce.
  • Reverse proxy: A sought-after feature, reverse proxy keeps your file-sharing servers within your private network.