How to Evaluate File Transfer Solutions

How to Choose a File Transfer Solution 

When it comes to software or technical solutions you’ve got options, sometimes too many of them. Thankfully, there are plenty of strategies to help you narrow down your choices and make an informed decision. You can ask an industry peer, read user reviews on any number of review sites, or request a demo or a free trial of one or more solutions. Any of these tactics (or combination of them) can help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing a solution to securely transfer files in and out of your network. 

What to Consider When Evaluating a Secure File Transfer Solution 

While there are many considerations that go into any purchase, when narrowing your list of potential secure managed file transfer (MFT) providers, you can further winnow the field if your “must haves” are considered and addressed early in the process. Potential solution providers should provide satisfying answers to questions such as:  

  • What is your daily file transfer volume? 
  • How large are the files you typically send? 
  • Does the solution work in a Windows-based environment?
  • How much time does someone at your organization spend on manual transfer tasks? 
  • Is securing sensitive or large files being sent by email a requirement? 
  • Do you anticipate needing additional modules for emails and forms? 
  • How sensitive is the information you transfer? 
  • Do you need to meet regulatory requirements? 
  • What is your budget for an MFT solution? 
  • Are you looking to manage set up on your own or have someone else do it? 

Features to Look for in a Secure Managed File Transfer Solution 

At the bare minimum, you’ll want your managed file transfer solution to be secure, encrypt activities, automate file transfers, help meet compliance regulations, be easy-to-use, and work across multiple platforms. In addition, to maximize your file transfer solution, you should also consider whether your options provide:  

  • Advanced auditing and tracking to help meet compliance requirements 
  • Clustering to distribute a heavy workload for higher availability  
  • Cloud support and cloud integrations to meet the growing movement towards cloud or hybrid environments 
  • Extensive security controls such as the ability to set password policies and authenticate users 
  • Email and form security to protect emails and forms in motion or at rest. 
  • Reverse proxy to keeps your file sharing servers inside your private network and away from your DMZ. 

Related Reading: Top Features for Added Security and Compliance 

Why Are Third-Party Peer Reviews Important? 

While marketing materials from software solutions offer lots of valuable information, like technical details, use cases, testimonials, and case studies of the product in action, third-party software review sites are chock full of short reads by real customers sharing their personal experiences with the product – both positive and negative. Here’s a few sites to explore:  

As a bonus, these reviews often note what industry the customer is in, so the experiences related are even more helpful if trying to evaluate a solution based on your organization’s unique needs.  

MFT Industry Reports Add Additional Insights 

When it comes to evaluating MFT solutions, looking at the breadth of features, ease of implantation, customer support, or specific platform support can be very insightful. Annual or quarterly reports created by software industry analysts can be a good resource to explore.  

  • Info-Tech’s MFT Data Quadrant Report explores what real users have to say about MFT vendors and compares top providers head-to-head to show where they stand amongst their competitors. In the 2022 edition, Globalscape ranked in the top three for vendor and feature satisfaction. And Fortra's secure managed file transfer solutions hold two out of the top three spots for managed file transfer solutions.
  • G2’s MFT Grid Report also answers the question, “How do MFT vendors stack up to each other?” The report provides an analysis of providers in the MFT arena and covers satisfaction ratings, feature comparisons, market presence data, and more. Globalscape is called out as a Leader among the top providers in G2’s latest edition of the report.

Take Advantage of Free Trials and Demos of MFT Solutions 

Reading reviews, reports, and case studies offer a ton of insight, but there is nothing like seeing potential software in action to truly evaluate how a solution fits into your organization and can meet your unique needs.  

A free trial is an excellent way to determine which secure managed file transfer solution is right for you. Often, trials are good for at least 30 days. This minimal timeframe is useful as you can truly put a solution through its paces throughout your organization. 

Related Reading: Need Secure File Transfer? MFT Trials are Essential

Customized demonstrations are another excellent way to get your questions answered about how the product works. Globalscape offers free demonstrations so you can get the level of detail you need, whether you are starting from scratch, never having used a managed file transfer solution before, or if you’re experienced but want to check out your options for a more robust solution. 

Ultimate MFT Buyer’s Guide Helps Focus Search for MFT Solution 

For more details on what you can expect from your investment in MFT and what features to look for to ensure you’re getting the best ROI, be sure to check out our Buyer’s Guide for Secure Managed File Transfer. We’ve included a helpful, printable checklist to use when comparing solutions from different managed file transfer vendors. If you’re ready to get started now, book your free trial today.