(Editor\u2019s note: Recent research by Enterprise Management Associates takes a look at how enterprises regard cloud management tools. This article by Shamus McGillicuddy, EMA\u2019s research director for network management, details highlights of\u00a0\u201cNetwork Engineering and Operations in the Multi-Cloud Era,\u201d a report based on EMA\u2019s survey of 250 IT professionals and telephone interviews with a half dozen IT leaders.) \nThree out of four network managers say that at least one of their network monitoring tools has failed to address their requirements for monitoring the public cloud environments \u2013 perilous, given the extent of public-cloud adoption today.\n\nOverall, only 26 percent of network managers say their tools fully addressed their cloud-monitoring needs. Thirty-nine percent said they had to find new solutions to solve their tool gap. The rest (35 percent) customized their tools in some way to address the issue.\nWhy network monitoring tools fail in the cloud\nCost and complexity were the top reasons given for cloud-monitoring failures. Forty-five percent said cloud support required additional software licenses or network monitoring tool modules, which they didn\u2019t want to pay for. Forty-four percent indicated that cloud support in their tools was too difficult to implement or use. They simply couldn\u2019t get value out of the updated tools.\n\u201cDue to complacency and limitations of the software itself, we had to get rid of [a tool],\u201d one IT executive at a North American distributor of heavy, manufactured products told EMA. \u201cIt\u2019s not worth the time and investment. We didn\u2019t want to spend more money on a new version that was just a redux of an older version. I didn\u2019t see any real progress in the product.\u201d\nFurthermore, 35 percent said their vendors had done a poor job of adding cloud-monitoring support to their tools, with the functional updates failing to meet their needs. And 28 percent said their vendors had failed to even establish a roadmap for cloud monitoring. Four years ago, vendor inaction in the cloud was common, but today it\u2019s unacceptable.\nIT faces network-management-tool proliferation\nThe public cloud has forced 84 percent of IT organizations to increase the number of network-management tools they use, according to EMA\u2019s research. Among those enterprises that have grown their toolset, 96 percent are experiencing challenges as a direct consequence of that growth.\nFirst, 40 percent report they are facing a heightened security risk because of all the tools they have deployed. There are more administrative privileges to maintain across tools, more data to collect, and a more diverse and sizable attack surface across tools. As they add tools, network managers need to establish best practices to protect the network from unauthorized administrative access.\nTwenty-six percent named cost as a major headache. They simply have too many tools to buy and maintain. And 25 percent complained of a skills gap. As they add tools, network managers have to learn how to use them.\nHow to avoid trouble\nNetwork managers can mitigate these problems by taking control. They shouldn\u2019t wait for the cloud team to come to them for help with cloud engineering and operations. Instead, the network team should join the cloud team at the very beginning, before the enterprise even starts evaluating the possibilities of a cloud strategy.\nEMA\u2019s research found that network teams that get involved with a cloud strategy on \u201cday zero\u201d are the most likely (35 percent) to report that their existing monitoring tools met all their cloud requirements, in contrast to 18 percent of network teams that join a cloud effort during the research or planning phase. Having an early say in the direction of a cloud strategy will help the network team align that strategy with existing capabilities.\nAlso, identify the technical requirements that the cloud might demand of your tools as early as possible. EMA research found that scalability is the top business requirement driving tool strategies for managing and monitoring cloud networking. The number-two requirement is adaptability. Network monitoring tools must be able to support new abstractions, new cloud providers and new network software.\nIt may be inevitable that some tools will let you down. And new vendors will emerge that offer capabilities no incumbent vendor can offer. However, EMA advises network managers work as carefully as possible to extract value from their existing tools to mitigate complexity and control costs.