Six benefits of cloud-based RMM tools

| By:
Topher Barrow

Cloud-based tools have transformed the business world. Think of all the CDs and manual installations you used to do as a managed service provider (MSP) — ordering the software, waiting for it to arrive, and meticulously installing it on each individual device. 

Today, software is installed with the click of a button, and cloud-based tools enable organizations to communicate and do business faster than ever before. Software as a service (SaaS) dominates cloud adoption, and Gartner has predicted that the global SaaS market will grow to over $177 billion by 2021.

Your clients are likely already using cloud-based tools, and you can also benefit greatly from cloud-based software designed specially for your needs. Take, for example, a cloud-based remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool. When RMM takes to the cloud, MSPs can realize a range of benefits, all of which ladder up to more efficiency, happier technicians, and satisfied clients.

In this post, we walk through six benefits of adopting cloud-based RMM tools.

Lower your costs 

One of the biggest benefits of a cloud-based RMM tool is that it ends up being significantly more cost-effective than a traditional on-premise (on-prem) solution. With on-prem, you have to pay for:

  • Hardware and periodic upgrades
  • Customization and implementation
  • Maintenance and repairs 
  • Software licenses
  • Software upgrades
  • Rewriting customizations and integrations
  • Electricity to power the servers
  • And more

MSPs often think that a big upfront investment in on-prem RMM will end up paying for itself years down the road. The reality is that on-prem solutions can have a number of ongoing operational costs that make them more expensive than anticipated. 

With cloud-based RMM, everything you need is included in a fixed monthly subscription fee so you don’t have to worry about unexpected and intangible costs.

Increase your scalability 

For MSPs that use an on-prem RMM tool, performance issues are likely to crop up as the number of endpoints managed increases. A cloud-based RMM, on the other hand, can scale seamlessly with the business and enable expansion to a virtually limitless number of endpoints by removing the need for frequent upgrades and manual maintenance. 

Cloud based-RMM tools support greater scalability for MSPs by providing:

  • Consistent high speed + performance across all endpoints 
  • Better access and visibility through real-time monitoring of every endpoint
  • An entrypoint and operational lever for future cloud migration initiatives

Whether you’re looking to bring on new clients that are based in your area or that do business in another country, a cloud-based RMM tool is the best way to ensure high-quality service no matter what.  

Spend more time growing your business 

Another major benefit of cloud-based RMM is that the technical aspect of keeping the solution up and running is taken off your plate. With on-prem RMM, if something disrupts your server in the middle of the night, it’s on you to address the problem ASAP so that your clients stay protected.

Because cloud-based RMM tools require much less maintenance than their on-prem counterparts, MSP owners are able to spend more time working on their business vs working in their business. To stay on a positive growth trajectory, you should be investing time in developing strategies to further scale your MSP. Having to manage your own internal on-prem server takes away countless hours that could be used more productively. 

That’s a significant opportunity cost to consider when comparing these types of RMM solution. Even if price isn’t a big factor in your mind, think about the impact that this decision could have on how you spend another highly valuable asset: your time.  

Establish a plan for business continuity 

Coffee spills can be tragic for an individual piece of hardware, but consider bigger problems, like natural disasters, cybersecurity breaches, and more.

One of the worst things that can happen to any business is the catastrophic loss of their business records and data. This is why backup and disaster recovery (BUDR) tools are such an important part of IT planning.

Cloud-based RMM tools can help add a layer of recovery preparedness. With records on the cloud, rather than locked on physical devices, MSPs can be more resilient to disasters. Whether a fire breaks out in the real world or a hacker breaks into a virtual network, MSPs can know that their RMM data is recoverable with a few clicks.

That goes for technicians, too. As more people work remotely, organizations lose control over their environments. If a laptop gets destroyed in a flood, left behind at a coffee shop, or stolen in a break-in, the data is recoverable (and out of malicious hands). 

Improve your security

Speaking of devices getting stolen, supporting security — and cybersecurity — is an additional benefit of a cloud-based RMM tool.

Your technicians have privileged access to clients’ devices and networks in order to do their jobs. You likely have superadmin privileges for credentials, permissions, software provisioning, and more. And your team probably touches sensitive information about the organization and the data flowing through its devices and systems.

All of this makes MSPs attractive to hackers. In fact, in 2020 the U.S. Secret Service issued a warning to MSPs that they were an increasing target for hackers. 

While a cloud-based RMM tool in and of itself is not a cybersecurity measure, it can help MSPs keep closer control over data and user access to their systems. If and/or when a cybersecurity incident occurs — such as a ransomware attack — MSPs can:

  • Know that their data is still intact in the cloud 
  • Log out all accounts
  • Change user passwords 
  • Reduce the chance of unauthorized access

As MSPs become the target of cyberattacks, we encourage IT providers and professionals to “protect your house” first and implement strong cybersecurity measures. After all, if clients are going to turn to your MSP for cybersecurity support, it’s important to have your own organization and data on lockdown.

Automate updates

Cloud-based RMM tools are also easier to enhance with the latest software updates and patches. When you choose a cutting-edge cloud solution, updates are rolled out automatically, install faster than they would on-prem, and can even cross multiple applications within your MSP platform. 

In addition to providing you and your technicians with a more satisfying experience, automatic software updates mean one less thing to worry about while running the business.

This is another reason why cloud-based RMM is much easier to manage, giving you the freedom and flexibility to plan for the future of your MSP rather than always having to focus on the present.

RMM tools are an MSP’s best friend

Whether it’s a cloud-based or on-prem solution, one thing is for sure: the right RMM tool is a must-have for MSPs. Your RMM empowers technicians to deliver service, respond to client needs, and ensure that IT and security are up to speed. 

Cloud-based RMM tools add an additional set of benefits by lowering costs and maintenance requirements, increasing efficiency and scalability, and providing much-needed security features. These tools will become even more powerful, widespread, and necessary as MSPs embrace remote work and distributed office environments. 

With the cloud, the sky’s the limit.