RMM vs MDM: Which is Better for IT Security

  • December 29, 2022

A glass of Witbier or Pale Ale? That’s just a rather simple Saturday evening revelry decision to make. But MDM or RMM? It’s a decision that involves your organizational IT security. Lapses around a few glasses of your favorite beer are frivolous. But even a single lapse around IT security can lead to a debacle. That’s how uncompromisable IT security has always been, and ever more so in today’s day and age. 

A comparison of RMM and MDM

While remote monitoring and management (RMM) and mobile device management (MDM) have commonalities, there’re also notable differences. One needs to weigh in on all the pros and cons (differences) on an IT security and management scale. IT teams would love an MDM-RMM cocktail for unsurpassed security. But how feasible is this mix?

Let’s plunge into the RMM and MDM scheme of things and try to get high (on IT security)!

What is RMM?

RMM, as its full form entails, is about two aspects—remote monitoring and remote management. With RMM, IT admins can protect and oversee business endpoints remotely. RMM suits the needs of managed service providers or MSPs to handle client IT infrastructure. 

RMM offers automated updates and deployments, software and firmware inventory, fast issue resolution, and of course, remote monitoring. RMM software helps IT admins track company devices and provide cloud-based remote support. 

Advantages of RMM

RMM serves a set of advantages to IT admins to make their lives a little less stressful. Here’re some of those:

  • RMM lets IT admins remotely control network access, programs, devices, and PCs
  • RMM watches over device performance and wellness and sends alerts to IT teams so they can be proactive in resolving issues
  • RMM ensures proper functioning and running of networks and systems 
  • RMM offers advanced reporting capabilities to identify problematic business areas
  • Most RMM solution providers have 24×7 support so IT admins can access the required expertise or tools 

Disadvantages of RMM

  • RMM necessitates upfront IT expenditure on installing, configuring, learning, and troubleshooting
  • RMM doesn’t facilitate any sort of mobile phone management
  • RMM has no control over corporate data security
  • RMM can’t help manage employee devices (can’t enforce BYOD policy)
  • RMM and Apple devices aren’t beer buddies

It’s worth noting that the points under RMM disadvantages can be alarming in a modern workplace where device heterogeneity (particularly smartphones) is high and a lot of people use personal devices at work. 

Well, now that’s the RMM shot done! Feeling good about remote IT control and management, right? But are thoughts of data security and smartphones and multi-OS management killing the buzz?

Learn More: 10 Benefits of Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) Software

Time for the MDM shot then!

What is MDM?

MDM or mobile device management allows IT admins to safeguard, regulate, and automate organizational policies on MDM-enrolled devices. MDM provides shielded access to corporate data and information across devices and operating systems. With MDM, IT admins can track devices, manage apps, and enhance data security.

Advantages of MDM

MDM is an absolute asset to organizational IT teams in more ways than one.

  • MDM restricts unauthorized app access on devices (kiosk mode—single-app or multi-app)
  • MDM simplifies cross-OS patch management
  • MDM has no device restrictions, be it rugged devices, IoT devices, smartphones, tablets, or PCs
  • MDM offers bulk enrollment of devices
  • MDM helps IT admins maintain regulatory compliance
  • MDM helps push BYOD policies with ease
  • MDM lets you lock devices and wipe essential data off those devices

Disadvantages of MDM

We’ve got to be nitpicking here! But here’re a couple of disadvantages if you insist on fairplay against RMM. 

  • MDM is costlier than RMM
  • MDM software pricing plans are per-device plans; hence, more devices, higher the overall MDM pricing

Learn More: How Does Mobile Device Management (MDM) Work?

MDM vs. RMM: Judgment Day!

Both RMM and MDM shots are done! Time to get a fix on what holds the higher IT spirits.

First, let’s quickly go through some remarkable similarities that both MDM and RMM possess. 

  • Both intend to simplify IT tasks
  • Both work remotely so IT teams don’t have to bother moving from their desks
  • Both can limit users by controlling access to features
  • Both can automate patch management

Finally, it’s that match-up that we’ve been building upon—MDM vs. RMM!

  • RMM is more network and system inclusive while MDM is all about, yes, it’s in the name—mobile devices
  • RMM requires separate software purchases for different OS (Android, macOS, Windows, Linux) while MDM is a single app for all platforms
  • MDM lets IT admins be on top of pushing apps and device security, something that RMM doesn’t offer
  • MDM is more helpful for organizations with a geographically distributed workforce as it can control which apps to run on which devices and where, whereas RMM has app and device control limitations
  • Modern features, such as zero-touch enrollment and geo-fencing, are available with MDM, not RMM

It’s clear that MDM and RMM benefit organizations and IT teams in their own right. However, MDM solutions, even though costlier, offer long-term benefits and suit the new-age organization more. So, are we in a decision loop again? This brings us to the question we asked at the beginning of this article—is an MDM-RMM cocktail possible?

UEM: The Heady MDM-RMM Cocktail

The best of both MDM and RMM worlds is a possibility. Like that LIIT we seek in bar menus. The LIIT for IT security is unified endpoint management or UEM. UEM combines the automation functionalities of MDM and RMM. UEM dashboards support seamless integration with customer-specific or third-party apps or platforms. 

Conclusion: Need vs. Cost Analysis

MDM, RMM, or both, i.e., UEM—the choice is yours, but you got to choose well, keeping all your IT, device, and corporate data security needs in mind. Cost can be a deciding factor, but it’s always better to go for lasting benefits than brief savings. Think of where you want to be with your devices and remote workforce by 2035, not 2025. Keep device and network scalability in your need vs. cost analysis. 

Scalefusion MDM could be the right answer to ease the workloads of your IT teams. When your IT and corporate data environments are secure through an MDM, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Witbier or Pale Ale—everything flows without lapses.

Get started on your MDM shot with a 14-day free trial of Scalefusion, now!

Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops, laptops and other endpoints

Abhinandan is a Senior Content Editor at Scalefusion who is an enthusiast of all things tech and loves culinary and musical expeditions. With more than a decade of experience, he believes in delivering consummate, insightful content to readers.  
Subscribe to our newsletter

Exciting Products.
Cutting-Edge Technology.
Powerful Insights.
Delivered Straight to Your Inbox!

No spam, no BS, unsubscribe at any time.