What is RMM?
As your company grows, it gets harder and harder to keep track of things. More people means more computers and what you were once able to remember or respond to quickly becomes impossible. For IT teams, monitoring end users’ workstations is critical because that’s what keeps the business running. But even when you are all together in the same building that can be a challenge if you’re only one person supporting upwards of 100 or more people.
That’s where remote monitoring and management services, or RMM systems, come in handy. If that term is totally new to you, don’t worry. You’re in the right place. This article will cover what RMM is and what it can do for your business. I’ll also list out some of the best RMM tools you can use today.
RMM in a post-Covid world
The corporate remote monitoring software market is expected to hit USD 1.3 billion by 2027. Evidently, remote is quickly becoming the default. After the Covid-19 pandemics, 88% of companies switched to remote work.
What is RMM?
As you read earlier, RMM stands for remote monitoring and management. It’s sometimes referred to as network management or remote monitoring software. The sole purpose of an RMM is to give IT teams deeper insight to the devices in their environment and help them catch issues as soon as absolutely possible. Preventing delayed downtimes for your users and keeping your business running.
Why companies use RMM software
There are a ton of great reasons you should be using an RMM tool if you’re not already. The best systems are ones that will act as your one-stop-shop for all things on your users’ workstations.
RMM software will let you:
- Inventory software and hardware. Keeping track of these things can help you with auditing to reduce application costs and security with software versions.
- Monitor the health of your devices and network. By collecting data on a device’s activity you’ll be able to monitor its performance both locally and on a network.
- Alert and create tickets. Some RMM tools will integrate with your help desk platform, automatically notifying you when an issue arises.
- Track all workstations and servers in one portal. This benefit speaks for itself.
- Schedule maintenance tasks. You can automate patches or maintenance scripts to run at a scheduled time every day or week.
Benefits of remote monitoring and management
Now that you have a basic understanding of why you would want to use an RMM in your enterprise environment, it can be helpful to know what other benefits that comes with. Obviously, some of these will depend on the remote monitoring and management software you ultimately decide to use. But this list is good to keep in mind while you’re reviewing your options. That way you can make sure the product you end up using in your organization checks all of the boxes you want and need.
This is a big selling-point for any RMM. And in fact, if you’re not using your remote monitoring and management system to deploy patches and updates, you might want to reevaluate your entire workflow. Not only should it be able to push updates, but a reliable RMM will be able to install new applications as well.
Many RMMs will be able to pull a variety of reports. Both detailing hardware and software specs. This is useful to audit your entire environment to see which systems need to be upgraded or what software can be phased out from lack of use.
As more companies are adopting a remote or hybrid work model, being able to support users wherever they are in the world becomes a must-have feature. Some RMM tools will work with third-party companies to provide remote access capabilities, while others will have a native tool built in. You’ll want to consider the speed, reliability, and security of the feature with any platform. But having this within your RMM just means one less application your company will have to license.
Scripts and automation
Chances are if your RMM can push updates and patches, then you should be able to deploy scripts and command-line prompts to your devices. This is helpful if you’re looking to automate certain tasks like running a backup script.
Most IT teams have a plethora of tools and software they’re using to help their team run as efficiently as possible. That’s why a lot of RMM will offer integrations with other platforms you might be using. For instance, some will talk to help desk systems, backup tools, remote desktop clients, or even antivirus and endpoint security products.
💡 Today’s RMM solutions are subscription-based and operate under the SAAS (software as a service) model. For example, the pricing for Jamf starts from $4 per month per device.
Top 3 RMM tools for Mac computers
After looking at why companies use RMM software and some of the additional benefits, you’re probably asking yourself where to start your search. Well, you’re in luck. I’ll list the top three remote monitoring and management services you could be using for your Mac workstations.
Jamf is easily the most popular RMM for Macs. In recent years, it has even started to include iOS and iPadOS support. Meaning you can use it for all of the Apple devices you have in your organization.
It’s one of the best and longest-running RMM platforms. Jamf can hook into a number of other popular services and software to fully integrate your team. But perhaps one of the best features Jamf has to offer is it’s communication with Microsoft’s Active Directory. This makes it easier for organizations that support both Mac and Windows devices to keep all of their platforms in constant communication with each other.
2. Apple Business Manager
If all you’re needing to support are Apple devices, then turning to Apple Business Manager is almost a no-brainer. It lets you set up managed Apple ID accounts for your users and will keep track of everything on your devices.
While on the PC side of things you have Azure and Active Directory, Apple Business Manager is the closest thing you’ll get to a native solution on macOS. Another great perk is that it’s all cloud-based and can be managed from within a browser window.
More akin to Jamf, Kandji is another great all-in-one platform. It has a ton of great features and tools, but there’s a lot of focus towards new users who are just getting familiar with the concept of RMM and learning it all for the first time. Both of the other options can be overwhelming if you’re diving right into the world of RMM. That’s why Kandji works through a lot of templated and modular scripting, so you’re able to choose from their menu of options. At the same time it provides your end users with the most helpful functionality and protects your company’s assets all while you figure out what you’re doing in real-time.
Using a remote monitoring and management software can save you a lot of time and frustration. Not to mention all the ways it can make your infrastructure more secure and potentially save your company money. Whether that’s through reducing operating costs or limiting downtime by keeping computers healthy and running smoothly.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll be a little less intimidated by RMMs and ready to roll one out in your organization.