Remote meeting tools aren’t built for IT support

Person working from home, outside with laptop and coffee using remote IT support tools


#GoToGetsIT: This article is part of an ongoing series from GoTo’s thought leaders on the frontlines: Our Solutions Consultants deeply understand our customers’ unique challenges and connect the right solutions to meet their goals using GoTo technology. Here, they share their industry knowledge on what it takes to help businesses everywhere thrive in a remote or hybrid world.

After speaking to many IT Leads over the last few months, it has become alarmingly clear that many companies across the SMB and Enterprise sectors consider remote meeting and other collaboration solutions a good substitute for a remote support solution.

Sure, those tools are great for collaboration and brainstorming, but they are not a substitution for a dedicated remote support solution. We’ll dive into the reasons in a bit, but first, let’s look at some obvious benefits of collaboration or conferencing tools.

Benefits of remote meeting & collaboration tools

  1. With the new hybrid workforce that we are all immersed in, staying connected has become a necessity. IT teams had to adopt solutions that would enable collaboration within their hybrid workforce and with their customers.
  2. Remote communication solutions like GoTo Connect, GoTo Meeting, and similar alternatives have become an essential part of a company’s IT budget.
  3. Collaboration tools enable 2-way communication, anywhere, anytime. This helps businesses stay afloat.
  4. Marketing teams are no longer constrained to physical events. Seminars, roundtables, and conferences have turned virtual, powered by online webinar tools such as GoTo Webinar.
  5. Training & Development teams are no longer constrained to physical classrooms and in-person assessments. Virtual training solutions like GoTo Training enables live trainings, workshops, and online assessments.
  6. These collaboration tools are packed with features that aim to replicate the physical experience to as close a degree as virtually possible. Share your screen/camera; Chat with the other attendees; Record your meeting; Raise your hand; Share emoticons/reactions; Share virtual backgrounds; Give keyboard & mouse controls to your screen; Dial in or join through the web. These are some of the features frequently used to keep audiences engaged and meetings productive.
  7. That said, the function to give keyboard and mouse controls to your screen is the ONLY feature relevant and commonly used by companies as a remote support feature. Meaning, there’s a whole lot of extra stuff not built for remote support in collaboration tools, yet many essential features you are missing out on by not using a purpose-built remote support solution.

Let’s now look at some of the reasons why a purpose-built remote support software should be the solution of choice for companies, large or small.

Benefits of purpose-built remote control tools

1. Admin and User Account Control (UAC)

Best-in-class remote support solutions (such as GoTo Resolve and Rescue), provide agents with the ability to perform admin-level functions on an end-user machine after obtaining end-user approval. A purpose-built remote support tool has a UAC feature, which allows the IT agents to take admin-level access to the system and perform admin-level tasks, like installing and uninstalling software, running scripts, performing application updates and maintenance, and a host of other tasks that can only be performed as an admin on the machine. This capability supports first-call resolutions.

Without UAC, which is the case when using meeting tools for remote support, agents are limited to the actions they can take. End users aren’t typically administrators on their own machines, so agents are restricted from being able fully support the user remotely, therein defeating the purpose of remote support. In the off-chance end users do have admin credentials, these are often shared over unsecure channels such as email, chat, and instant messenger, thus opening the company up to cyber risk.

2. Unattended Access

IT support should not impact end user productivity. Unfortunately, ineffective remote support solutions require the end user to be always present at the machine for IT break-fix work. This is ineffective, causing interruptions to end user productivity and impacts business outcomes in the long run.

The right remote support solution offers unattended access for the agents to perform IT tasks on machines when end users are offline (with end user permissions in place for the duration).

3. Background Diagnostic Information

The right remote support solution will paradoxically encourage a diagnose-first, remote-second approach to solving IT issues. Having access to device health information – CPU utilization, memory capacity, network bandwidth, latest tasks/processes run, etc. – will arm agents with all necessary information to make informed decisions on how to best resolve the issue.

4. In-session Audit Trails

Every activity performed by the agent, from the start of the session to the end, should be logged, recorded, and made available to IT administrators, to remain audit-ready. With the rise in cyberattacks, this has become even more necessary to identify points of entry and improve security.

5. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Support

With end users working in a hybrid environment, mobility is paramount. End users switch between personal and professional devices to work on the go. While this is an accepted practice by many companies, it does not often come packaged with support for BYOD devices in case of issues. Solutions used to support company-owned devices are often restricted for usage within VPNs or installed on-prem. The best remote support solutions are compatible with devices agnostic of operating system (OS) or device type, are not restricted by networks/downloads, and are fully accessible from the cloud.

6. Faster Resolutions

Additionally, best-in-class remote support solutions focus on enhancing the user experience by allowing for faster resolutions. Multi-agent collaboration and multi-session handling are features that encourage agents to invite external technicians to an ongoing session for added support towards a resolution. Multi-session handling will allow one agent to handle multiple sessions simultaneously, which helps decrease wait times and ticket volume.

7. Security

Finally, security is in the top 5 priorities for CIOs in 2023. The right remote support solutions can uphold the security policies of a company rather than serve as an entry point for cyberattacks. Zero trust, AES-256 bit encryption, SOC2 compliance, GDPR/HIPAA support, Restricted Access Packages (domain/IP restrictions), customizable connection methods, and authentication through SSO, MFA, and other secure methods, are some of the security features a purpose-built remote support solution offers.

Choose the right solution

With growing needs for IT security, productivity, and profitability (especially during these uncertain times as we face economic headwinds), it is imperative that businesses look to improve redundant and ineffective IT workflows. Making the distinction in using collaboration tools only for communication, and purpose-built remote support solutions for IT support, like GoTo Resolve, is necessary, for better IT outcomes.

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