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The time for SRE is now! Why SRE is being considered ‘transformational’ for enterprises

The last few days have seen the release of a number of new Gartner Hype cycles for 2023. Gartner Hype Cycles provide a representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems. 

Looking across all the various new hype cycles relating to infrastructure and operations, there is a recurring theme; Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is the only technology area consistently considered ‘transformational’ over the next five years. 

In fact, in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Infrastructure Automation, Gartner state:

By 2027, 75% of enterprises will use site reliability engineering practices organization wide to optimize product design, cost and operations to meet customer expectations, up from 10% in 2022.

What is Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)?

Site reliability engineering (SRE) is a collection of systems and software engineering principles used to design and operate scalable, resilient systems. Originally popularised by Google, it has more recently grown in popularity as a practice across enterprises who are looking to improve the reliability of systems that are not meeting customer requirements for availability and performance or are proving difficult to scale.

SRE aims to bridge the gap between development and operations by applying engineering and agile principles to the field of operations. It emphasises automation, orchestration, monitoring, incident response, and reliability engineering to ensure the availability, performance, and scalability of complex systems.

So why does SRE have the potential to be so transformative?

1) Enhanced Reliability

SRE focuses on improving the reliability of complex systems, ensuring that applications and services are available, performant, and scalable. By implementing SRE principles, enterprises can create a culture of continuous resilience - significantly reducing downtime, improving system stability, and enhancing customer experience.

2) Automation and Efficiency

SRE promotes the concept of ‘automate everything’ to manage and operate systems, significantly reducing manual toil and improving overall efficiency. By automating routine tasks, enterprises can streamline their operations, eliminate human error, and allocate resources towards higher value tasks.

3) Risk Mitigation

 SRE incorporates practices such as blameless postmortems, auto-remediation and chaos engineering to proactively identify and mitigate risks. By adopting these practices, enterprises can reduce the impact of (inevitable) failures, improve overall resilience, and enhance their ability to recover from incidents.

4) Business Alignment

SRE aligns technology and operations with business objectives. By focusing on service-level objectives (SLOs) that directly impact the business, SRE helps enterprises prioritise efforts, allocate resources effectively, and ensure that technology supports the organisation's strategic goals.

5) Scalability and Growth

SRE emphasises building scalable and resilient systems from the ground up. By incorporating SRE practices, enterprises can better adapt to changing business needs, and support growth without compromising on reliability or performance.

The future is bright for SRE

As technology continues to advance and systems become increasingly complex, the need for effective reliability engineering will only grow. SRE will continue to be transformative as it evolves and adapts to emerging technologies and challenges. 

Read more blogs on the power of SRE here:

What's the difference between DevOps and SRE?

Four ways to scale your SRE practices

SRE Automation: The Good, The Bad and the Toily

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