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Hidden Cost of "Free" File Transfers

1 Nov 2023

The Hidden Cost of "Free" File Transfers

With 329 million terabytes of data being created each day, the ability to transfer files quickly and dependably has become a core business process for every business. Surprisingly, some businesses continue to entrust this critical dependency to free file transfer software.

But is this software truly “free”…?

A study by Aberdeen Group identified hidden costs that businesses incur using “free” file transfer mechanisms. In fact, 80% of files sent through e-mail attachments or “free” file transfer services ended up costing organisations money in the long run.


It’s taking longer to move a lot of data around.  For example, as our businesses are finding new ways to make use of the high-resolution cameras in our smartphones, video files growing exponentially in size. HD video – with files measured in gigabytes - is already the standard.  But 4K videos – typically hundreds of gigabytes– will soon be the norm.

Moving high-res movies around finds employees spending more time than ever before simply waiting for file transfers to complete.

When your team is sitting around waiting for a file to arrive, there’s a significant reduction in their productivity. If it takes them 3 hours to send a file, that’s 3 hours where both they and their collaborator are without the file needed to work effectively.

Multiply the number of hours by the salaries of both professionals in question and the “free” file transfer isn’t free anymore.

How often have you tried to send a file, only to have the transfer crash out midway?  It’s not just frustrating, it’s a further waste of time.

When file transfers fail, the non tech savvy among us need to seek the help of their IT department.  So, not only is their time being wasted, but there’s a labour cost in resolving the problem.

Aberdeen’s study estimated that resolving each stalled file transfer required a cumulative 11 hours of team time.

Even when files successfully transfer, there remain significant cybersecurity risks when sensitive files are sent via free services.

In Aberdeen’s study, free service transfers were twice as likely to result in security breaches compared to those conducted with professional Managed File Transfer software such as GoAnywhere. Major security issues took an average of 16 business hours to resolve and cost companies millions of dollars.

When files are too big to send as email attachments, employees turn to “free” transfer tools. However, the time spent finding such tools could have been better spent on their core responsibilities.

There’s not only a better way to move data around your business and its supply chain… it’s also a more cost-effective way.  Aberdeen’s study found that businesses which invested a little in a professional Managed File Transfer solution had a median return of almost 500 times their investment.

When it comes to Managed File Transfer solutions, there is one acknowledged industry leader – GoAnywhere MFT.  GoAnywhere automates and encrypts data between an organisation’s employees and with its trading partners, protecting from unnecessary vulnerabilities while vastly improving file transfer speed and quality.


If you’d like to discuss how GoAnywhere MFT could improve your organisation’s productivity and bottom line, please feel free to contact me (, or read more at the Generic Systems Australia website.

Bradley Copson,

Business Manager,

Generic Systems Australia

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