by CData Arc Marketing | June 12, 2019

How to Fix Your Broken File Transfer Processes

Managed file transfer (MFT) is the secure, centralized transfer of data or files between computers over a secure network connection. While it may sound mundane, this technology is playing an increasingly critical role in corporate IT strategy — in stark contrast to the scattered approach of long-marginalized legacy file transfer.

Comprised of scattered processes and ad hoc solutions, such as FTP, HTTP and others, legacy file transfer has long been the domain of individuals and departments solving one-off problems with siloed solutions.

But today's enterprises operate with more applications and systems than ever before and must manage interwoven processes spanning many teams and departments. Creating a seamless customer experience powered by smooth operations means unifying these disparate systems with a smarter approach to file transfer, a unified managed file transfer approach.

You can leverage MFT to improve your organization's operational efficiency, speed time to delivery, and win happy customers amid rising expectations — all while managing compliance and governance.

What's Wrong with Good, Old Fashioned File Transfer?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, as the old adage goes. So, if enterprise departments and individual teams have subsisted for years with their one-off file transfer solutions, why should you spend precious time and IT resources on managed file transfer?

The reality? For many companies, Frankensteined file transfer processes waste IT resources' time on maintenance, unnecessarily eat holes in budgets and are hopelessly ill equipped to deal with the enterprise data sources, applications, and systems in the modern enterprise ecosystem.

For thousands of organizations, there's a familiar sequence of events at play.

1. Teams Create Duplicate Band-Aids

Without an intentionally planned managed file transfer solution, teams begin to adopt one-off band-aids. Many either purchase numerous vendor solutions, duplicating costs unnecessarily, or, worse, develop their own in-house solutions, pulling IT and development resources away from other projects that deliver greater business value.

2. Fragmentation Leads to Complexity & Maintenance Headaches

The file transfer duplicates create complexity and tangled processes for all involved. IT teams are tasked with connecting the disparate processes developed by different teams and departments, resulting in increased maintenance and a higher total cost of ownership (TCO).

3. Broken Processes Reduce Agility & Slow the Pace of Business

When processes are all over the place, building a critical new data flow between teams becomes a long, involved project because broken processes cause a host of problems:

  • Configuration becomes difficult and error-prone
  • Flows in production don't match the blueprints
  • Ever-growing data volumes tax resources
  • Thousands of security certificates need to be managed

MFT infrastructure, or the lack thereof, impacts business in a real way. As data flows, including file transfers, are stuck, teams lose the agility they need for modern digital business and projects fall behind.

4. Limited Visibility Limits Improvement

Scattered solutions and processes beget scattered reporting. As systems grow increasingly complex to deal with new data flows, IT teams and enterprise departments alike struggle to set up and use indicators for incident, problem, and change management. The lack of visibility obscures the sources of costs, delays, and quality issues, throwing wrenches into continuous improvement initiatives.

The Vision for Modern MFT

If legacy, one-off file transfer isn't the path forward, what replaces it?

For today's IT squads serving enterprise departments, the modern vision is a centralized managed file transfer model that satisfies core requirements, supports IT-driven digital transformation, and enables business users without flooding IT resources.

When done right and to its full potential, MFT looks a bit like this:

MFT Processes and Solutions are Consolidated

Disjointed file and data transfer services are consolidated into a single solution or suite of complementary MFT solutions, reducing duplicate band-aids and custom development time.

Technology and Processes Align with Business Strategy

MFT architecture and processes align with organizational data flow requirements, supporting the synchronization of critical business processes across teams, departments, and the organization.

MFT Access and Processes are Standardized

With solutions and processes managed centrally, processes can largely be standardized across the organization, reducing complexity, maintenance, errors, security risks, and IT requests.

Regulatory Compliance and Security

MFT processes adhere to secure file transfer standards and data governance regulations, while reducing "shadow IT" and rogue file transfers to better enforce security, compliance and data governance policies.

Workflows Can Be Developed at the Pace of Business

Through self-service workflows built on vetted, nimble MFT solutions, IT teams can eliminate manual integrations and enable business units to build workflows to meet their critical timelines and objectives.

MFT Supports IT Infrastructure Automation and Modernization

MFT supports strategic transformations, such as infrastructure-as-code, containerization, configuration management, and audits. IT improves productivity as MFT speeds delivery of services, while minimizing time-spend, complexity and bugs from upgrades. MFT migrations, rationalization, and consolidation are automated.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is Optimized

Standardized processes and solutions reduce costs for workflows and file transfers. Savings come from reduced maintenance, errors, duplicate solutions and time spent developing custom solutions in-house.

MFT Supports Data Consolidation, Management, and On-Demand Consumption

The MFT solution connects with APIs to move files and documents into an enterprise data store, with events and metadata for easy searching and enables live data consumption from business apps, systems, and users.

Organizational Leaders Gain End-to-End Visibility

IT leaders and business units know the status of files, apps, SLAs, and human activity in transfers. There's clear reporting on time-sensitive items, such as security certificate expirations, keys, user logins, and flow validity. Current and anticipated data transmissions patterns provide real-time visibility to keep processes on track.

CData Arc: A Unified MFT Solution to Support Digital Transformation

CData Arc is a modern, Drummond-Certified MFT solution that allows you to:

  • Replace or extend legacy file transfer systems
  • Track messages across processes with comprehensive tracking, monitoring, and reporting
  • Scale messaging as your business grows
  • Easily integrate with current systems:
  • Meet compliance mandates with built-in governance features that provide audit trails for compliance with PCI, HIPAA, SOX, GLBA, and more

Download a 30-day free trial of CData Arc today and see if you can modernize your MFT.