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Cloud Remote Monitoring and Management Platforms — Definitions and Benefits for MSPs

February 1, 2021

By Peter Barnett

A cloud-based RMM (remote monitoring and management) platform is the key that unlocks a wealth of different benefits for IT teams and the businesses they serve. Whether deploying an RMM solution within your internal IT department, or MSP, the capabilities this solution will achieve could be revolutionary for your IT management.

But what exactly is an RMM platform, and what are these advantages? What should you look out for as you select the right workstation management software for your needs? Read on to discover more.

What Is a Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) Platform?

An RMM platform is defined as a central vantage point from which IT teams can oversee a company-wide network of remote user device endpoints. It works in much the same way as traditional remote monitoring tools and management, except it is delivered via the cloud, achieving full flexibility and capability across any number of distributed staff members.

So, are RMM solutions really so revolutionary? Well, in terms of functionality, the platform is basically an extension of the in-office model of monitoring and management. However, when we look at what an RMM solution can achieve, we see that it really is revolutionary for modern businesses.

Imagine how unwieldy business would be if you had to extend in-house management models to all your different remote teams. Imagine how quickly endpoints and corporate data would be exposed to security vulnerabilities. A robust IT management software & monitoring tools sidestep these issues, providing IT reliability and efficiency even at scale.

An RMM tool enables IT professionals to:

  • Carry out monitoring and analytics functions across the entire network, from one central location
  • Provide real-time support to end-users
  • Manage access to user endpoints remotely and implement security software protection across all endpoints from a central location
  • Achieve company-wide updates on key software pieces with minimal disruption and downtime
  • Streamline IT processes to provide optimal benefit to clients and customers with minimized downtime and a proactive approach to meeting customer needs
  • Complete other tasks related to IT monitoring and management with increased efficiency and efficacy

All staff members who work via an internet-enabled device will benefit from RMM platform implementation, but it is the IT team who will gain the greatest advantages. These IT professionals — whether operating on an in-house basis or overseen by a managed service provider — will find that their jobs become that much easier and that they are able to achieve a strategic approach to growth and development that simply was not possible under traditional monitoring and management models.

What Is an RMM Solution Used For? And What Are the Benefits?

We’ve touched on what an RMM platform is and what it can achieve. Now it’s time to get down to the nuts and bolts of what the solution is really used for.

Endpoint management and security

Security is always a concern for businesses, but for businesses deploying remote teams, the risk becomes even more acute. Businesses now need more than just a small-scale, single-location solution — they need to be able to achieve comprehensive endpoint protection across all users and all devices, wherever these devices and users may be found.

A remote monitoring system like an RMM solution achieves these scaled-up security objectives without difficulty, providing effective endpoint protection and security software for both small businesses and enterprise-level organizations. Central teams can carry out patch management tasks, ensuring the security solutions are up-to-date on each device, as well as monitoring user patterns to identify risky behaviors. Automated patch management and software distribution can also remove the labor associated with operating manual endpoint security tools.

Real-time monitoring and alerting

What happens when you recognize a problem, but you recognize it too late? While you can still take steps to mitigate the issue, lost time can cause problems of its own and may lead to network-wide catastrophes such as system failure. A centrally managed, cloud-based solution enables monitoring in real-time, eliminating the risk of a problem that spirals out of control.

Being able to proactively monitor systems is only part of the advantage. This is backed up with alerts that provide additional safety, recognizing issues even when manual monitoring is not possible, and delivering warnings to those that need them.

Health and performance checks

The real-time monitoring listed above is a data-driven strategy, and it is not the only function of an RMM solution that draws heavily from available data. Health and performance checks give businesses a picture of their networks, delivering an understanding of how everything is shaping up and identifying any causes for concern.

Of course, this is simply not possible without data and without a centralized platform from which to process this data. RMM solutions are plugged into the network, deriving data from all endpoints and connections, and giving both in-house and MSP-based IT teams the tools required to put this data to good use.

Streamlining of workflow and routine automation

One of the biggest perils of remote work is communication breakdown. This does not necessarily mean that teams stop talking to one another — rather, it means that they are no longer pulling in the same direction or reading from the same page. Tasks get duplicated, others get overlooked, and inefficiency reigns.

