Uninterrupted vacation time is something many IT professionals find hard to obtain. Hardware, software and users all seem to have an innate psychic ability to ascertain exactly when those responsible for networks are trying to get some time away from the office. As a result, anyone who has been in the IT industry for any length of time will have experienced the frustration of being called away from the dinner table, the swimming pool or the beach.
To a certain extent, it is the curse of the IT professional to accept these interruptions as part of the job. Inevitably in the early stages of an MSP business (until your team has grown to include an array of skilled staff), you may simply have to accept that you will sometimes have to break off from what you are doing to firefight an unexpected issue.
There is plenty you can do, however, to minimize these unwelcome disturbances, and the first thing you should consider is implementing an effective Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) system. (Of course we have to recommend GFI MAX.)
Essentially, implementing RMM across all your client sites is all about being as proactive as possible in maintaining customer systems. You want all possible system information at your fingertips, along with the ability to tweak and fix from a distance.
Selecting a good RMM solution and implementing it across your client base should allow you to do all of the following things:
Configure alerts that email you or send a text (SMS) message when an issue occurs on any server or PC under your jurisdiction. Some RMM systems even have the capability to notify you of problems on managed mobile devices. Often, the RMM system will alert you to impending problems before clients even become aware of them.
Use your detailed knowledge of the current status of all client systems to deploy your staff effectively while you are away. Even if you have to make your peace with receiving the occasional alert, being able to quickly assign tasks to your team is less of an interruption than having to grab a laptop, find a WiFi hotspot and interrupt your plans.
Gain a “dashboard” view of the status of all your client systems. This can allow you to start each of your vacation days with a clear head, and the reassurance that nothing bad is waiting around the corner to spoil your arrangements.
Access system information from a mobile device - even just your smartphone, minimizing the intrusive equipment you have to carry with you on vacation.
Gain quick and reliable remote access to systems when problems do occur that require your personal attention.
It’s not wrong to be selfish about protecting your personal time when you run an IT business. If you’re not given the chance to rest and recharge, you will lose your drive and motivation and your clients and internal team will suffer. Perhaps you can’t expect to escape from your business completely, even if you have escaped the country – but with a good RMM system, you can at least boost your chances of some quiet, stress-free days.