Managed File Transfer – Your Answer to Digital Clutter

By Staff Contributor on July 12, 2017

managed file transfer

Managed File Transfer – Your Answer to Digital Clutter

Before the digital revolution, paperwork blanketed the business world, kept in filing cabinet after filing cabinet. Today, however, we write, read, and sign documents on our devices, and then use the internet to store and transfer them. Although our desks may be less cluttered with paper, digital clutter has taken its place. And just because out of sight is out of mind, the issues created by overstuffing and not organizing our virtual file cabinets are no less real.

Any organization creates and accumulates large quantities of data and documents quickly. You will need to safely organize, move, and eventually delete or store files. Managing digital files is as important as managing paper files. Although digital files might take up less visual space than paper filing cabinets, server space is not infinite and searching through messy, disorganized files can be more time-consuming than thumbing through stacks of manila folders. Managing digital files and reducing digital clutter can help to increase efficiency, improve business operations, and save money across your entire company.

Creating Digital Clutter

There are several reasons why digital clutter accumulates and creates problems for companies. When you’re not staring at big, imposing metal filing cabinets day in and day out, it’s easy to ignore the need to limit the buildup of the papers that fill them. Without a well-defined plan for digital file management, files can be easily duplicated, misfiled, improperly deleted, or vulnerable to malicious hacking.

Reducing Digital Clutter

These six approaches can help you manage and protect digital files while lessening clutter:

  1. Guide your digital filing with a folder and file structure. When you set up your virtual filing cabinets, create a particular digital process rather than just re-creating your old paper-based approach. Understand hierarchical file structure and follow it to design your folder organization.
  2. Use a consistent file naming convention. Following file naming best practices helps limit the creation of duplicate files with different names or files that are difficult to locate.
  3. Either delete or archive old or out-of-date documents and data. It is important to have a carefully crafted records management and document retention policy. Your business may be required by law to retain certain materials, and some industries have additional regulations they must also observe. The retention guidelines will help to ensure that records you must keep are not deleted before they can be or, conversely, that you don’t hang on to outdated information that you no longer need to keep.
  4. Protect your files by limiting or restricting user permissions and access. All employees should not have equal access to your company’s digital filing system. The ability to access confidential data, make structural changes, or move files should be related to a person’s role, which helps ensure that unauthorized users can’t upload malicious files, mistakenly delete important information, or steal confidential data.
  5. Use strong passwords to protect valuable company data further. Although it is tempting to allow users to pick easy-to-remember passwords, so they aren’t slowed down or locked out of their work, doing so is an open invitation to hackers. Set and enforce strong password guidelines.
  6. Create multiple backups stored in different locations. By following digital file management best practices, you will not have excess data cluttering up backups, saving storage space and expense.

Clutter-Busting Tools

Instead of using an insecure FTP service to manage and move digital documents, consider switching to a Managed File Transfer (MFT) Server. With MFT technology, you can centralize your file management process. It allows you to customize your digital file transfer and storage processes to fit your records management and security policies. MFT also helps to eliminate employees’ use of different unauthorized, and often insecure, transfer tools to manage moving their digital files. Keep your data and documents protected from insecure third-party applications, cloud sites, and hackers. Additionally, ensure that your file management processes comply with any legal or industry regulations that apply to your business.

Another advantage of MFT technology is that you can automate your digital filing processes.  Automation not only simplifies file management, but also increases efficiency, productivity, and security. As a result, MFT offers an excellent return on investment for businesses.

To find an MFT Server solution that provides the most value in conquering digital clutter, look for these features:

Automation: With Serv-U® MFT Server from SolarWinds, you can manage digital clutter by customizing how long files are stored before they are automatically moved to archives or deleted.

Administration: The following options help simplify digital file management tasks:

  • The ability to perform freeform searches in shared files
  • Anonymous file sharing
  • File sharing both for files stored on a server and new files created on an end-user’s computer
  • File sharing restrictions based on users, groups, password requirements, file size, number of files, and other company policies
  • File availability expiration dates
  • Sync files to avoid unnecessary duplication

The shift from dealing with towering stacks of paper to digital filing systems is welcome. Nevertheless, file management is still an important task for avoiding excessive digital clutter which can slow you down, make you less productive, and leave you vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. An automated file management tool, like a Managed File Transfer Server, can be your answer to digital clutter. Download a free 14-day trial of SolarWinds® Serv-U MFT Server here.

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