Advancing CI/CD adoption
As a foreign currency exchange company founded in England in 1976, Travelex has challenges that aren’t faced by startups building cloud businesses from launch. The biggest ongoing problem to solve: how to continue the progress of becoming cloud-native while maintaining the security of financial transaction data.
“If you look at our history from an IT perspective, we have, over the years accumulated a broad set of custom-built on premise applications in order to support our global business as it has grown,” explains Mayank Goswami, Assistant Vice President for Cloud-DevOps at Travelex. “It can be hard to identify dependencies due to these applications being developed on-premise and so it’s really very difficult to fit cloud solutions into legacy architecture.”
To accelerate adoption of CI/CD, Goswami and developer leads focused on building templates. “We’ve been handing the templates to various teams so they can build CI/CD pipelines themselves, rather than us becoming a bottleneck for the different teams,” Goswami says.
Meeting the highest security standards
While pondering a shift away from Bamboo CI/CD, Travelex settled on CircleCI, both for its developer tools and high security. Tools such as orbs gave CircleCI the advantage over other platforms. “Orbs can deliver major functionality around OpenID Connect and other infrastructure delivery aspects,” Goswami says.
Security was also a must-have. “We don’t compromise on security because we’re a financial organization,” Goswami says. “On this point, CircleCI stands well in meeting our requirements.” Security is essential.
When Travelex opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Shanghai in 2019, there was some concern that developers based in China would not be able to access CircleCI’s API, given the country’s restrictions.
“But CircleCI did work, and we were able to consume it directly as an API,” Goswami says. CircleCI was able to meet the country’s strict data privacy regulations. “We’ve had no downtime and no connectivity issues,” Goswami adds.
CircleCI also won approval for virtual capabilities such as containerization. “At the time, CircleCI was one of very few CI/CD providers with containers – the others were providing a standalone VM-based or hardware-based solution,” Goswami says. “With this kind of deployment architecture, you tend to save a lot and you efficiently utilize your underlying hardware.”
“We have the flexibility to quickly scale up and scale down. That’s the advantage in terms of reducing the end-to-end cycle time for software delivery.”
Assistant Vice President at Travelex
Immediate savings on cost and time
Adoption of CircleCI has greatly simplified code pipelines. “If we want to scale up or add new projects from a build perspective, the only thing we have to do is create new jobs or plans within CircleCI – and that’s it,” Goswami says.
The savings of cost and time began as soon as CircleCI was deployed. “It used to take around three to four months for us to deploy or build basic infrastructure – whereas when we adopted CircleCI, we got it done in three weeks,” Goswami says. “We didn’t have to spend effort on infrastructure, so it was a total cost saving.” Since using CircleCI, Travelex has been able to save roughly £300,000 in the last five years.
CircleCI automation has also shortened code testing timelines. “The effort and time that we put into projects pre-CircleCI was running into months,” Goswami says. “We’ve gradually reduced that to a week or a few days.” Reusable templates have helped speed up adoption of CircleCI, allowing developers to get started quickly and configure templates as needed.
CircleCI tools and features help Travelex developers streamline processes – as does support and documentation. “Whenever we needed calls with a subject matter expert from a .NET or Java perspective, there were people at CircleCI who joined us on calls, looked at our existing tech stack, and explained how to move to CircleCI seamlessly,” Goswami says. “There’s always a clear-cut path that’s defined for us.”
As Travelex developers help grow the business beyond its origins in the UK, the developer team can scale workflows to meet demand – even as they maintain a brisk pace. “We have the flexibility to quickly scale up and scale down,” says Goswami. “That’s the advantage in terms of reducing the end-to-end cycle time for software delivery.”
Benefits of using CircleCI:
- Hundreds of thousands in cost-savings
- Rapid adoption
- Project timelines reduced from weeks to just days
- Flexibility to scale up or down
Founded in 1976, Travelex’s mission is to simplify our customers’ access to international money, however and whenever. They have grown to become one of the market leading specialist providers of foreign exchange products, solutions and services, operating across the entire value chain of the foreign exchange industry in more than 20 countries.