The digitization of the enterprise has never moved so swiftly, and never have enterprise environments been as complex to manage. And, never have more businesses been as dependent on their infrastructure and operations being unfaltering.
According to a new survey and accompanying report from Catchpoint and the DevOps Institute, site reliability engineers (SREs) and teams still struggle with effective SRE processes that would help these teams improve their system reliability, incident management and end user/customer satisfaction.
For instance, the survey found that 53% of respondents reported being brought in too late into the application life cycle. Most respondents said that they are currently spending 75% of their time focused on operations and very little of their time on development objectives.
That heavy focus on ops comes at a cost by increasing the ongoing costs associated with owning and operating their systems and infrastructure. Moreover, in recent months, perhaps because of increased remote work, Ops-related activities have increased by 10% overall among those surveyed.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of SREs who believe they will be working remotely in the next year jumped to 50% from only 19% who thought so before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
When it comes to performing their duties, more than half of the respondents cited the change to remote working causing challenges when it comes to attaining a balance between their work and their life.
Additionally, while 9% of respondents felt incident management has improved, 41% said that half or more of their work is focused on managing mostly manual, repetitive and tactical tasks that could likely be automated. Another 52% said they spend too much time debugging.
The report provided a few suggestions for teams:
- Be sure to include consideration for not only your code but also the networks, third-party services and delivery chain components to evaluate how well the three observability pillars are applied through this new digital experience observability lens.
- Work to be included earlier in the development process should shift reliability further left to reduce cost, increase team alignment and identify constraints that can be removed.
- Turn newly surfaced or previously ignored challenges into strategic differentiators. Focusing on challenges such as morale, employee experience, work/life balance and employee engagement and sentiment may showcase a company’s employee-first mentality to attract or retain top talent.
As we covered in “Digital Transformation Efforts Hindered by Lack of Upskilling,” there are no digital transformations without staff transformations and the same is true for practices such as DevOps and SRE. And it’s that last point that may be one of the biggest inhibitors to SRE teams getting from where they are today in maturity to where they want or need to be. An earlier survey from the DevOps Institute, the “2020 Upskilling: Enterprise DevOps Skills Report” found that 58% of enterprises have a tough time actually finding those with the right DevOps skills, and 48% said it’s difficult to retain skilled DevOps professionals.