Gene regulatory networks exhibiting Boolean behaviour, e.g. AND, OR or XOR, have been routinely designed for years. However, achieving more sophisticated functions, such as control or computation, usually requires sequential circuits or so-called state machines. For such a circuit, outputs depend both on inputs and the current state of the system. Although it is still possible to design such circuits by analogy with digital electronics, some particularities of biology make the task trickier. The impact of two of them, namely the stochasticity of biological processes and the inhomogeneity in the response of regulation mechanisms, are assessed in this paper. Numerical simulations performed in two use cases point out high risks of malfunctions even for designed GRNs functional from a theoretical point of view. Several solutions to improve reliability of such systems are also discussed.