In most organizations, people are responsible for transferring files to one another. Occasionally, they must transfer large files or sensitive files, requiring extra attention and care. If managed improperly, this process can be slow, unreliable, and worst of all, insecure.
So what steps can you take to improve file transfer in your organization?
The Problems With File Transfer
Generally speaking, we encounter a few major problems when it comes to transferring files:
- Ease of use. First, you need to have a system in place that’s accessible and easy to use. Most of the people in your organization will need to send files at one point or another, whether they’re sending a contract for a customer to sign or are sharing a spreadsheet with a coworker. If the platform is intuitive, people will be able to use it efficiently – and avoid the risk of a security issue in the process. Additionally, if you’re sharing files with clients, you’ll need to make sure your system is equally accessible and intuitive for them.
- Speed of transfer. The speed of transfer also counts. With a USB 3.0 port, you can transfer up to 5 Gigabits per second (Gbps), but what if you’re uploading the file to a cloud platform? What if you’re sending a link to someone? If you work in an industry where every minute counts, you need to transfer files as quickly as possible.
- Security and privacy. Keeping your files secure is an absolute must. You may work in an industry where you’re legally required to follow certain security and privacy protocols. Even if this isn’t the case, you’ll want to have tight security controls in place.
- Versatility. Can you use the same system to transfer all types of files, to both internal and external contacts? What else can you use the system for? Does it integrate with your project management or communication platforms?
- Large file management. You and your clients may run into issues when transferring larger files. For example, in Gmail, there’s a strict size limit of 25 MB for attachments. Do you have a plan in place for dealing with these massive files? Can you find a way to transfer them efficiently?
- Cost efficiency. There are many platforms available to help you store, organize, manage, and transfer files – but not all of them are reasonably priced. You need systems and strategies that work cost-efficiently if you’re going to succeed.
What steps can we take to resolve these issues?
How to Improve File Transfer
These strategies can help you improve file transfer within your organization:
- Invest in the right file transfer platform. Everything starts with having the right file transfer platform in place. The right file transferring software will allow you to conveniently upload, store, manage, organize, and transfer files in your organization – whether you’re transferring to coworkers or external clients. Good platforms will also have all the security features you need, the integrations you want, and a cost that you can reasonably afford.
- Make use of additional security measures. When possible, try to take advantage of optional security features for sensitive documents. For example, if you’re transferring sensitive files, invest in two-factor authentication or an extra password to ensure only the correct recipient can see it.
- Formalize and document file transfer security protocols. Make sure you write down the correct processes for uploading and transferring files. How are your team members supposed to initiate file transfers with clients?
- Shrink or effectively manage large files. What do you do with big files? In some cases, you may be able to shrink the size of these files for more efficient storage and transfer; for example, you can compress some files without compromising their integrity. If you can’t shrink a file (like if you need to preserve a full-size, high-definition image), consider upgrading your file transferring platform to handle these types of transfers.
- Train your employees. Take the time to train your employees on all file transferring protocols – especially those related to security. Can you confirm that each team member knows the correct processes for uploading and transferring files? Do they know the importance of securing their accounts with strong passwords? Are they capable of transferring and managing files securely, while remaining compliant?
- Reflexively update. Your file transferring systems should not remain stagnant. As we see the rollout of new technologies and new standards, and as you collect feedback from within your organization, you should be prepared to update your workflows and approaches.
File transfer doesn’t have to be expensive, complicated, or an inherent security risk. It’s going to take time to research, investigate, and try out multiple file sharing platforms and systems, but once you have a better workflow in place, your organization will run much smoother.
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