Migrating File Transfers to Cloud MFT Checklist


“Migrating more workloads to the cloud” is the second most important cloud initiative across all organizations, according to Flexera’s State of the Cloud Report. If that rings true for you, your company may be moving several systems to the cloud at once—and now is considering cloud managed file transfer (MFT).

migrate to cloud managed file transfer

You may be wondering, “What’s next after I pick a cloud MFT solution?” What can you do to make sure the migration is successful? How can you minimize the time that two file transfer solutions are running? How do you ease the transition for customers and users?

Because Thru is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, we manage migration and deployment for our customers. Here’s how our process works so you can understand what a successful cloud MFT migration looks like.

1. Defining Roles & Responsibilities

No matter how big or small the migration is, the first step is always choosing the right team.

At Thru, we have a two-person migration team: one person from the customer’s company (called a migration lead) and one person from our company. The migration lead communicates expectations and plans to their company. Our company representative advises them on best practices.

To make your own migration team, consider:

  • Has anyone in the IT team been involved in a successful migration before?
  • Who of those people has the most technical knowledge?
  • Who in the IT team is well-liked and respected by a variety of teams? They can announce migration timelines and field questions or concerns.

2. Auditing

What’s the first thing you do when you reorganize a closet? You take everything out and see what you’re dealing with.

Migration is a lot like re-organizing. You have to know what you have in place now before you make it more efficient. Ask:

  • Where are the current file transfer systems? Who can access them?
  • What endpoints are we and our partners using?
  • Who is using these file transfer systems?

Depending on how much information your IT team has already recorded, auditing could take a couple weeks.

3. Planning

Now that all the information is in one place, your migration team can begin recognizing patterns and organizing. When we work with customers on migration, we typically organize endpoints based on server/client and protocol type.

For example, we may work with a customer who discovers that their partners use 50 SFTP servers, 20 FTPS clients and 10 SFTP clients. Based on this discovery, they could make different phases of migration.

4. Scoping

With phases set, it’s time to determine what resources are required and what impact moving each category of endpoints would have. That results in a project plan for each category.

5. Collecting Information about Workflows

This step is the most difficult in the migration process because of how much technical detail is required. For each workflow, the customer needs to collect this information:

  • Host
  • User
  • Password
  • Path
  • Schedule
  • Type
  • Protocol
  • Certificate
  • SSL key
  • Encryption
  • Compression
  • Rename

6. Making Flows

This step is specific to each cloud MFT solution. In Thru, the user creates a flow for each workflow and adds the information collected in the step above.

7. Testing

Using sample files, test all the flows and make sure endpoints are successfully transferring files.

8. Deployment

Once all the tests are successful, the cloud MFT solution is ready for use. Keep in mind that deployment isn’t the end—it’s only the beginning. You need to continue supporting internal and external users to ensure that the cloud MFT solution is fully adopted.

Read the complete Thru MFT Migration Playbook »

If you’re interested in migrating MFT to the cloud, read more about cloud MFT deployment or get in touch with us by completing the form below.



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