The term “Managed File Transfer” (MFT) started to emerge in the mid 2000’s as a means to clearly distinguish between the 1980’s “File Transfer Protocol” (FTP) and the fresh approach companies were beginning to use to transfer data.
As defined by Gartner, “Managed file transfer software and services enable users to manage and monitor file transfers within and between organizations.” In this definition Gartner uses “manage” and “monitor” to highlight and explain the key differences between MFT and FTP.
- Manage – means to manage all file transfers using one interface (one place) across all business units, operations, systems, applications, partners, etc.
- Monitor – means to monitor all file transfers in one centralized location which in turn means better governance, compliance and reduced IT costs.
Driven by increasingly stringent privacy regulations and the need to quickly transfer and track files globally, many organizations are in the process of replacing their legacy FTP systems and moving towards MFT solutions. In fact, cloud-based managed file transfer solutions are gaining the most momentum (more on this subject in future blogs).