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The CIO-level business angle on the latest tech
How often does this happen to you? You're on deadline to finish a project and send the resulting document to others. Maybe it's a presentation you're preparing for your executive team or a deliverable for a client. You attach the precious file to an email and hit Send. Then the dreaded message shows up. Either your or the recipient's email system can't handle the file because it's too large. Or another favorite message: Your email box is over its limit and you can't send anything until you delete or archive other files. Either way, your productivity comes to a screeching halt until you find a workaround for delivering that document.
The workarounds are usually inconvenient as well as insecure. Frustrated email users who can't send large attachments often turn to one of these alternatives:
1. Breaking up the file into multiple smaller files, forcing the recipient to reassemble the pieces.
2. Using an FTP server, which may or may not be secure.
3. Using a file transfer service designed for personal use.
4. Using a personal email account that doesn't have file size limits.
5. Putting the file on a thumb drive and taking or sending it to the intended recipient.
Of course, these "solutions" introduce a whole new set of problems for the company. It may be impossible to track the document, to know who has seen it or whether it has been received by the right person or people. The delivery method could be very insecure and may violate privacy or confidentiality regulations. And, the workaround is so much more inconvenient and time consuming than simply being able to attach the file to an email message.
Enterprise email systems were not designed to handle large attachments. Yet the reality today is that 98% of the bits that are stored on an email server are attributed to attachments. Think how much more efficient your email system could be if you could offload even a portion of those files.
There are several enterprise-class file transfer solutions on the market that are aimed at taking the pressure off your email system for sending and receiving files that can range up to several gigabytes in size. To keep your users from turning to non-secure consumer-class file transfer applications, it's time to investigate a secure file transfer solution.
Let me first make the distinction between "enterprise" and "consumer" tools for sending large files. Enterprise products are specifically built for business use. They include good security features, such as encryption, virus-checking and SSL. They have features like audit trails and private access to files in order to meet business regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA. They integrate with enterprise email systems like Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes and with directory systems like Active Directory and LDAP. They ensure complete receipt and delivery of files in the event of an interruption in transmission. In short, enterprise-level file transfer products are designed to protect your critical business information.