Business needs of every organization are evolving. With technology playing a critical role in controlling these changes, organizations have no choice but to adapt, evolve, or resist and stay back in the race. With rising influence of Big Data, Mobility and Cloud, the way we communicate and transfer data has also been forced to match these trends. The "How", the "What" and the "Where" of communication have been redefined.
Considering the fact that most of the business integration happens over files, organizations no longer have the liberty to ignore and mismanage their enterprise file transfer systems. The channels and the speed of communication have gained more importance that ever before in business integration.
To add to this commotion, average file size has been increasing over time. Legacy systems, which had been catering to organizations since time unknown, are unable to handle such large file transfers and failing to perform under the conditions. This is due to the fact that most of the older systems are FTP based, and they often fail during the transfer of large files. With no check point restart, the file transfer then has to start from the beginning, resulting in huge time losses. The limited few systems which survived these changes, have also been under performing with low transfer speeds, weak security and lack of scalability - to such an extent that the businesses are feeling the heat now.
Some of the key industries, which need fast file transfers either due to large file sizes or criticality, are Media, Manufacturing, Retail, Energy, Insurance, Pharma and Healthcare.
Major reasons for the rise in file sizes are as given below:
- Increasing need and quality of digital assets
- Increasing level of information from new sources
- Bundling of information for a unified/holistic view
- Ease of data transfer from high latency locations
The current file management systems definitely leave several needs unmet. Typical protocols that used to support organization's file transfers include FTP, SFTP, HTTPS etc., but they have been rendered ineffective for fast transfer of large structured or unstructured files, due to reasons mentioned earlier.
In my opinion, the need of the hour is a comprehensive solution, which provides a holistic answer to this issue. This is where a Managed File Transfer (MFT) comes into play. MFT is faster, simpler, safer and streamlined in comparison to the usual methods. It offers faster transfers, improved security, check point restart, audit reports, alert mechanism etc. Product vendors have researched and implemented fast file transfer systems using several methods such as:
- High compression of files to drastically reduce sizes
- Split the file into several components and send through several pipelines
- Compress and then split the file for sending through several pipelines
These are done by overcoming the shortcomings of functionalities in both UDP and TCP based transportation mechanisms. [See the basic difference between UDP and TCP here]
In the pursuit for high speed transfer, let us not ignore the obvious features of security and reliability. Without features such as check-point restart and audit reports, no file transfer solution is complete. Are you considering to replace your legacy file systems now?