File transfer has been around since the beginning of time. Ok, may be that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.
The year is 1971. Abhay Bhushan, perhaps tired of the snail-paced developments in the computer tech realm, decides to write a specification for the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Upon launch, people can’t help but gush over this incredible standalone technology—and for good reason. Other than enabling the seamless movement of files over the internet, FTP could handle a larger capacity than emails—and it was considerably convenient, too. Finally, a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnating field.
While FTP was a phenomenon in so many ways back then, it still lacked in the aspect of secure file sharing. That’s because it relied largely on clear-text usernames and passwords for authentication and didn’t use encryption. Ugh…yet another inadequacy that IT leaders had to grapple with.
However, it was not until the proliferation of the internet and the subsequent upsurge of cyber-attacks that IT leaders gave the idea of secure file transfer a proper thought.
Enter cloud managed file transfer (Cloud MFT), aka Software-as-a-Service MFT.
Where FTP and its predecessors fail miserably, Cloud Managed File Transfer offers a much-needed reprieve, ensuring that data can be transferred in a lightning-quick, controlled, and secure fashion—both inside and outside an organization.
Now you’re probably asking: “Is water-tight security the only perk that cloud-based MFT offers?”
Well, you’ll have to read this blog post to the very end to have that question answered. In it, you’ll find nine (yes, one, two, three…nine!) reasons to embrace this incredible technology.
1: Zero Hardware Set Up and Maintenance Costs
Admit it: You’ve spent a few thousands of dollars setting up an on-premises server (including its hardware and software). $3,500? $5,000 maybe? Upwards of $10,000?
We’re not holding a gun to your head, so you might as well say yes.
While on-premises servers are inherently not a bad investment, their true cost is manifested during maintenance. If you take a step back and look at what you are really paying to operate, maintain, and upgrade an on-premises solution over its lifetime (usually a five-year period), you’d be shocked by the numbers.
Software patches, network security, server replacement, and cooling and cubing may all seem like negligible investments, but they add up quickly. They also impact your IT team’s ability to take on new, more productive projects.
Cloud-native MFT, on the other hand, offers a low cost approach that can save you plenty of money down the road. Your IT team gets to focus on revenue, not infrastructure. Take MOVEit Cloud Managed File Transfer users, for example. With MOVEit, 100% of surveyed organizations realized a return on their investment in their first 12 months. How’s that for cost savings?
2: Easily Scalable as Requirements Change
In the IT spectrum, one size does not fit all. Not now, not ever. If your file transfer needs and requirements have changed over the years, or even months, it’s time to consider a Cloud Managed File Transfer.
Because of the scalable architecture of the cloud, MFT solution providers can quickly increase and decrease server space and allocate resources according to growing or diminishing business demands. The best part? All this happens in a highly monitored, risk-free environment.
Therefore, these providers can easily handle overloading and add additional capacity for the increasing volume. That means you’ll never have to worry about an unexpected uptick in your file transactions.
Next time your friend Jonathan from IT asks you the definition of scalability, you know exactly what to say (wink).
3: Reliability, Reliability, and More Reliability
Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Ice cream and sprinkles. Notice the common theme across these items? Well, they are just naturally better together.
Similarly, secure file transfer goes well together with a reliable network infrastructure. It’s a dream combo that’s hard to attain outside the confines of a Software-as-a-Service MFT.
Most vendors will have an SLA agreeing at least 99% availability. That’s way more than any on-premises solution can deliver.
MOVEit Cloud, for example, guarantees 99.9% uptime outside of planned maintenance, and that’s the level of reliability you should be looking for.
4: Significantly Reduces the Risk of Human Error
We know. To err is human, and no one likes a perfect human. However, in the world of secure file sharing where the stakes are incredibly high, this adage holds no water.
Most cloud MFT solutions provide on-the-go automation. With automation scripts, risk-prone homegrown processes and legacy files can be put aside once and for all. With MOVEit Cloud, for instance, users can effortlessly set up how and when files should move between internal systems, trading partners, and other users.
Plus, automation can help manage high-volume or recurring files so that your other business critical processes can be managed more efficiently and simultaneously.
5: Ensures Full Compliance
Sometimes, complying with data privacy laws like the GDPR, PCI DSS, and HIPAA may feel like swimming in alphabet soup. Fortunately, Cloud Managed File Transfer can act as the much-needed life preserver that simplifies, automates, and secures the processes involved.
Back when FTP reigned supreme, compliance regulations had barely gained traction. That’s partly because there were no hackers roaming around. Today, however, the internet is rife with malicious actors, avidly waiting to pounce on any loosely guarded consumer data that could fetch a pretty penny on the dark web. As such, regulations like HIPPA have inevitably become mainstays—both in the EU and the US.
