Vendors are jostling for position in a world where “remote” is more important than ever, increasing the need for remote access technologies. But what is the real significance of this tech and how does it solve the challenges modern-day IT and field service professionals face?
When you connect into a remote device, you can operate it as if you were there – seeing what’s on the screen and interacting with it using a keyboard and mouse/trackpad.
Over the years, this technology has enabled IT support staff and helpdesk operatives to be highly effective in their fault resolution, the majority of which can be conducted over a remote session, saving expensive truck rolls, minimizing downtime and paying for itself quickly through operational efficiency gains. In the same way, remote access has helped managed service providers and IT outsourcers improve their margins.
What may not be immediately obvious is the “one-to-one” nature of this technology. It’s great to solve a single user’s problem interactively, but what about conducting the same work on 100 computers, 1,000 point of sale terminals or 10,000 IoT devices? Managing large fleets of devices deployed across the globe is one of the largest challenges faced by IT and field service professionals.
This is where managed service providing (MSP) solutions enter the frame. They have the ability to open secure tunnels to enabled devices and execute predefined scripts in bulk, reporting back on the results with a full audit trail. A bulk update task targeted at 20 Windows devices, for example, might take up to 2 hours when executed individually in interactive screen sharing sessions. IT pros believe the same task can be achieved with MSP technology in less than 2 minutes, driving improvements in the operational efficiency of IT teams.
This mission is vital, as the proliferation of smart devices beyond traditional desktops and laptops — including smartphones, tablets and IoT devices used in retail, healthcare and beyond – rapidly continues. That drives our dependence on functioning IT systems and immense frustration at lengthy unplanned downtime. Speedy resolutions to common faults are table stakes now, and some manufacturers are even embracing smart technology to enable preventative maintenance. If our devices know they’re going to fail before we suffer because of that failure, then a timely fix can be applied to avoid any inconvenience.
Again, enter MSPs, which are able to monitor a large suite of devices in real-time, providing time series metrics on device health. Alerts can be created when metrics are reported outside of working tolerances (e.g. CPU or I/O spikes, excessive operating temperatures, storage near capacity) and an IT professional can intervene ahead of criticality.
While operational efficiency and downtime prevention may be core business drivers, there are other strategic areas that benefit significantly from these remote control technologies. With the rise of ESG and a company’s carbon footprint as boardroom topics, anything that can be done to avoid unnecessary travel should be done. We can’t yet put a number on the carbon we’ve saved over the years through the deployment of travel-busting technology on billions of devices globally, but suspect it’s huge.
Another welcome benefit is the democratization of, or equity of, work. People who were not in a position to go into the office can now preside over business critical problem-solving from wherever works for them. The talent pool organizations can now access when hiring into their IT or field service management teams is broadened significantly thanks to work no longer being location-independent. With the competition for talent never greater, this is happy news indeed.
The exponentially increasing number of connected devices demands new methods of management beyond access via interactive, one-to-one screen sharing. IT teams should look towards their pureplay remote access software vendors for right-sized solutions where complex orchestration tools are either too heavyweight or not within budget.
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