The importance of RMM for MSPs

| By:
Topher Barrow

We write often on the ConnectWise blog about the benefits of remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools for managed services providers (MSPs). Without RMM software, being a successful MSP is pretty difficult. In fact, in today’s competitive MSP business environment, having an RMM—especially one that is easy to use, offers automation, and fully integrates across your software stack—is no longer a differentiating factor, but a requirement. 

RMM allows MSPs to get ahead of clients’ IT issues—and fix them before the customer experiences any inconvenience. With an RMM, technicians can deliver services from afar, and a good RMM will integrate smoothly across the full stack of MSP software in a unified IT management approach. RMMs make MSPs more efficient, save technicians headaches, and help ensure that clients get their problems solved quickly and successfully.

But now, RMM for MSPs is more important than ever before. In the last year, the push toward remote work has driven both MSP employees and MSP clients to work remotely in droves. Meanwhile, cyber threats are making headlines, and it’s not just the big guys who have to worry about it; small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are at risk of attacks, too.

Let’s walk through some of the top reasons RMM for MSPs is a must-have.

Remote Work is Here to Stay

As of December 2020, an Upwork survey found that 41.8 percent of workers in the U.S. were working in a fully remote capacity. While that same survey projected a fall to 26.7 percent by the end of this year, that is still many more people working remotely full-time than before the pandemic. In short, remote work is here to stay, even after the pandemic is brought under control.

An increase in remote workers results in an increase in devices outside of traditional corporate networks and security perimeters. This means that the days of going on-site to fix devices, update computers, and troubleshoot stubborn software are long gone. Without a way to remotely patch software, monitor endpoints, or respond to tickets, it’s nearly impossible for MSP technicians to do their jobs. 

That’s why RMM for MSPs is so important. With a good RMM tool, technicians can assist clients and employees wherever their work is being done, whether that’s working from home, a co-working space, or a traditional office. 

Some of the core IT tasks technicians can accomplish remotely with RMM include:

  • Patching software 
  • Responding to common requests, like password resets
  • Fixing devices and keeping them up and running
  • Monitoring for technical problems

With more people working remotely from a variety of locations on a variety of devices and Wi-Fi networks, remote monitoring and management (and the right RMM tool) are mission critical to completing the actual IT work expected of MSPs.

Cyberattacks are a Serious Threat

Breaches and cyberattacks make the headlines so frequently now that it’s hard to keep up. Still, over 57 percent of SMBs don’t have an in-house cybersecurity expert, according to the latest ConnectWise State of SMB Cybersecurity report. 

As cyberattacks continue to hit businesses of all sizes, including SMBs, MSPs have a significant opportunity to expand to an MSP+ model, providing cybersecurity support alongside traditional IT support. Many core MSP services and tools can aid in cybersecurity efforts, including RMM.

RMM tools have several cybersecurity benefits. With an RMM, MSPs can support cybersecurity efforts by:

  • Discovering assets 
  • Closely monitoring and managing clients’ endpoints
  • Ensuring software is up-to-date and patching vulnerabilities
  • Monitoring and managing on-prem and cloud servers
  • Controlling network devices, such as routers or firewalls 
  • and more

All of these tasks help ensure that hackers have fewer weaknesses to exploit, minimize risks, and increase the chance that any incidents will be caught early.

Stability and Growth are Key Priorities

When you’re running an MSP, it’s important to keep the business stable (especially during trying times) while also keeping an eye on the company’s growth trajectory. 

There is a well-known shortage of cybersecurity talent nationwide, organizations want more support for their remote workers, and the technology landscape is more complicated. In the face of these factors, MSPs of all sizes are trying to do more with less. 

RMM software can help you scale your MSP business in 2021 by streamlining tasks, automating routine actions, and integrating with other core business functions, like billing. 

For example, some features of RMM software that improve efficiency and client service include:

  • Automating device maintenance
  • Automating security tasks like password resets
  • Running automatic direct SQL queries
  • Providing agentless management of devices 

When your technicians’ day-to-day experiences are more integrated and their jobs are easier to do, they’re happier. They get time back in the day, which they can then use to help other clients and address critical problems. And with less time spent on frustrating tasks or routine actions, your MSP can take new business and grow.

RMM for MSPs: A Must-Have

Certain trends are here to stay, such as remote work and cyberattacks on SMBs, which means MSPs will need to become very efficient to deliver timely and excellent service. 

Good RMM software can solve many of the break-fix issues that MSPs face, and they provide features and benefits that can help MSPs offer better service to clients, make their technicians’ jobs easier (and more productive), and create efficiencies for scaling up. 

That’s why RMM (and an RMM software solution) is essential to IT businesses both today and tomorrow.