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EDF deploys Dynatrace to fuel site reliability engineering drive

The energy company has adopted the observability platform to support in-house software development

As part of its ongoing digitisation strategy, EDF Energy UK is shifting its approach to software development to site reliability engineering (SRE), supported by Dynatrace.

With SRE, observability becomes a key part of the design process. It effectively treats issues with IT operations as if they are software problems. Originally developed by Google, SRE offers a set of practices focused on iteratively improving production systems.

At EDF, SRE is being used to ensure services are scalable, reliable and customer-centric. The digital transformation has resulted in EDF bringing software development back in-house. It has also shifted its enterprise workloads to a multi-cloud and cloud-native architecture.

EDF is deploying Dynatrace as part of this ongoing digital transformation. Among the goals of the digital transformation is improvement in customer-facing services, including billing and account queries, meter reading submissions and online customer support engagements.

Dynatrace is being rolled out as the company’s observability platform to enable its tech teams to tackle performance, reliability and security issues across its customer-facing digital services, which supports more than 5.2 million across the UK. Dynatrace consolidates multiple tools into one unified observability and security platform.

The energy firm also plans to use Dynatrace’s artificial intelligence (AI)-driven automation technology to help its IT team optimise cloud operations and deliver reliable and secure customer experiences. Dynatrace’s AI monitoring will be used to identify potential inefficiencies in EDF’s tech infrastructure, to help the IT team remediate downtime quickly and improve customer self-service.

Steve Bowerman, principal software engineer at EDF, said prior to deploying Dynatrace, it lacked insight into the performance of the company’s digital services. “To innovate at speed while continuing to deliver the excellent standards of customer experience we aspire to, we realised we needed a more strategic approach to observability,” he said. “We identified Dynatrace as the best solution because it enables us to bring all of our data together on a single platform with precise answers and automation. This will transform the way our teams work by pointing towards where investing time in development work will deliver the greatest value to the business.”

Read more about site reliability engineering

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  • SRE documentation stands distinct from other types of IT documentation, not least because it's a core responsibility for site reliability engineers. What else makes it distinct?

EDF hopes the implementation of Dynatrace will enable its in-house software development teams to make more informed decisions about how they optimise applications to build better services for customers and support a more collaborative DevOps culture.

“Dynatrace will put us in a stronger position to realise the benefits of bringing software development in-house,” said Bowerman. “It has been a core catalyst and enabler for our software engineering maturity, which is shifting from DevOps to SRE, so we can build highly reliable, scalable services.”

According to Bowerman, Dynatrace will help EDF innovate faster and improve the digital services that enable its customers to interact with the company in new and more convenient ways. “Ultimately, that’s what our transformation initiatives are all about – finding ways to make our customers’ lives easier through technology innovation and digital enablement,” he added.

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