How to Achieve SFTP Automation in Your Organization




Whether you regularly receive 10 or 10,000 file transfers from your SFTP partners, it can be frustrating to go in and manually retrieve, unencrypt, and process these documents. Not only is this process time-consuming, manual work can leave you open to user errors and security vulnerabilities, and often requires you to use other tools, like PC applications, to ensure everything is tracked in the event an unexpected business or compliance audit occurs.

Like most things, there’s a better way to handle small, medium, or large volumes of SFTP file transfers. And this way is through the implementation of SFTP automation.

What is SFTP Automation?

SFTP automation allows IT professionals to streamline their organization’s exchange of data over a secure SFTP connection. Automation can improve multiple transfer processes: projects and tasks to run, file monitoring, data exchanged with cloud or web services, recurrent file transfers, and file encryption.

With software for file transfer automation in place, administrators can quickly set up workflows and tasks that will provide end-to-end automation for SFTP file transfers. This means you can set up your transfers to run at certain dates and times, build a flow for how you want the project to function, and then shift your focus to other business-critical objectives while your automation software does the heavy lifting.

What an Automation Workflow Looks Like

To get an idea what a workflow for SFTP automation looks like, consider this: you set up a workflow to retrieve remote direct deposits from an SFTP trading partner every Tuesday morning at 8 a.m.

When the time comes, the workflow reaches out across the secure SFTP connection, accesses a secure folder on the partner’s network, and retrieves the documents you need. Once these documents are back in your network, the workflow then automatically decrypts these files, translates them into different file formats (e.g., CSV, EDI, XML), and drops them into a folder for your team to process.

Three Steps to SFTP Automation

If you’re ready to simplify your SFTP file transfers and ease up on the manual work they require, you’re a perfect candidate for SFTP automation. Follow these three easy steps to start automating file transfers in your organization.

1. Start the search for file transfer automation software.

The best way to achieve SFTP automation in your organization, while also reducing your workload and homegrown processes, is to find and implement a file transfer automation solution. SFTP automation is frequently wrapped into a managed file transfer (MFT) solution like GoAnywhere MFT. In one single, centralized product, you’ll have the chance to automate your SFTP and other secure FTP connectivity (including FTPS, AS2, and HTTPS).

2. Evaluate the software to determine which features appeal to you.

Not every solution with file transfer automation is built the same. As you evaluate different products to determine which one will best suit your needs, here are features to consider:

Workflow Tasks: Tasks can be used to personalize the flow a project proceeds through upon triggering. GoAnywhere comes with 60+ tasks that help administrators improve the performance of their business processes. From compression to data translation, emails to loops, these tasks can be connected within a project and automate every aspect of your SFTP file transfers.

Built-in Scheduler: Most likely, you’ll want a solution that doesn’t require scripts, programming, or other technical knowledge to start building your SFTP automation processes. GoAnywhere’s setup of SFTP automation is intuitive. A built-in scheduler allows you to plan when your automated file transfers should execute, and calendars can be customized to ensure your projects don’t run on the dates you’d like to exclude (e.g., certain days of the week, holidays, etc.).

File Monitoring: A file monitor can detect when new, modified, or deleted files are placed in a SFTP or FTPS trading partner’s folder for retrieval. It will scan specified folders regularly, as well as watch local folders if you need to process files added internally by different departments. The file monitor can also trigger a project to run whenever new files are found and notify you if errors occur throughout the process. Goodbye manual work, hello simplicity!

3. Take the software for a test spin and see its benefits for yourself.

Once you’ve found an SFTP automation solution and have checked that it comes with the features you need to streamline your file transfer processes, take it for a spin! Most vendors offer a 14- to 30-day trial of their solution.

Here are a few things to check out during your software trial:

  • Is it easy to build new SFTP file transfers?
  • How quickly can you execute and run a new file transfer?
  • Can you execute multiple workflows for file transfers concurrently?
  • Is the solution able to scale to match future automation needs?
  • Are you able to easily resume a dropped SFTP file transfer?

Achieve SFTP Automation with GoAnywhere MFT

So, how can you achieve SFTP automation? Easy—by giving GoAnywhere a spin! With GoAnywhere on your side, you’ll be able to simplify and streamline your trading partner connectivity, file transfer processes, workflow automation, and more in a matter of days.

Start with a free trial of our file transfer software, or request a personalized walkthrough of GoAnywhere’s SFTP automation features to see if our MFT solution is right for you.