What exactly is RMM / I.T. Automation & Patch Management
Technology is a crucial part of business, but corporate I.T. systems rely on so many different pieces of software that keeping everything fully up-to-date can seem like an impossible task.
What is RMM & I.T. Automation?
RMM is Remote Monitoring & Management, basically this is a platform which constantly monitors computers & devices for any issues such as imminent hard drive failure, overheating, memory overuse etc, by using RMM this will alert us to any issues happening in real-time, therefore we can look to resolve the problem before it gets any worse
RMM also allows us to create reports to show our clients what issues have happened if any over the previous month and what actions were taken to resolve them.
I.T. Automation allows our monitoring tools to apply automatic repairs such as hard drives reaching capacity, an example fix would to automatically run a disk cleanup of the systems and raising a ticket so we can look into this further.
How much does Patch Management & RMM / I.T. Automation Cost?
At CTA Systems we are currently looking into many options for our clients and the cost to ourselves is expected to be £2000 initially followed by £500 per month, of course at these costs we cannot absorb all of the costs and have managed to create a price we feel is more than fair for our clients at £3.50 per month per system.
Do you prioritise servers or employee workstations? Do you focus on security fixes
or compatibility updates? And how do you keep track of which patches have been
applied? These are difficult questions and they’re even harder to tackle if
you’re a smaller business.
That’s why patch management tools should be a crucial part of any IT manager’s
arsenal. Not only do they allow you to take all of the hassles out of patch deployment
by automating the process, they also provide an overview of your network’s
health, letting you know what your liabilities might be and how urgently a fix
What is patch management?
it’s important to go back to basics for a moment. Patch management is the
process of making sure that every piece of software used within a company is
up-to-date with the most current versions (you might think the version you’ve
bought is the latest but bugs are routinely found after GA and rather than just
ignoring, vendors have to add a sticking plaster until the next update)
released by the manufacturer. This includes enterprise-level products like
server operating systems and database products, as well as more basic tools
like Internet Explorer and Adobe Flash.
For all but the very smallest of SMBs, manually checking for and applying software
patches would be a Sisyphean task, which is where patch management software
comes in. Rather than forcing IT staff – or staff generally if you don’t have a
tech team – to manually update critical systems, patch management will
automatically handle the update process for every node on the corporate
This includes endpoints in physically inaccessible locations, such as employees’
company smartphones, or laptops being used by remote workers. The ability to
schedule patch and update deployments means that no matter what time-zone the
endpoint is in, fixes can be applied at a time that isn’t going to disrupt your
Why is patch management so important?
Unpatched systems are one of the easiest attack vectors for criminals looking to gain
access to corporate networks. Hackers and security researchers are constantly
discovering new vulnerabilities, and companies are constantly issuing patches
to deal with them. If those patches are not applied, however, cyber criminals
have an easy entry point into your networks.
Patch management also ensures that all your enterprise equipment keeps working as it
should. Technology is a notoriously fickle beast, and even minor software bugs
can lead to major headaches and plummeting employee productivity. Automatic
application of patches ensures that any potential problems can be resolved as
soon as possible before your business grinds to a halt.
What are the benefits of patch management?
The most obvious benefit of using patch management is that it ensures nothing slips
through the cracks. It’s frighteningly easy for a seldom-used piece of software
to get forgotten about, and if it doesn’t get patched it can introduce major security
Patch managers also free up huge amounts of time, allowing IT staff to focus on
other, more productive areas of the business. Rather than laboriously combing
through update lists, they can be working on ways to get the most business
benefit out of existing systems, or modernising IT deployments through digital
Patch management is also incredibly important in this new age of increased mobility
and remote working. While manually updating on-site systems may be
time-consuming, it is at least possible – but what do you do if some of your
staff work from home, or if a critical patch is released for an employee’s
mobile device? Patch management can make sure that all your corporate devices
stay updated, regardless of where they are.
What does effective patch management look like?
The most effective way to manage patches is going to vary between organisations,
but a few factors remain constant. The main key consideration is prioritisation
of patches. Critical security fixes should be applied as soon as possible, but
beyond that, there are other factors to take into account. IT managers should
consider how often a piece of software is used, as well as how
business-critical it is before deciding how urgently to apply a patch.
Another hallmark of effective patch management is choosing the best time to schedule
them in. Making sure that updates are only installed out of working hours will
minimise the disruption to business workflows, ensuring that employees aren’t
left twiddling their thumbs while important applications are updating.
Finally, patch managers & RMM can also be used to inform intelligent purchasing decisions for future investment. Many patch managers will give IT managers in-depth information about not only which nodes need patching, but the patches themselves. If a particular vendor is issuing frequent patches, it may indicate that its products pose a security risk and that you might want to look at alternative options.