How does remote IT monitoring and management work?

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The need for remote work has exploded in 2020, making the shift to remote IT management mandatory. Find out what remote IT management and monitoring entails and the benefits that come with it.

We have entered a new era of remote working. Organizations once resistant to the idea have embraced remote working. IT departments must adapt their IT infrastructure to adapt to this new reality.

The concept of remote IT management has been around for years, but has taken on new prominence in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to quickly transition to a remote workforce.

The transition has left many IT teams scrambling. They needed to quickly assemble the IT infrastructure components needed for remote work while protecting an organization’s IT network.

Fortunately, IT management software abounds to support remote system management. The pandemic has accelerated an inevitable trend towards the widespread adoption of virtual teams, and this infrastructure management technology is making it possible.

The transition to virtual teams is not temporary. A survey of small businesses found that nearly 60% expect remote work to continue post-pandemic. And one Gallup poll found that nearly two-thirds of American workers who have worked remotely due to the pandemic want to continue doing so.

The genie came out of the bottle. The ability to accommodate remote teams is more essential than ever. Let’s take a closer look at remote IT management and explore why it makes sense to adopt it.

Gallup survey results show rapid growth in the percentage of U.S. remote workers in March 2020.

Remote teams exploded at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Image source: author

Overview: What is Remote IT Management?

Remote IT management, also widely known as remote monitoring and management (RMM), is an IT implementation model in which some or all of an organization’s IT assets and workers are geographically dispersed, requiring remote monitoring.

This requires managing computers, servers, and other devices, collectively known as endpoints, through a remote monitoring system. The system constantly monitors these terminals and takes action remotely when the need arises.

Remote computer monitoring also requires a comprehensive self-service portal. Your customers and other end users need to access technical support information online and submit requests for help when faced with a technical challenge beyond their skill set.

RMM technology helps achieve these and other IT goals. Some of his most important abilities are as follows.

  • Collect information about your computer hardware, software, and networks.
  • Analyze this information to assess the health of your devices and networks.
  • Provide alerts when issues are detected.
  • Provide reports and other data insights, such as potential security risks, to the IT team.
  • Automate routine maintenance tasks.
  • Allow IT staff to remotely connect to a machine for troubleshooting or to perform other required tasks.

RMM isn’t just for businesses with remote workers. Many companies choose to outsource their IT management to a managed service provider (MSP) to reduce costs.

This is a common approach taken by many small businesses. Since MSPs manage your IT needs from an offsite location, they use RMM tools.

In an MSP scenario, it’s not just about establishing remote IT services. You should also consider a robust knowledge management framework. If you decide to switch MSPs later, you don’t want to lose the accumulated history of technical processes and learnings.

Even if you don’t have remote teams or MSPs, parts of your business are still operating offsite, requiring remote IT management. For example, your critical business and financial data requires offsite storage, and many businesses now use cloud providers, such as Box, for convenient file storage and access from any device.

How does remote monitoring and management work?

A software agent facilitates remote monitoring and management, installed on each of the terminals in your organization.

Whether your business has a few endpoints or thousands, agent installation is simple. RMM platforms come with tools to speed deployment.

Agents continuously monitor the health and activity of each endpoint, feeding information back to the IT team. A dashboard and reports available on the RMM platform report this information in a simple format.

These agents allow direct control over your endpoints, allowing the system to perform tasks, such as updating software to the latest version, even when devices are offline. This allows IT technicians to resolve issues remotely, while proactively checking for any issues before they affect your customers or other end users of your IT systems.

RMM software provides several features required for effective remote IT management.

RMM software meets your main IT needs. Image source: author

4 Benefits of Remote IT Management

Here are the top four benefits of remote IT management.

1. Profitable

RMM enables IT management without the need to hire your own IT department, significantly reducing costs. By leveraging an MSP, the RMM model delivers the same level of IT management to small businesses that was previously confined to large enterprises.

If you have an IT team, they can use RMM software to deliver the same IT service as an in-person approach without incurring travel costs to a remote site. The software also enables your IT team to do more with fewer resources through efficiencies.

2. Greater efficiency

Improving efficiency is a key benefit of RMM software. This software improves the efficiency of IT management in several ways.

  • RMM tools automate routine maintenance, freeing up your IT staff time to focus on more important tasks.
  • Real-time issue detection limits any negative impact, allowing your team to address the issue quickly.
  • IT can effectively manage thousands of endpoints with RMM automation.
  • Users who encounter a problem can submit IT tickets online to communicate the problem and get help. These tickets also allow for better follow-up, ensuring that issues are resolved in a timely manner.
  • RMM reports provide information about your computer network, allowing you to make informed decisions without having to spend time tinkering with that information yourself.
  • Centralized IT monitoring allows even a small IT team to effectively manage a company’s network.

3. Proactive management

Technical problems, called incidents in the computer industry, will arise sooner or later. Rather than reacting to a problem or finding a security hole after being hacked, RMM platforms offer you proactive incident management.

This allows you to meet the needs of your IT systems before your customers or other end users even notice. It also allows your IT team to escape the costly cycle of repeatedly putting out fires, so common in a reactive IT environment.

Plus, built-in dashboards and reports identify areas of your IT network that need attention. They keep you updated on the overall status so that you stay on top of your computer network.

4. Improved Security

IT security is at the heart of implementing remote work, and RMM platforms provide better endpoint security for your IT network.

Constant RMM monitoring means early identification of a cyberattack before the threat can harm your data or operations. The software also identifies security vulnerabilities so you can fix them before a cybercriminal can take advantage of them.

Outdated software is automatically updated to the latest version, protecting your network against cyberattacks. You can also set user policies remotely, such as preventing them from visiting dangerous websites.

Many options exist to meet your IT security needs. You can adopt a platform with built-in security or purchase standalone endpoint security software.

A Final Note on Remote IT Management

Remote IT management was already essential to large enterprise operations long before the coronavirus pandemic. RMM platforms now offer the same functionality to small businesses.

In a post-pandemic world, the use of RMM technology will only grow. A robust RMM solution streamlines your IT management and makes remote monitoring simple and effortless. Combined with collaboration software such as Zoom, a transition to remote working today is easier than ever.

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