How BT is shifting its engineers into the fast lane

The broad industry shift toward the cloud and containerized workloads can often ignore the reality for many established enterprises: What happens when the unstoppable force of cloud native progress meets the immovable object of legacy technology?

This is the current challenge being faced by BT, the 170-year old British telecoms business, which is looking to adopt cloud native tooling and techniques in a safe and sustainable way across a large and diverse developer population.

Only then will the business be able to move fast enough to keep up with rapidly changing customer expectations and competitor efforts in the era of over-the-top media proliferation and 5G connectivity.

“We have a lot of legacy and code that served us in the past,” Rajesh Premchandran, head of software engineering excellence at BT told InfoWorld. “Our developers right now are constrained by an existing stack — that’s important to acknowledge — it’s not all greenfield, there’s a constraint of architecture and design.”

Engineering leaders at BT are hoping that a common, modern set of cloud services, combined with a gradual shift toward containers and Kubernetes can reduce the amount of wasted effort its developers expend on a day-to-day basis.

From monoliths to containers

Slowly but surely BT is looking to consolidate and modernize its existing workloads. This is where containers and Kubernetes enter the equation, but Premchandran urges caution to anyone who sees the container orchestration tool as a silver bullet.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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