Using data in a cloud-based SFTP SaaS location can provide companies a secure method for remote work while removing the setup and maintenance required in locally stored business data.
What Is Cloud-Based SFTP SaaS?
Let’s break it down:
- When storage is cloud-based, your information is stored in data centers (not locally) — making a ‘cloud’ of data that can be accessed from anywhere using the internet.
- SSH file transfer protocol (or SFTP) is the leading standard for secure data transfer between a computer and a remote location, such as secure cloud-based storage.
- Software as a service (SaaS) is a hosted application provided by another company that allows you to connect to your cloud-based data. While software exists in all areas of cloud computing, the two other primary services are:
- Platform as a service (PaaS): Tools like operating systems provided by another company. Some examples are Google Drive and Microsoft 365.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): Server storage or renting space in an actual data center provided by another company. Some examples are Google Computing Engine and Microsoft Azure.
When you put it all together, cloud-based SFTP SaaS is file sharing application that allows you to securely connect to data stored in a remote location.
What Businesses Can Benefit from a Cloud-Based SFTP SaaS Solution?
Simply put: any business that wants to securely transfer data between a network of computers and does not want to spend resources to create and manage their own data infrastructure can significantly benefit from a cloud-based SFTP SaaS solution.
While SaaS is not required for cloud-based SFTP data storage, connecting to data without a SaaS would require building and maintaining an in-house solution. Self-hosting involves a lot of additional resources and expertise — coordinating with server hosts, implementing security protocols, creating a process/user interface for interacting with your data, ongoing maintenance, and software updates — just to name a few.
By selecting a SaaS solution, you receive your service provider’s experience and resources to manage the technical requirements for building and maintaining access to your data. In addition, an SFTP SaaS solution will include future improvements to features and security standards that do not need to be fully managed in-house.
For a more detailed list of benefits, you can visit our blog post: SFTP as a Service: Benefits Explained.
Finding Your Cloud-Based SFTP SaaS Solution
While selecting a service provider to manage your data exchange can be stressful, it is a significant decision for any business. It’s important to choose a SaaS provider that meets your basic file transfer requirements and provides confidence that your data is in good hands.
If you’ve decided a cloud-based SFTP SaaS solution is the right choice for your business, use the following list to guide your review of potential service providers.
How much data will you be storing on your SFTP server?
- Depending on the volume and type of data your company will be using, storage use can vary significantly.
- If you are dealing with spreadsheets and word processing documents circulated to a limited group of people, you will be able to do most business with a smaller sized plan.
- If your data includes large format images, videos, or massive quantities, you will likely need to consider terabytes of data storage, not gigabytes.
What requirements do you need for data transfer between your computer and the cloud?
- By selecting SFTP data storage, you have already guaranteed the standard for secure data transfer for your SaaS solution.
- Even with SFTP, it’s important to know where and how your data is being stored and transferred.
- Some industries may require additional security compliance; make sure you understand all requirements for secure file transfer of your data.
- Some examples of other compliance regulations include: FedRAMP (federal agencies) and GDPR (UK and EU data privacy)
How will you receive help with your SaaS application?
- A SaaS application means you will be relying on external support when you have questions or encounter issues.
- Talking with service providers before committing or joining a trial is a great way to get a feel of the support they provide users on their application.
- Additionally, your service provider may offer partner or enterprise programs that include additional support.
- Having an extensive support wiki available and easy to navigate is another way to know that a service provide values it clients and their success with the product.
How will your users interact with the system?
- If your users are looking for a quick and simple way to circulate data, make sure the software is user friendly, has a web interface for online access, and includes clear and helpful instructions
- Alternatively, your user may be more advanced and anticipate manually connecting through FTP and SFTP, or may need development integrations such as APIs.
- Understanding how users interact with the software is helpful to consider for the long-term growth of your company.
How much will it cost to implement the SaaS solution?
- While it is often the most crucial decision for your company, price was intentionally listed last.
- It is important to consider all the items listed above when coming to a final decision on price.
- Even if you have found an SFTP SaaS provider that is a great price, consider how your company’s growth may change your use of the service in the future; what might be additional costs if you need to increase storage, users, or improve features?
Brad is one of our customer service superstars. He loves breaking down industry terms, so the language is accessible to everyone. Through his technical knowledge of the SaaS industry, SFTP, and working with our clients, he’s put together this blog to help you understand what’s involved in finding the right cloud-based SFTP solution for your business.