B2B Integration

Key Trends Driving the Growth in Managed File Transfer (MFT)

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This is the first post in a series on Managed File Transfer. To learn more, watch this webinar with IDC Analyst Jerry Silva as he discusses the trends and issues facing the banking industry today.

Demand for Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions continues to grow as the most reliable and efficient means for secure data and file transfer, outpacing and outperforming FTP, HTTP and other methods.

Businesses today operate in a global and highly-connected universe with increasing demand for secure data exchange. The transfer of business-critical data is essential in industries from banking and financial services to defense and manufacturing. For business to run smoothly, constantly emerging and evolving forms of digital data, packaged in the form of “files,” must be moved, duplicated, synchronized and shared.

In our Internet and mobile driven world, where user-experiences with technology are increasingly polished and smooth, expectation are high and rising. To consumer and the non-technical business person data exchange may seem simple, but the truth is of course much more complex.  Even so, we as CIOs and technology professionals, expect instant response times for any kind of application and the use of the most current data.

These expectations and other forces are impacting MFT growth and product requirements in a number of ways including:

Data Volumes Growing:  Data volumes are growing while batch processing windows continue to shrink.  Today’s workload requirements for MFT tend to be higher-frequency batching and larger and more varied files than in the past. There also is a demand for innovative application processes that exploit MFT capabilities for streaming transfers.

Security:  Cybersecurity requirements and concerns continue to heighten, leading to the adoption of newer security technologies. Security solutions are increasing the security processing overhead of applications, including but not limited to MFT. MFT systems, where possible, must compensate for security processing overhead, through support for hardware-accelerators, high performance security process software, and ongoing file transfer throughput improvements.

Big Data and IoT:  Further, businesses are more frequently deploying MFT technology beyond its traditional role to enable bulk transaction file exchange, particularly in areas such as IoT data analysis or other big data analytics. These scenarios typically demand the use of current (today’s or yesterday’s), not aging (last week or last month’s) data. This puts a premium on the speed of file transfers.  In addition, the data volumes are constantly growing since analytics improvements are often based on analyzing deeper, more detailed forms of data.  This one-two punch of speed and file volume creates a special challenge for MFT.

IDC, a leading technology analyst firm, notes that “Managed file transfer software will continue to be in demand because enterprises have more and more data in motion. Cloud, IoT, and distributed computing are all driving the need for moving workloads efficiently and securely… Enterprises want to have better control and more insight into file transfer, and MFT tools give them that auditability”.[1]

 

Recognizing these trends and demands, over the course of the next [few weeks], we’ll explore a series of MFT related topics in this blog, including:

 

  • High performance MFT
  • Data Security
  • “Always On” global digital business
  • Visibility and governance
  • Advanced automation and application integration
  • B2B Standards — EBICS
  • Cloud MFT

Ready to learn more? Check out 7 Ways IBM is Leading the Security Push In Managed File Transfer.

[1] IDC: “Worldwide Managed File Transfer Software Forecast”, 2016–2020, September 2016

Senior Product Management, Watson Supply Chain

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