Good to Great: Best Practices for Remote Management Success

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reviewed by Shari Barnett
Remote Management Best Practices blog image

As an IT service provider, you’re likely dealing with all you can handle. The good news is that implementing remote management is not one more thing on your to-do list; rather, it’s an essential tool for getting tasks off your list more quickly. This post will provide an overview of remote management solutions, essential components of a good, reliable solution, and best practices that will help you get the most out of your implementation. 

Proactivity is essential for IT success, and having good visibility into the environments that you manage is one of the most effective ways to be proactive. Remote management, a software agent that you can install on the devices that you and your team manage, monitors those devices’ health and alerts you to potential issues as they arise. It’s getting more difficult to keep up with IT needs, but if you use remote management software to monitor environments and execute automated tasks, you'll have more time to focus on more complex projects.

This is not to say that remote management solutions will solve all of your problems. Although remote management can help you streamline your processes, solve problems proactively, and reduce your team’s workload, it has some downsides. You can’t use remote management if your network is down, as that’s what provides the remote connectivity, and remote management solutions are generally provided by a third party. However, by understanding the software and following best practices, you can achieve your IT goals with the help of remote management software with very few challenges. 

Understanding remote management solutions

By using remote access technology, a remote management solution helps you and your team access and monitor the endpoints that you manage. Many remote management solutions can be used on endpoints in a different physical location, which is a critical advantage to IT providers and Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Being able to access an endpoint without having to travel to it saves enormous amounts of time long-term, and viewing all relevant information on a centralized dashboard can significantly improve efficiency.

These advantages are available for both cloud-based and on-premises remote management solutions; however, it’s important to understand the differences between these two types of solutions. Although cloud-based remote management will save you installation time and costs and will likely be more secure overall, on-premises remote management provides more control over your data. On the other hand, on-premises also requires regular maintenance and may fail over time whereas cloud-based solutions tend to be more reliable. 

To choose the right solution, you'll want to think about your priorities. If you’re managing a large and diverse group of clients, cloud-based may be the way to go due to its increased flexibility and scalability combined with lower and more predictable costs. For MSPs and IT teams managing smaller numbers of endpoints and networks that are bound by tight data privacy guidelines, an on-premises solution may be more appropriate. 

Essential components of remote management

Finding the right remote management solution for your organization is about more than just whether the solution is based in the cloud or on-premises. You should consider some essential components of a good remote management solution.

  • Remote monitoring and alerts: To maximize your efficiency, it’s important that a remote management solution provides monitoring and real-time alerting for servers, endpoints, and other devices on the client’s network. As part of monitoring, you should also be able to configure proactive alerts for critical events and system failures. Ideally, your remote monitoring solution will catch issues early, allowing you to fix them before they become problems for the organization.
  • Remote access and control: Establishing secure remote connections to devices and systems and enabling remote troubleshooting, configuration, and maintenance are the core of remote management solutions. IT technicians can use these features in remote access software to automate basic tasks, prioritize issues, and solve problems remotely.
  • Patch management and software updates: For any software that is online or any device that is connected to a network, potential vulnerabilities are everywhere, and it can be challenging to secure every one. Remote management can help by automating patch deployments and software updates, which keeps you from getting bogged down. Additionally, because patch management can be challenging, remote management solutions have a dashboard for displaying issues to fix and scheduling capabilities to ensure timely application of security patches and bug fixes.
  • Asset inventory and management: Tracking and managing hardware and software assets is often poorly managed in organizations. Multiple departments often control and track their own devices, making it challenging for the IT team to accurately keep tabs on every device in the environment. Remote management provides a centralized platform for device tracking that relies on automated communication with each device. By implementing IT Asset Management (ITAM) as part of your remote monitoring solution, your team can generate reports on asset inventory, licenses, and warranties. Additionally, they can set up alerts for license and warranty expirations.

Best practices for IT remote management

Remote management solutions provide a number of useful capabilities that can improve your efficiency and quality of services. However, there are some best practices that you can follow that will help keep the environments and networks that you manage operating smoothly. 

  • Network security and access controls: Implement robust security measures for remote connections. Everyone should use strong passwords or passphrases, multi-factor authentication, and private networks. Also, enforce strong authentication protocols and encryption.
  • Proactive monitoring and maintenance: Proactivity is helped by your remote monitoring solution, but to get the most out of it, be sure to set up monitoring thresholds and performance benchmarks. Regular system health checks and maintenance activities are also beneficial. 
  • Integration with IT service management (ITSM): Align IT remote management with ITSM frameworks and ITIL guidelines to align your organization’s business goals with good IT services. This can help you streamline incident, change, and problem management. Follow guidelines for comprehensive documentation and disaster recovery plans, so if a disaster occurs, you can minimize downtime and prevent data or knowledge loss. 

Overcoming challenges in IT remote management

As beneficial as remote management is to your ability to provide excellent IT services, there are some challenges associated with it. Fortunately, with a few adjustments and effective user and technician training, you can overcome them. 

  • Bandwidth and latency considerations: Due to its consistent network connection and activity, remote management will consume some of your bandwidth. To solve this issue and to mitigate latency, optimize your bandwidth with prioritization, load balancing, or network upgrades.
  • Compliance and data security: It’s tough to keep a close eye on users if they work from home, but by complying with industry regulations and data protection standards and laws, the organization can safeguard its sensitive data despite the potential attack vectors opened up by remote access capabilities. Teach users and IT technicians about the possible risks of remote access and best practices for data security to minimize the risk of an incident. 

Optimizing your IT services with remote management

Although setting up your remote management solution can take time and effort initially, the long-term impacts of optimization and effective integration will save you and your team time and resources. By training technicians and users, emphasizing data security, and managing bandwidth use, you can overcome the minor challenges associated with remote management and benefit from it. 

Once you have set up your remote management solution, it will enhance your productivity and efficiency through its automated alerts, patch and update management, asset management, and other features. NinjaOne’s powerful, easy-to-use RMM software does all of these things and more, enabling you and your team to communicate easily, monitor all client devices and software from a centralized platform, and automate basic but essential tasks. With its secure, cloud-based infrastructure, NinjaOne’s remote management solution is a highly flexible and scalable option to bring your IT services from good to great.

Next Steps

Empower your IT infrastructure with NinjaOne Patch Management to ensure a fortified defense against vulnerabilities and keep your systems running at their best.

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