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RMM software: What is it and do you need it?

As cybersecurity products evolve to better protect against new forms of malware, trickier evasion techniques, and more organized cybercrime campaigns, the practice of cybersecurity evolves, too, providing simple, streamlined methods to manage hundreds of endpoints through one tool: RMM software.

What is RMM?

Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software is one of the go-to products for the types of IT shops that externally support small-to-medium-sized businesses, from dentists’ offices to independent newspapers to small retail shops. RMM tools allow those external IT shops—called “Managed Service Providers” or MSPs—to do much of their work remotely.

That means that, with a good RMM, the IT experts working at an MSP do not need to physically visit a client to fix their computer or to address any help tickets. It also means that MSPs can fix critical problems for their clients as they arise, rather than having to take scheduled, physical trips on a rotating basis just to find out whether a client’s machines and networks are operating smoothly.

But the benefit of these tools extends further than basic maintenance, as RMM software can also give MSPs an option to monitor cybersecurity protection to their clients all at once. Years ago, MSPs would have to install antivirus software on each client machine, and then individually run antivirus scans or remediation tools. For an MSP supporting just a few clients that each have 100 machines, this laborious process could eat up entire days. Thankfully, many cybersecurity tools have begun to integrate directly with RMM products, so that IT experts can directly run security scans from their RMM portal.

Essentially, an RMM can be a toolbox for any successful MSP, as they house and provide direct access to the most essential tools necessary for IT experts today.

Selecting an RMM solution for an MSP’s business needs

Picking an RMM solution is trickier than picking a product for just yourself because you need to consider both the success of your business and the safety of your clients. Imagine using an RMM platform that integrates seamlessly with top-tier cybersecurity software, but itself is open to ransomware and brute force attacks. Sure, you’ve done the right thing by giving your clients up-to-date cybersecurity protection, but your own systems could be compromised.

For MSPs considering how to select an RMM solution, there are a few features that could help their own business, including 24/7 support, a cloud-based model, data protection and restoration services, and integration with another type of tool called “professional services automation,” which boost the administration process of running an MSP, like finding potential new customers, chatting with clients, drawing up invoices, and making sure the bills get paid.

MSPs should also ask themselves a series of questions about how they want their RMM to help their business stay successful. As we wrote about last time, some helpful questions to consider when selecting an RMM solution include:

  • Does this vendor take security seriously as much as we do?
  • Does this RMM adapt to new demands and scale well with the changing trends?
  • Does the vendor provide proactive patching and show momentum in improving?
  • How easily can my employees use this platform?
  • Can the platform be accessed via mobile devices?

Remember, an RMM solution needs to both provide for easier management of your clients endpoints and it needs to support your business as an MSP. A solution that’s clunky and hard to use won’t set your IT experts up for success. A solution that refuses to update its offering—with cybersecurity integration, for example—likely won’t help you run your business for more than a year or two. And with so much of today’s work being on-the-go, an RMM solution that can be accessed through a mobile app could greatly benefit your team.

None of this is easy work, and finding the right tool can, and should, take serious consideration. But the benefits of an RMM are proven. Just make sure you’re finding one for your business needs in the future, not just today.