Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is the Force Multiplier of Digital Experiences
November 02, 2022

Colin Fallwell
Sumo Logic

Share this

The pandemic spurred a wave of digital services because they allowed companies to stay competitive in the digital transformation. This trend, in turn, caused companies to adopt site reliability engineering (SRE) to keep up with the customer demand for digital experiences.

DevOps Institute recently published the Global SRE Pulse 2022 highlighting the growing adoption of SRE as a central operating model to deliver digital services and applications.

Even with over 62% of respondents saying their organizations are leveraging SRE within their company today, the survey shows that many organizations are at different stages within SRE adoption. Only 1% of respondents report that they tried SRE but that it did not work for their company.

SRE is now an essential engineering practice for enterprises seeking to accelerate digital transformations to digital-first brands. So how can companies empower SREs and adopt the model across their entire IT organizations to improve digital experiences and ultimately the business? It first starts with addressing the workforce gap and then breaking down team silos.

Closing the Skills Gap

The biggest challenge when adopting SRE is finding those with the right skills to make SRE to work properly — with 85% of respondents citing the lack of staff with necessary skills as their biggest challenge.

Leaders can address skill gaps by training talent and promoting within the organization. It's important to not only look at the technical skills but also at a candidate's ability to see and advocate for the relationship between engineering and business.

It's also essential to implement automation solutions to reduce the manual work of solving priority alerts. It's not just a matter of implementing technology though. Teams must also update processes to ensure the technology is used by everyone, including those who resist AIOps and automation.

The survey found that some teams are implementing intelligent automation everywhere to ensure the reliability and continuous operation of systems. Specifically, 29% of respondents said they are currently leveraging observability tools and techniques.

One method of advancing automation is through chaos engineering and intentionally destroying and rebuilding environments to improve both hygiene and confidence. However, 43% of survey respondents said they're not applying chaos engineering at all, so there is significant opportunity for those willing to learn the skills.

SRE Best Practices Can Unify Teams

Siloed teams is another common challenge for organizations. Communication and dependencies delay responses and innovation. SREs can bridge the gap between IT and developers if leaders first implement these SRE best practices across teams.

Track and manage toil. Toil is work that is manual, repetitive, automatable, tactical, or devoid of enduring value, and it scales linearly as a service grows. In the survey, 66% of respondents said they measure toil in some or several teams, and 11% indicated they track toil everywhere. By measuring toil, SREs can proactively reduce its effects across teams to improve reliability.

Provide ongoing support. Organizations also report implementing SRE best practices, including these across all teams:

- Adopting observability and monitoring tools (29%)
- Supporting essential job certifications (27%)
- Practicing a no blame philosophy (36%)

The two most widely adopted practices to at least some extent were practicing no blame (92%) and retrospectives or post-mortems (95%). The philosophy of learning from failure is what drives SRE success in many organizations.

Looking into the Future of SRE

Overall, the level of maturity revealed by the Global SRE Pulse survey indicates that many organizations are invested in improving SRE and making it part of their processes and cultures.

With 37% of organizations reporting that they have centralized SRE teams, it appears the practices and topologies are evolving. But the foundation for SRE is on solid ground and business leaders can expect SRE to remain a fixture in the industry. Beyond that, SRE also has the opportunity to be a unifying force between IT and business departments. By partnering with business and development teams, SRE will have the ability to influence and improve business outcomes.

Colin Fallwell is Field CTO of Sumo Logic
Share this

The Latest

December 01, 2022

You could argue that, until the pandemic, and the resulting shift to hybrid working, delivering flawless customer experiences and improving employee productivity were mutually exclusive activities. Evidence from Catchpoint's recently published Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) industry report suggests this is changing ...

November 30, 2022

There are many issues that can contribute to developer dissatisfaction on the job — inadequate pay and work-life imbalance, for example. But increasingly there's also a troubling and growing sense of lacking ownership and feeling out of control ... One key way to increase job satisfaction is to ameliorate this sense of ownership and control whenever possible, and approaches to observability offer several ways to do this ...

November 29, 2022

The need for real-time, reliable data is increasing, and that data is a necessity to remain competitive in today's business landscape. At the same time, observability has become even more critical with the complexity of a hybrid multi-cloud environment. To add to the challenges and complexity, the term "observability" has not been clearly defined ...

November 28, 2022

Many have assumed that the mainframe is a dying entity, but instead, a mainframe renaissance is underway. Despite this notion, we are ushering in a future of more strategic investments, increased capacity, and leading innovations ...

November 22, 2022

Most (85%) consumers shop online or via a mobile app, with 59% using these digital channels as their primary holiday shopping channel, according to the Black Friday Consumer Report from Perforce Software. As brands head into a highly profitable time of year, starting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's imperative development teams prepare for peak traffic, optimal channel performance, and seamless user experiences to retain and attract shoppers ...

November 21, 2022

From staffing issues to ineffective cloud strategies, NetOps teams are looking at how to streamline processes, consolidate tools, and improve network monitoring. What are some best practices that can help achieve this? Let's dive into five ...

November 18, 2022

On November 1, Taylor Swift announced the Eras Tour ... the whole world is now standing in the same virtual queue, and even the most durable cloud architecture can't handle this level of deluge ...

November 17, 2022

OpenTelemetry, a collaborative open source observability project, has introduced a new network protocol that addresses the infrastructure management headache, coupled with collector configuration options to filter and reduce data volume ...

November 16, 2022

A unified view of digital infrastructure is essential for IT teams that must improve the digital user experience while boosting overall organizational productivity, according to a survey of IT managers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from Riverbed and market research firm IDC ...

November 15, 2022

Building the visibility infrastructure to make cloud networks observable is a complex technical challenge. But with careful planning and a few strategic decisions, it's possible to appropriately design, set up and manage visibility solutions for the cloud ...