If you need to move files inside or outside your organization, using a Managed File Transfer (MFT) solution will undoubtedly add value.
There are many different solutions on the market, and to maximize this value, your choice should lean towards a solution that meets the needs of the business. And who best knows these needs than business users themselves?
You may be tempted to put the selection in the hands of business users, and that is what some companies do.
Not only that, but certain software vendors specifically target business users, touting an appealing-sounding solution to meet their needs.
The problem is that you risk ending up with a solution that meets the needs of business users, but not the needs of your business.
The risks of shadow IT
When it comes to Managed File Transfer, business users are generally looking for a solution that is quick to implement, easy to use, and allows them to make the file exchanges they need to do their job.
By allowing or encouraging this type of solution, businesses risk ending up in a shadow IT situation, outside of the control of the organization.
Here are a few examples of aspects that may have been overlooked:
- Security: Should HR employees be allowed to configure how personnel information is shared with third parties? By allowing non-IT employees to configure security settings and policies, you will not be able to determine if corporate policies are being applied.
- Auditability and regulator governance: If medical personnel is using their own solution to share medical records, what will happen the day there is an audit? IT will struggle to find and assemble the necessary audit information for a specific transfer two years ago.
- Visibility and SLA management: How will business users be notified if something is wrong, and how will they address this? If you are a bank and exchanging files with a trading partner, how long might it take you to realize you are missing a daily transfer file?
- Scalability: If you have thousands of similar transfers with different partners, such as sharing payment information with different banks, how do you update all of these transfers the day regulations change?
- And finally, reliability: if you are making monthly benefit payments, sending daily orders, or exchanging urgent medical data, chances are you cannot afford your solution to be unavailable.
The cost of the solution
One of the main reasons business users select a particular solution is cost: some solutions come at an attractive price.
But what is often overlooked is the overall cost, and organizations need to consider the following carefully:
- Cost of acquisition: Although a solution might seem cheap, ensure you know what you are getting for the price. If you are getting the bare bones, what will happen in six months’ time when your needs expand?
- Costs for multiple departments: If each department buys licenses for its own use, you may end up with multiple contracts and not benefit from economies of scale.
- Operating costs: Who will manage the installation, upgrades, and network configuration? The more solutions you have the more complex this will become.
- Regulatory penalties: Fines for not meeting regulatory requirements can far outweigh any savings on the acquisition of the solution.
Avoiding this situation
Does this mean you should avoid solutions aimed at end-users? Not necessarily, everyone has different needs.
But organizations in regulated and accountable industries, such as finance or healthcare, or where the unavailability of the solution might have a significant business impact, such as retailers or manufacturers need to be careful.
These business drivers mentioned above are ones we’ve been addressing with our customers for several years.
We’ve worked closely with our customers and provide them with what they need:
- An enterprise solution: Axway Managed File Transfer to meet the file exchange needs of the organization, not just with business partners, but also application-to-application and human-to-human transfers.
- Ease of use for business users who can easily create and manage transfers using self-service capabilities, leaving all aspects of security and configuration to IT.
- Templates, to ensure all transfers are standardized and can be changed if necessary.
- Scalability and reliability to ensure the performance of your business is not compromised.
- Full visibility and audit, with the assurance that regulatory requirements are being met, consistently.
- Expertise and local presence to ensure proper implementation assistance and support.
So, if are looking to acquire an MFT solution and need one that meets the real needs of the business, look no further.
Discover additional information concerning Axway Managed File Transfer and download our white paper “9 keys to eliminating Shadow IT with a digital MFT shared service.”