No organization wants to be hit with the large fines or sanctions for non-compliance of data security laws. Nor do the negative PR and reputation ramifications sound appetizing. Deploying a robust Cloud Managed File Transfer can help ensure water-tight compliance, with the least risk of human error. In contrast, most FTP solutions (and some on-premises MFTs) can’t guarantee a fully compliant transfer environment.
Any Cloud MFT worth its weight in gold (like MOVEit Cloud, for instance) will facilitate compliance with GDPR. So for organizations that process data of EU residents, you know where to start looking.
6: Delivers Next-Level, On-the-Fly Reporting
In a world where billions of time-sensitive, risk-prone files change hands every minute, having robust reporting, logging, and retention capabilities sounds like a no-brainer. Yet many organizations disregard this simple truth and opt for inadequate file transfer protocols—SFTP, FTP/S, SCP, to name a few.
Cloud MFT doesn’t just guarantee secure file transfer; it throws robust reporting capabilities into the mix, too. The best Cloud MFT solutions come with usage reports on bandwidth and storage. They also boast online audit log retention as well as bill back support for tracking usage consumed by user groups so you can effectively allocate costs internally.
Some Software-as-a-Service MFTs, like MOVEit Cloud, dare to go the extra mile, offering the capability to export expired audit logs automatically into a format you can store them in. Now that’s what we call top-of-the-line reporting!
7: Offers a Centralized, Fully-Fledged Transfer Environment
They say time is money. Every second your IT team spends on setting up, maintaining, and managing scaling for on-premises MFT solution is, quite simply, lost money.
In contrast, Cloud MFT is easy to manage since everything happens on a single, do-it-all, all-powerful platform. In other words, Cloud MFT enables you to bring your encryption, tracking, automation, and auditing together under one roof and manage them from a central admin interface.
By having complete, obstructed, round-the-clock visibility into file delivery and activity, your IT team can (finally!) focus on profitable and challenging projects.
8: No Coding
For those of you who are coding aficionados, you know how tasking, time-consuming, and flat out boring this process can be. This is especially the case when you’re dealing with scores of files that are constantly traversing multiple networks, protocols, and infrastructures. It can sometimes feel like—dare we say?—emptying the ocean.
Now you’re probably wondering: “What if my IT team is already using on-premises servers or a legacy middleware solution for file transfers? The coding requirements in such an ecosystem are zero right?”
No matter how robust your legacy solution is, its age will inevitably show at some point. When that time comes, your IT team will spend hours upon hours coding new point-to-point connections. That time is irrecoverable, and quite frankly, takes away from more productive initiatives.
By making the leap to a Cloud MFT with a no-code interface, everyone can create workflows and onboard partners quickly, efficiently, and without sacrificing other business-critical projects.
9: Easy to Attain Robust, End-to-End Security
Last (but certainly not least) on our ‘why Cloud MFT’ list, we have security. We chose to tackle this last because we knew you’d be licking your lips in anticipation, and here we are!
It doesn’t matter how available, flexible, or compliant your on-premises file transfer solution or legacy server is. It doesn’t even matter if it’s supported by the best provider west of the Pacific. If it takes security lightly, it doesn’t deserve to be in your stack of tools. Simple as that.
When you move to a cloud-native platform, you choose secure file transfer above all else. You choose to safeguard your client's data using the tightest, most reliable security protocols possible—whether it’s user data, credit card information, or sensitive proprietary material. With 2,244 cyber-attacks happening on the internet daily, moving to a Cloud MFT should really be a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’. And for the latter, we’d say soonest!
That said, your Cloud MFT of choice should support these basic security functionalities:
Encryption in transit and at rest: If a solution doesn’t provide FIPS 140-2 validated encryption, ditch it.
Access control: At a minimum, your Cloud MFT of choice should facilitate full control over user access and permissions as well as centralized user authentication. It’s even better if it offers MFA (multi-factor authentication)—you know, to add that extra layer of protection to the sign-in process.
Audit trails: A good Cloud MFT should simplify file transactions with audit logs (to see what’s going on), just as it does with automation (to keep things moving). After all, no one wants to be kept in the dark regarding what authorized users have been doing—or do you?
Integrity Checking: You need to verify that all of your files have moved from point A to point B without being corrupted. A robust Cloud MFT doesn’t compromise on this aspect.
Fly High above the Fray with a Cloud MFT Like No Other—Say Hello to MOVEit Cloud
Some Cloud MFT solutions promise heaven on earth only to end up falling at the first hurdle. Others, perhaps wanting to stay in touch with the rapid pace of file transfer technologies, only offer a slice of the above incentives. Then there’s MOVEit Cloud, which encapsulates all the aforementioned nine benefits into one incredibly powerful, highly flexible platform.
In the MOVEit Cloud world, the possibilities are virtually endless. Eliminate time spent managing software and security updates. Reduce the risk of data and non-compliance. Enjoy best-in-class security with no extra responsibilities. Yes, it’s all possible with MOVEit.