WorldRemit tackles enterprise cloud complexity and accelerates innovation with Dynatrace



Financial Services

About WorldRemit

  • Fast-growing fintech launched in 2010, offering an easier, low-cost alternative to online money transfers
  • Provider of international remittance services to expatriates and migrant workers in over 50 countries
  • Transfers to more than 140 destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas



Rapid growth escalates IT complexity

WorldRemit has experienced rapid growth in the eight years since its launch. As a result, its IT landscape has had to evolve quickly to support the business. Most of its services were originally run in managed hosting environments, but WorldRemit transitioned to a range of SaaS, IaaS and PaaS solutions as the cloud market matured to support its rapid growth. Today, around 95% of its production systems run in Microsoft Azure, whilst its big data platform sits in Amazon Web Services (AWS). This led to the emergence of a complex hybrid enterprise cloud environment. With WorldRemit re-engineering its applications into microservices managing this level of cloud complexity was becoming increasingly difficult.

Jonathan Hotchkiss, head of cloud site reliability engineering at WorldRemit explains: “Our growth has been phenomenal as consumers have embraced the simplicity with which we enable them to transfer money abroad. However, we’ve had all the challenges that come with fast growth. For example, the market for developers is fierce, so there have been a number of changes to our team, resulting in code complexity. Processes like logging, alerting and documentation have been done ad-hoc so we could focus on innovation. That created a very fragmented and complex ecosystem, which was making it difficult to manage performance and deliver the experience our users expect.”

This complexity was exacerbated by the multitude of monitoring tools that developers and operations teams had brought in over the years to manage IT performance. WorldRemit found this disparate toolset was creating a fragmented view and often couldn’t provide the level of visibility needed into its enterprise cloud ecosystem. The IT team found it had to work through a multitude of often conflicting data to narrow down the root cause of performance problems. Hotchkiss adds: “Tools that were great five years ago just weren’t built for today’s cloud environments, so we struggled to see the full picture about what was going on inside our platform. We needed to consolidate the nine tools we were using and get to a single pane of glass that offered a unified approach to managing our enterprise cloud.”



A purpose-built solution that goes beyond monitoring

WorldRemit looked at the range of second generation application performance monitoring (APM) tools on the market, but quickly identified that these offerings couldn’t provide the holistic solution it was looking for. Hotchkiss says: “We looked at a few options, New Relic included, but most of them could only do a fraction of what we needed to master the complexity of our cloud ecosystem. We realized that we needed more than just a monitoring tool to achieve our goals, so we started to look more widely. Dynatrace was purpose-built for the cloud and its software intelligence capabilities made it the only solution that could enable us to not only understand what was going on in our enterprise cloud environment, but also give us the answers to solving performance problems.”

A key advantage WorldRemit saw in Dynatrace’s software intelligence platform was the ability for IT teams to do a deep dive into the root cause of performance problems, without needing to switch to another tool. Its seamless integrations with AWS and Azure also enable Dynatrace to provide end-to-end visibility across the full-stack of WorldRemit’s enterprise cloud environment. This allowed WorldRemit to consolidate its existing toolset, as IT teams could get all the context they needed from Dynatrace. The software intelligence capabilities allow WorldRemit to understand the business impact of performance problems in real-time and instantly identify how they can be resolved before user experience is affected.

Ease of deployment was another major advantage that WorldRemit identified in Dynatrace. Hotchkiss elaborates: “When we saw Dynatrace for the first time, we really had that ‘ah-ha’ moment, where we realized the extent of the insight it could provide into our cloud environment. We were blown away by what Dynatrace was able to quickly discover, instrument and display, with zero configuration on our part. That level of intelligence and automation made it the obvious choice. On top of this it was very quick and pain free to deploy.”



We were blown away by what Dynatrace was able to quickly discover, instrument and display, with zero configuration on our part.”
Jonathan Hotchkiss, Head of cloud service reliability and engineering


A single source of ‘business truth’

The single view that Dynatrace provides into its IT ecosystem has been a major advantage in enabling WorldRemit to improve the performance of its services and optimize user experiences. Having a single source of ‘business truth’ has removed the blame culture that previously existed within IT, by helping developers to quickly understand the impact of their code and cloud instances on the user experience and identify where improvements can be made.

This insight proved particularly invaluable during the launch of the WorldRemit Wallet, which allows customers to transfer and store currency digitally. Dynatrace identified that there was a performance bottleneck at a crucial point in the transaction flow and pinpointed the root cause to a line of inefficient code, which was draining 90% of available CPU power. Hotchkiss adds: “Dynatrace instantly flagged there was a problem and showed us how we could rectify it to improve the user experience tenfold. Without Dynatrace, we’d have just thrown more CPU at the problem, which is very easy to do in the cloud, but is also very costly. As well as the unnecessary expense, we’d never really have addressed the problem.”


Accelerating innovation and continued growth

The visibility provided by Dynatrace has ultimately given WorldRemit greater confidence in the ability of IT to keep up with the continued growth of the business. Hotchkiss explains: “What Dynatrace has allowed us to do is respond quickly to the speed at which our cloud is growing, giving us confidence in our ability to add innovative ways to send and receive money and develop new products that deliver the best possible service for of our customers.”

The real user experience insights provided by Dynatrace are also helping WorldRemit to continually optimize and improve global service performance for its customers. For example, it can identify where new infrastructure should be deployed to improve user-experience and pinpoint common localized customer pain points across different regions. Hotchkiss adds: “Our ability to put ourselves in the shoes of our customers wherever they are in the world to identify the factors that impact on their experience is a major advantage in enabling our teams to address those issues. Ultimately, that will be key to increasing conversions and supporting our continued global growth.”


Dynatrace has allowed us to respond quickly to the speed at which our cloud is growing, giving us confidence in our ability to add innovative ways to send and receive money and develop new products that deliver the best possible service for our customers.”
Jonathan Hotchkiss, Head of cloud service reliability and engineering

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