The centralized vantage point of the RMM solution means that a streamlined workflow can be implemented without difficulty. IT teams and personnel know exactly who is working on what, and what their own duties and responsibilities are. They can also deploy automation for repetitive routine tasks to increase efficiency.

Remote maintenance and support

The teams operating out there in the field are great at what they do. Whether you are an in-house IT manager and these are your teams, or you are an MSP overseeing teams for a client, the personnel you work with are well-trained and highly competent. But this does not mean that they don’t run into problems from time to time.

When it comes to remote management, troubleshooting at scale becomes critical. You need a central point from which to gain insight into potential problems, and then to implement the solution. You also need to know that all of your remote users are working in a way that is compliant with company policy and industry regulations. The remote maintenance function of an RMM solution makes this easy to achieve.

The Benefits of Cloud-based RMM Software

These key pieces of functionality connect businesses with a range of benefits, including:

  • Robust security across the whole network
  • An optimized network ready to meet the needs of the business
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Optimized resource management, including software, hardware, financial and personnel resources
  • Supreme visibility of IT assets from a centralized point of control
  • A solution that works at scale
  • Easy implementation of automated functionality

Left Exposed: The Challenges Businesses Face Without RMM Tools

Whether you are an MSP handling endpoint security solutions for business clients or you are an in-house team handling monitoring and management within your own organization, you are likely to be facing the same challenges. Implementation methods may differ in certain ways, but the end result of bolstering security, increasing efficiency, and achieving unified monitoring at scale remains largely the same.

Let’s take a look at some challenges businesses may face without a cloud-based RMM solution in place.

  • Increased risk of security breaches Your networks need to be fully up-to-date and patched accordingly. If this is not the case, security breaches are a serious danger.
  • Higher likelihood of system failure and crashes We’ve already touched on how monitoring needs to take place in real-time. If not, problems could go unchecked, leading to system failure.
  • Higher costs Legacy IT infrastructure is not only inefficient; it is also expensive, particularly when it comes to updates and maintenance.
  • Risk of downtime Businesses need to target an “always-on” status for their systems. 100% uptime is still something of a distant dream, but IT teams who fail to implement cloud-based endpoint management will find themselves falling far short of their targets.
  • A reactive approach to troubleshooting Your IT team shouldn’t be rushing around putting out fires, trapped in a break/fix cycle. Instead, they need to be operating proactively, drawing upon data to recognize problems before they occur and before they cause damage. This is where RMM solutions really begin to shine.
  • Poor scalability An organization is not a static entity. It is designed to grow and expand, exploring new possibilities and capabilities. It is very difficult to achieve this scalability without an RMM solution in place.
  • Inefficient resource management If you are relying on manual processes, you are stretching your teams and inefficiently managing your resources. Avoid these pitfalls with automation delivered via the RMM platform.

The Foundations of a Strong Remote Monitoring Software

Now that we have explored what an RMM solution can achieve for your team, it’s time to take a closer look at actually choosing a platform for your organization. This checklist brings together a range of different elements you need to look out for:

  • Broad monitoring and alerting
  • Patch management feature
  • Software deployment capability
  • Reporting capability
  • Task management
  • IT asset inventory
  • Endpoint management
  • Lightweight agent

Other Important Considerations:

  • Do you want to pay for the whole suite of products, or do you prefer a feature-based payment model? Bear in mind that the latter option may be more expensive and more complicated to set up.
  • How many clients do you need to support? How many endpoints do you need to manage?
  • Is customer support provided around the clock? Is support delivered via online chat or a ticket-based system? Which suits your teams? What is the limit on support ticket submissions?

About Action1 for MSP

Action1 provides cloud remote monitoring and management solutions for MSPs — solutions that are designed with the function of the managed service providers in mind. Action1 delivers primary IT management tools required to deliver supreme remote support for MSP clients.

Our RMM solution offers automated patch management and software deployment features, along with integrated remote access, network monitoring, endpoint management, and security, IT asset inventory, alerts, reporting, and many more. MSPs can take advantage of the multi-tenancy feature allowing management of multiple separated endpoint groups under one Action1 account and a simple straightforward pricing model. There is no need for a VPN connection or additional configurations or software installation, as the cloud solution operates directly from the browser and the wholly cloud-based solution enables multi-tenancy management of multiple separated endpoint groups under one Action1 account. Get started with our solution in 3 easy steps.

See What You Can Do with Action1


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