Why is it that a large, mature company can unexpectedly fail while a younger competitor suddenly dominates the market?
Two reasons for this scenario are that the younger company has:
- Faster delivery of services to the market.
- More agile operations that enable quick innovation.
It’s not all about brand recognition anymore, it’s about speed.
The reason Uber turned the taxi industry upside down wasn’t because it had better drivers. It was, of course, because its mobile app created a faster and simpler experience for ordering rides. The use of modern cloud technology and APIs gave Uber the speed and agility it needed to solve problems more quickly and better than its larger competitors.
Disrupting On-Premises Data Transfer Systems
Much like the disruption of the traditional taxi industry model, a common technology used by today’s enterprise organizations is being disrupted: on-premises data transfer systems. These systems have been used for decades in supply chain processes to send and receive data from multiple protocols. Problematically, many of these existing data transfer solutions are built on FTP so they do not have the necessary modern mechanisms to ensure consistent management, monitoring, and security of critical data flows.
However, before data transfer systems can be improved, there is an even bigger elephant in the room that should be addressed first: legacy integration systems. It’s often put off because solving integration requires not only an entirely new integration architecture but also a new approach by IT that changes the entire organization. But when it’s solved, similar to the domino effect, all other technologies, such as data transfer, can be modernized more efficiently.
The Biggest Elephant in the Room: Tangled System Integration
“Almost every CIO I speak to, the first thing they say is they want to move faster and be able to make changes more quickly,” stated Ross Mason, founder of MuleSoft, in this interview at the Collision Conference. He went on to say, “They can’t do it. If the core of your business is a ball of mud and all just mushed together, it’s pretty awful.”
What is this “ball of mud” that Mason refers to? He describes it as a company’s ecosystem of systems that are tightly mushed together via point-to-point integrations. These connections are typically created using bulky middleware solutions that are very challenging to use and make integration projects slower and more painful.
Helping Clear the Mud: Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP)
In a 2019 report on automation and integration from 451 Research, over 300 global IT leaders were surveyed on their technology plans to enable digital business. Of the survey respondents, 81% acknowledged that a hybrid integration platform (HIP) was needed or was already in place at their organization to solve the problem of integrating cloud and on-premises systems, applications, data and mobile devices.
HIPs are the best way enterprises can solve the integration problem before they start working on “downstream” projects like improving data transfer. Through the use of reusable APIs, integration platforms enable companies to create an “application network” where all technology endpoints can be easily plugged in with significantly less development skills required.
According to 451 Research’s report, “HIPs represent the next-generation of integration platform as a service (iPaaS) technology to enable data exchange and interoperability across distributed and disparate on-premises infrastructure, software, cloud services, mobile devices and things that now compose modern hybrid IT architecture.”
Choose a Data Transfer System that Optimizes Integration Platforms
After an organization adopts an “API-first” approach to integration by using a hybrid integration platform, it will be better equipped to solve the problem of legacy data transfer systems. This is because integration platforms provide a flexible architecture to create and manage data transfer APIs that multiple lines of business can reuse, providing much greater agility and speed for exchanging data.
In order for data transfer to be successful with an integration platform, a company will need a modern data transfer solution that ensures consistent management, monitoring and security of critical data flows.
A Unified API-First Approach to Enterprise Data Transfer
Thru’s managed file transfer as a service (MFTaaS) provides a cloud-based data transfer solution that easily integrates with integration platforms via APIs or native MFT connectors for Boomi and MuleSoft. Thru’s iPaaS connectors enable enterprises to instantly map data transfer workflows to integration platforms, removing any need for custom coding or scripting, and add powerful features such as encryption for all transfers, management of endpoints and monitoring to track all activity.
Companies get several powerful features when managing file transfers with Thru rather than legacy data transfer systems:
- “Point-and-click” flow creation – Users can easily create data transfer workflows and label according to business use cases. These workflows can then be reused for other use cases, enabling fast business process creation. No need for coding or scripting.
- Streamlined partner onboarding – Users can log in to a web-based interface to set up flows and add endpoints of partners, making B2B integration with the enterprise loosely coupled and onboarding/changes more efficient.
- Alerts – Be notified of events such as endpoint inactivity, source connection errors and certificate expiration.
- Error handling – If an error occurs during transit, Thru automatically retries pushing or pulling files once the connection is recovered.
- Persistent storage – Files can be persistent in the Thru service (based off the retention/archival settings that have been set), allowing for the use of a replay system.
- Monitoring – Admins can monitor the status of file deliveries and also dig into the status of all deliveries via web-based dashboards.
Learn More About Integrating Data Transfer Using MFT
To learn how enterprises can efficiently transfer and manage high volume data transfers, read the white paper Managed File Transfer for the Extended Enterprise »
To learn more about how Thru’s MFT integrates with existing business platforms and processes to improve file transfers, go to Thru’s file transfer integrations page »
[Note: This blog was first published on June 3, 2019, and was updated to remove outdated product information.]