There are several reasons you should use an alternative to email for sharing files online:
It removes content from email servers. Eliminating email traffic means more responsive email servers, faster message delivery times, slower growth in email storage, lower costs for additional infrastructure, lower IT labor costs, shorter backup windows, and faster restores after a system crash. It is also important to note that using a separate file transfer infrastructure can help you extract greater value from you existing.
It encrypts content. The vast majority of attachment management solutions currently available encrypt content, ensuring that the risk of inadvertent data loss is minimized. This lowers an organization’s overall risk of a data breach and can result in greater peace-of-mind for decision makers.
It provides auditing capabilities. An important benefit of most attachment management solutions is that they allow the tracking and auditing of content sent through them. That means senders can track when their content was received and, in many cases, who opened it and when they did so. This is an important benefit for demonstrating that commitments and other obligations are met.
What You Should Look For
As you consider a File Transfer/Online Collaboration program that will meet your organization’s needs, consider these factors:
- Ease of use. Any attachment management solution should be easy for users or they simply will not employ it as part of their daily routine. A solution that imposes a number of extra steps or that does not fit well into existing workflows will simply be ignored by users, regardless of the benefits it offers. The key to success is to offer a tight, seamless and easily managed solution without impacting the way users work.
- It must not impose file-size limits. Any file-sharing system that imposes unreasonable file-size limits will simply remain unused, resulting in the same problems that organizations today experience with email as a file transfer tool.
- Training requirements should be minimal. Along with ease of use is the requirement that user training be minimal. A program that can quickly be learned will be used more broadly and will minimize the cost of switching from email as a file transfer solution.
- Auditing of content for legal and regulatory requirements must be possible. Your program must permit content to be audited, providing sufficiently detailed reports about message delivery that satisfy legal and regulatory requirements.
- Integration with corporate systems and policies. Your program must easily fit into the existing corporate infrastructure, seamlessly blending with the workflows and policies in your organization, as well as the existing email, CRM and other key elements of the infrastructure.
- Online Data Backup. Document backup is an added bonus to sharing, storing, and managing documents online. Documents should be stored in secure, offsite data center facilities equipped with redundant servers that guarantee 99.9% up-time.
- Online Document Collaboration. Key stakeholders should be able to collaborate on files with colleagues, partners or customers with features like document version control, audit trails, locking, document commenting and more.
- Permissions. Users should be able to easily control access to documents, folders or sub-folders with a permission-based document management system.
- Document Version Control. Manage your document collaboration process with document version control, overwrite protection, commenting, and document locking.
There are several free and paid options for sharing and collaborating on large files online, and it seems new ones are popping up every day. Here are some articles that will help you narrow down the choices: