In the world of IT, remote monitoring and management (RMM) is growing rapidly in popularity and adoption among small and medium businesses. Once only available to large enterprise companies, RMM tools are now making it easier for small businesses to track the performance of devices across a wide network. The upshot is that small businesses can now increase network reliability, proactively prevent system failures and cyberattacks, and decrease overall IT spend — all thanks to remote monitoring and management.
Remote Monitoring & Management, Explained
Remote monitoring and management (a.k.a. network management software) is remote IT software that gets installed on all a company's devices. Internal IT teams or managed IT service providers can then remotely monitor the health and status of all devices and servers on the network. This allows IT teams to identify problems before they escalate and remotely fix issues via a secure connection.
In addition, RMM tools allow IT teams to remotely roll out patches and software updates to devices. The work of updating or configuring devices can largely be automated. This means IT teams that use RMM software spend less time on installation and configuration and can focus on more strategic value-adds for the business.
RMM enables a wide variety of remote IT applications. Since IT technicians can easily view device information and switch between devices with the click of a button, they can manage more support requests at once and more efficiently than traditional IT. From a unified dashboard, IT team members can access many devices and no longer have to travel from office to office to perform routine tasks.
How RMM Works
RMM software relies on installing a small application known as an “agent” on your company's connected devices. Once every device has an agent installed, the agents independently report health and status checks back to your company's centralized dashboard. From there, IT teams can set up alarms and notifications if certain health and status thresholds are crossed.
The agent also allows for remote access and administering tasks to the device. When an IT technician needs to connect to a device for remote support or maintenance, they establish a connection with the agent and then can view or even control what's happening on the device. Remote access is a game-changer for IT teams to investigate and address issues quickly without having to be with the device in-person.
With most RMM solutions, data from your company's devices are sent back to servers controlled by an external service provider, including routing all agent network requests through the external server. With Level, however, we connect to agents on a peer-to-peer connection, meaning your data never touches our servers and it never leaves your control.
RMM History: All About Stopping the Break-Fix Cycle
The history of IT is the history of fighting against the break-fix model. Break-fix means we have to wait for something to stop working before we can identify and address the issue. The problem with break-fix is it implies IT teams spending long nights addressing catastrophic failures with last-minute solutions while the whole company grinds to a halt.
Much preferable is a system where IT can make proactive maintenance and repairs. They should receive warning as early as possible when things aren't going right. RMM is about providing IT with data and early warnings when system status is degrading.
Early in the history of RMM, building such an early warning system required massive infrastructure and know-how to connect all a company's devices. Early RMM solutions could feed some information but were cumbersome to install and operate. Only huge companies could afford to have proactive IT with remote monitoring. However, without those enterprise toolsets, small businesses suffered.
Over the past decade, RMM has grown and matured. Protocols in connectivity establishment and reduced overhead of maintaining connections has made RMM affordable and scalable. Small businesses can now take advantage of RMM solutions directly or hire managed service providers (MSPs) to provide remote support.
RMM for SMBs: Not Just for Large Enterprise Anymore
For small businesses, the benefit of using RMM means spending less time and money on IT so you can focus on the bigger picture. Moreover, using RMM solutions help monitor and enforce cybersecurity, a growing concern for small businesses. For security alone, RMM is an essential tool in your arsenal.
RMM is quickly becoming a requirement for small business IT and cybersecurity. The level of monitoring needed, especially across remote teams, to prevent cyberattacks and diagnose network issues will only grow in complexity as teams diversify and become more remote.
On the larger scale, remote access is changing the IT industry. RMMs make your company's infrastructure more reliable, fast, and secure — all while driving down cost. The days when RMM software was only available to enterprise businesses are over. Today, all companies big and small can and should take advantage of RMM for their devices.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get our latest articles and our most exciting updates delivered straight to your inbox.