It\u2019s a jungle out there. And by \u201cout there\u201d we mean your enterprise IT. And by \u201cjungle\u201d we mean the huge number of technologies like ABAP, Java, and .NET that handle your business processes on multiple system components. Of course these service-enabled, distributed, heterogeneous systems can be accessed on all those BYOD via many different channels. One of the great challenges all this causes is finding out why performance is degrading. In short, have you ever tried to find one root (cause) in a jungle?\nIn order to identify the root cause of incidents, IT needs to use a systematic, top-down approach to isolate the erroneous component and subsequently resolve the issue. Unfortunately, even though the most common causes are network related, admins frequently look for data from things like servers, security, application design\/health, and end client systems or users \u2013 which have nothing to do with networking.\nRemember the words of Sherlock Holmes: \u201cWhen you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.\u201d In the search for root causes you need to have tools that go beyond network element views tools so you can quickly rule out everything that is not the problem.\nThat doesn\u2019t mean using every tool out there. Do that and you will have more data than you can use from too many sources to be certain of. A report by Enterprise Management Associates found that the larger the business the more tools it is likely to use, even though that doesn\u2019t improve reporting. Where businesses with fewer than 1000 employees use three to five tools, most of those with more than 5000 employees use six or more, with 25% using 16 or more tools!\nAs the report says, \u201cMore tools mean process inefficiencies since most function independently and don\u2019t share data directly. Also, each tool must be individually installed, configured, and maintained.\u201d IT managers need to consolidate and integrate tools as much as possible so your staff can spend less time maintaining the tools and more time managing the network.\nOne thing we all know is that technology doesn\u2019t stand still. Just consider the growing interest in software-defined networking. Whether it\u2019s SDN or something else, your network is going to change and your monitoring and management tools need to be flexible enough to handle that. Although those tools may need add-ons you need to make sure you won\u2019t have to replace them or wind up with SDN as a separate thing needing its own management tools.\nThanks to new developments like cloud, SDN, and big data, the IT jungle is getting denser every day. Whether your efforts turn into a well-planned safari or a battle for survival depends on how hard it is for you to find the root cause of the problems you face. The best gear you can pack is a consolidated set of management solutions which works across different data sets, supports new technologies, and delivers information for service-related outcomes. To find out more about what you can do to improve your network management systems click here.