Blog | January 25, 2014

FTP Replacement: Making the Shift Towards Web-Based File Management

by Melissa Kelly in Marketing Operations

Anyone who has used an FTP system to manage files and data can tell you that while it can sometimes be useful for businesses to transfer files, the technology leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to many other business functions.

FTP, or file transfer protocol, is a commonly used system to transfer files from one host to another over the Web. The technology has been around for a long time, 1971 to be exact, and in previous years it was a preferred solution used by countless businesses and individuals.

However, FTP does not address the changing needs of today’s business customer as it once did. Today’s business users are not merely transferring files between each other. These files need to be accessed all over the world, at all times from any number of different devices. Teams are increasingly collaborating over files and documents in real time, and they expect to be able to do so when they’re working remotely and not able to discuss a project face-to-face.

Though it is a useful tool for enterprises, FTP cannot meet all the needs that businesses have in today’s dynamic and fast paced world. We have previously discussed many reasons why online file sharing is more efficient than FTP – no size limitations, ease of use, security, accessibility and no email bounce backs. Today, we’ll discuss in more general terms why many businesses are straying away from FTP as the go-to tool for file sharing.

Since it is such an ingrained technology, FTP replacement may seem like a daunting task for businesses that want to find a new way to securely transfer and manage files. And with the overwhelming amount of online file sharing services out there, it can be a frustrating process choosing the right one for your business’ needs.

Although there are a host of factors to take into consideration when choosing a web-based file management system, here are a few important features to look for when taking on the project of FTP replacement.

As mentioned earlier, today’s enterprise users demand accessibility of their files and other materials on a wide range of devices. FTP generally does not facilitate quick and reliable access to files via mobile devices, so look for an online file sharing solution that has a solid and robust mobile app or interface. This will help narrow your search considerably, so it’s a good factor to start with when considering different providers.

Secondly, business teams need an easy platform on which to collaborate effectively, a process not exactly native to an FTP client. Find a web-based file management system that offers strong collaboration tools that help make your workflows efficient: look for intuitive designs and ease of use, notifications and version controls included in the system.

Finally, the content and files that are being stored on an online file sharing system are valuable, sensitive company data. The third important criteria to look for when evaluating a web-based file management system is strong security measures and the ability to customize who can access which files. This will save you from a lot of anxiety and stress in the long run when you find a provider that prioritizes the security of your sensitive data from the get go.