6 signs you need a new RMM tool

Illustration: Ram Prasath


Profits stagnating, growth slowing down, clients not happy—sounds familiar? It may just be time to change your RMM tool.

With any growing market opportunity like managed services, the success of businesses looking to profit off of it varies significantly. Some crack the Managed Service Provider (MSP) space and get to the point of recurring revenue quickly, while others struggle. When the pressure adds up, they either switch back to their break-fix safe zones or give in to the current market fad and buy everything they see. Yes, life can be unfair, but we are not here to talk about that. We are here to help you power through the issue.

Back to the basics

The building block of any successful managed service practice is process efficiency. Your MSP model won’t stop burning a hole in your pocket unless you have streamlined and automated processes that are also scalable across any number of clients. This is where your PSA and RMM tools come in. Any business that is serious about preventive problem solving and driving down recurring process costs should use these tools to optimize their MSP practices. Because manual interventions and other break-fix practices should be exceptions and not the norm when it comes to managed services.

So if you’re not achieving the levels of profit you expected, start by assessing if you’re using the right tools. It’s not a stretch to say:

Your RMM tool is probably bailing out on you.

This is the likely scenario as any glitch in remote management and monitoring can have a high-level impact on your business, even on the revenue side. An RMM tool enables MSPs to monitor endpoint performance and carry out regular maintenance on their clients’ IT assets. Any intrusion in the process will result in work slowing to a halt until a truck-roll is dispatched, patches are tested, well, you know the drill.

If you are wondering how to figure out if your RMM tool is the culprit, we have the answers for you. Look for these signs.

#1 Your RMM tool doesn’t hold well security-wise

Security threats are the number one deal-breaker in the MSP space. You hold customer data. A LOT of it. Unless you have comprehensive fail-safe cybersecurity practices, you are leaving your customers vulnerable to malicious attacks and online threats. Breach attempts, as per a recent survey, have ratcheted up since the beginning of the pandemic. Check if your RMM tool has top-notch security and, if it doesn’t, then it’s time to say goodbye. 

There are a lot of ways you can assess if your RMM tool is secure: Are patches being deployed properly, or even better, automatically? Are access provisions controlled and continuously updated? Are logins restricted based on IP addresses? Do you have stringent password policies in place?

There is a surefire way to reduce your security risks significantly—going for a cloud-based RMM tool as opposed to an on-premise RMM tool. More on that below. 

Related reading: Leverage cybersecurity to win more clients for your MSP

#2 Your RMM tool is clunky and outdated

Legacy RMM tools can weigh you down so hard that your previous break-fix practices will start to look real friendly. It’s bloated, it has too many features you don’t even use, and most importantly, the solutions are hosted on-premise. With on-prem solutions, MSPs need to manually perform the initial configurations and also the ongoing maintenance of some parts of the infrastructure. Not only does this leave room for human errors, but it also leads to unnecessary training expenses and steep learning curves for those who are using the tool.

Its cloud counterpart, however, can be deployed out of the box and can eliminate the need for infrastructure configuration. But keep in mind that cloud-native tools are different from cloud-hosted ones. If the tool is merely hosted on the cloud, the performance of the tool and the user experience decreases as you scale.

#3 Your RMM tool is not scalable

Any good RMM tool should have the potential to scale well. Every business wants to grow, now or eventually. If your RMM tool doesn’t serve high-volume, high-scale customers, rest assured, you will find yourself in the position to switch sooner or later. Because when your endpoints increase, you might start hitting roadblocks when you try to:

  • Extrapolate your processes across new endpoints/new use cases,
  • Get more control and visibility into each endpoint, and
  • Automate agent deployment and management of endpoints at scale.

It is easier if you start with a tool that is modern, that is scalable, and prepares you for the problems of tomorrow. Once again, cloud-based RMM tools for the win, as they enable consistent high-quality endpoint maintenance no matter what. In an ideal world, your RMM tool doesn't limit how fast or how big you grow. If it does, that’s a huge red flag.

#4 Your RMM tool doesn’t unify with your PSA tool

If your RMM tool doesn't support your efforts to automate your processes, optimize workflows, provide proactive endpoint support, and all the other aspects that can have an ongoing impact on your profit margins, you are using RMM only to a fraction of its capabilities. Today’s MSPs who are serious about building a recurring revenue business and driving down operational costs need a unified PSA-RMM platform that can optimize every area of operations.

You should be able to build efficient workflows and shouldn’t have too many point solutions pulling you in different directions. You should be able to inject the goodness of automation into conventional RMM practices. And finally, your technical and business sides of operations should not be working in silos. See if your RMM tool comes with a unified PSA solution or at least integrates well with your existing PSA solution.

Related reading: Why should your PSA and RMM be 'truly' unified?

#5 Your RMM tool doesn’t play well with the rest of your tools

The same can be applied to the rest of the tools you love as well. By the time you decide to upgrade or switch your RMM tool, you probably already have a mature software stack filled with tools that work for you. Every tool you use has to work in tandem with each other. Because, when data resides within multiple disparate tools, critical information may slip through the cracks.

While using dozens of tools in parallel is pretty common for an MSP, after a point, the effort it takes to make sense of the bits and pieces from each tool can take a toll on your overall process efficiency. Your tools need to talk to each other, and make context readily available for you across tools.

#6 Your RMM tool doesn’t prepare you for the problems of tomorrow

Post-pandemic, companies all over the world scrambled to adapt to the new ways of working they were forced into. The future of work is distributed, remote and virtual, and that presents unique challenges for MSPs. Cybersecurity threats thrive when infrastructure lives outside the office perimeter. Add to that the need to manage distributed assets remotely, so that your clients don’t feel stranded without help.

Adaptability to tomorrow’s challenges is of paramount importance in technology-driven markets and MSPs are no exception. Outdated UI, limited scalability, and clunky integrations can affect your readiness to adapt and leave you lagging behind. 

Don’t let your RMM hold you back. Make that switch.

RMM, the key component of managed services, can actually work against your profit margins and business growth if you don’t choose the right tool. We agree, switching RMM tools can be daunting. But a one-time switch leading to better management, monitoring, and productivity is worth the hassle. Our RMM buyer’s checklist, where we have compiled the key factors to consider before choosing an RMM tool, can help. Another tip, make sure you try, try, and try the tool before committing. Register for free trials and take the tool for a spin. (By the way, that’s exactly what we offer. Our product trial is free-free, no strings attached).

It’s only a matter of time before you capitalize on the benefits of streamlined and scalable processes, the hallmarks of a truly good RMM tool.

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