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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Top 5 features of effective MFT

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For any business to succeed today, it must have effective strategies in place for leveraging its data resources. Access to corporate data is now a critical component of countless employees' basic job functions. Many IT services that were formerly confined to the IT department, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, business intelligence (BI), analytics and more, are now utilized regularly by a wide range of workers, and these programs can only be effective if those employees have access to relevant, timely information.

Managed file transfer (MFT) solutions play a key role in achieving this state of affairs. MFT is one of the most popular means organizations use to effectively transfer data from one computer to another within a given network. When it comes to ensuring collaboration and data access, MFT is a vital tool.

Here are five of the most important features to look for when choosing an MFT solution.

1. Security
No firm can be successful if it is unable to guarantee the integrity of its various data sources. Consequently, security should be considered a key feature of any MFT solution. If a company settles for a less secure option, there is a significant risk that a data breach will occur. These incidents can be devastating for companies, greatly damaging firms' reputations and potentially leading to extremely costly fines and other sanctions. By choosing a robust, secure MFT solution, firms can take an important step toward reducing the chances of such an event occurring.

2. Speed
Today's businesses move at lightening-fast speed. Any delays, even relatively slight ones, can have a snowball effect, leading to much greater, negative consequences down the line. If a worker cannot access the information he or she needs, for example, a report may be delayed, which may push back a project, which pushes back the delivery date, and so on and so forth.

That is why companies should only select MFT solutions that can deliver information at or near real-time. Just as importantly, actually utilizing the program should require a minimal amount of time. By shortening the time it takes to send files via MFT, the business as a whole will become quicker and more productive.

3. Ease of use
Related to the last point, the MFT program must be extremely easy to use. If the program is unduly complex, a significant amount of time will be lost as workers struggle to optimize their file transfer efforts, thereby hampering overall productivity. Perhaps even more problematic, a clunky MFT solution may frustrate workers to the point that they ultimately avoid the program, choosing instead to rely on easier-to-use but less secure solutions. In this case, the MFT's lack of usability puts the company's data at risk.

4. Reliability
This is a fairly straightforward criterion. For MFT to be effective, it must be dependable. If employees have to worry about whether the MFT solution will actually deliver the files as intended, productivity will be greatly diminished. Companies must invest only in solutions that have proven reputations for delivering reliable service. If the choice in question lacks testimonials, then it is likely not the best option on the market and should be avoided.

5. Scalability
This last point is by no means the least important. For an MFT solution to be the ideal choice for any given company, it must be able to scale up and down to meet the firm's changing needs. The number and size of files sent and received by employees will likely range widely at different times, and only scalability can ensure maximum cost-efficiency without sacrificing quality of service.