The four most common MFT automation and workflow automation use cases
This year alone we’ve helped countless businesses with MFT automation workflows – sourcing the right managed file transfer solution and building their workflow automation. In this blog we’ve summarised four of the most common MFT automation examples we deliver, plus the benefits of MFT automation.
Business growth is hindered by manual processes or outdated, inefficient scripts. They are time intensive, costly and more susceptible to human error. Ultimately these processes generate little job satisfaction and employees’ time could be much better spent on tasks that add more value to their customers or service users.
Sophisticated automated file transfer is far more efficient in comparison. The quicker response times can give organisations the competitive edge, reducing costs and increasing margins.
MFT automation will encrypt and transfer data between systems and endpoints, eliminating the need for manual processing, scripts and multiple FTP servers. From simple transfers to complex multistep workflow automation and transfers from remote systems, most MFT solutions have an easy-to-use tool to build and schedule workflows. For example, monitoring folders to execute workflows when new or changed files appear. The scheduler allows you to set specific times to execute workflows, such as night time to minimise load on the server, or delay sending if users are on leave or absent.
Most common workflow automation use cases
We asked the Pro2col technical team to tell us the most common automation use cases they see, working with organisations from all industry sectors.
1. Securely pushing and pulling files to and from S3 and blob storage.
We’ve recently set this up for a customer for long-term archiving of financial data, and for a healthcare organisations for simple retrieval of patient data held across multiple disparate systems. This functionality is either enabled via an additional cloud connector module, or through capabilities native to your file transfer solution.
Managed file transfer solutions now have an increasing number of connector to cloud storage sites, including: Amazon S3, Citrix ShareFile, Dropbox, Google Cloud, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure, Box, OneDrive, Oracle Cloud and more.
The benefits of automating the integration of cloud storage into business processes are clear. Reduced manual intervention, near to real-time file based workflows, notification and audit trails are some of the most obvious, reducing processing time and therefore providing significant ROI. Whilst the same could be achieved by orchestration, Managed File Transfer provides a competitive, feature rich, competitively priced option for file-based workflows.
Managed file transfer solutions are also increasingly facilitating cloud-to-cloud workflows, so that businesses can link together best in class cloud technologies.
2. Collecting files from a defined location, extracting data from Excel and inputting it into a database.
3. Extracting files and converting them into different data formats.
4. Integration with cloud-based applications (eg: ServiceNow, Jenkins).
As you’ll see from these examples, automation can take different forms: System-to-system automation, triggering regular batch transfers and onward data gathering processes; person-to-system automation, such as web form data capture or order management with automate onward processes; and system-to-person automation which can manage the secure distribution of data. Whichever use case fits your business, we guarantee you will soon reap the benefits.
Benefits of MFT automation
- Security: Workflow automation will encrypt and transfer data between systems and endpoints, eliminating the need for manual processing, scripts and multiple FTP servers.
- Save time: Time-intensive manual processes and managing multiple outdated scripts both take up a lot of time. Automation allows businesses to re-invest team resources in order to focus on higher priority responsibilities.
- Cost savings: As well as saved staff time, automation helps prevent financial penalties associated with SLAs and data protection regulation violations.
- Visibility: Workflow automation is managed through a centralised platform, giving full control and operational visibility of all data transfer activity. This level of reporting is invaluable for compliance with regulations like the GDPR.
- Ease of use: Most MFT automation modules have an easy-to-use tool to build and schedule workflow automation. For example, monitoring folders to execute workflows when new or changed files appear. A scheduler allows you to set specific times to execute workflows, such as night time to minimise load on the server, or delay sending if users are on leave or absent.
- Scalability: This technology is scalable, meaning you can add additional modules or workflows as your business requirements grow. This future-proofs your solution.
- Accuracy: Maintaining multiple scripts written by different employees in different scripting languages introduces complexity and reduces your ability to scale file transfer activities. Automated file transfer solutions helps take the ‘human error’ out of this process.
We are currently offering up to a 10% discount on modules that address these or other automation use cases. Please get in touch to discuss your particular use case. Alternatively if you need help building your workflows, download our template. Our expert engineers have put this together to help you organise your file transfer automation workflows and file recipients before building or moving legacy workflows across.