Sending Your IT Department To The Teledoctor For A Checkup
March 30, 2020 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Quite a few of us in the world are going to have experience with telemedicine in the coming weeks, if we have not had it already, and so barriers to providing medical service are going to come down. The same kind of remote health experience is available for IT departments from a relatively new company called Chordia Consulting, which has created a remote IT healthcheck that now has a variant tuned specifically for IBM i shops and their special characteristics.
And in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Chordia’s co-founders, both ex-IBMer’s with experience in the IBM midrange, are offering IT Jungle readers a special discount on the service to help them get a better handle on their IT operations and culture during this difficult time.
Chordia was founded in the summer of 2018 by Al Swett and David Wright, and they count Dawn May of IBM i systems management and performance tuning fame – and an occasional contributor here at IT Jungle – as an executive associate who specifically helped them develop an IBM i variant of the Rapid Algorithmic IT Heathcheck, or RAITH, service that Chordia offers in conjunction with its management consulting services for IT organizations.
Swett, who lives in Rochester (not the Minnesota one, but the New York one) and who got his BA from Amherst College and his MBA from Columbia University, spent four decades at IBM, starting in 1976 with the System/32 and System/34, where he cut his teeth in business computing and is notable for managing the first MAPICS ERP application software installation (when it was still owned by Big Blue) on the System/38 back in 1980. Interestingly, Swett has not had much to do with the IBM midrange platform specifically except in his early career at the company, and had various sales management, internal IT staff, and headquarters staff positions at IBM before joining what would become the Global Technology Services half of the Global Services behemoth in the early 1990s. At the time, Swett developed IT service relationship models in giant wonking Excel spreadsheets and holds some patents in component modeling analysis that he gained rights to from Big Blue as the basis of the Rapid IT Estimator (RITE) engine that is at the heart of the RAITH service.
Wright, who got his BS in mathematics from the University of Manchester in England and who is based in Chicago, has been in strategic consulting all of his career, starting out at Coopers & Lybrand, which merged with Price Waterhouse in 1998 to create PricewaterhouseCoopers, better known as PwC. Ginni Rometty, who is stepping down as IBM’s president and chief executive officer this week, spearheaded the acquisition of the IT consulting practice of PwC in 2002 for $3.5 billion, which brought Wright to IBM. Wright worked for three years for Global Business Services leading management consulting engagements in the United States, did a short stint at BearingPoint as consulting manager, and then came back to IBM to runs its Systems Consulting and Cloud Computing practice.
The point is, Swett and Wright, who met at Big Blue 12 years ago, know a thing or two about doing expensive consulting engagements that cost tens of thousands of dollars, and they are trying to do something that is just as useful with the RAITH service that doesn’t require weeks or months of management consultants coming onsite to interview everyone about the business to get there – or have that high cost.
While the RAITH service is two years old, there is probably not going to be a better time to offer a management consulting engagement to help companies sort out their IT operations remotely than right smack in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak. Assuming there is a global recession, however brief, companies are going to be trying to identify where they can save money in the datacenter and where they can do IT better. And Swett and Wright want to help.
The RAITH service is a kind of differential diagnosis technique like we see on medical shows like House, and it is driven by a survey of 30 basic questions that have over 400 questions in drilldown sections where companies may want to focus on specific areas of their IT operations. This is not just about taking an inventory of hardware and software assets, services from outside, and internal personnel, but in understanding how the IT organization operates as it tries to serve the business. The IT portion of the survey, which was developed in conjunction with May, can profile up to 10 different IBM i environments at the same time in the organization to make its recommendations.
There are a couple of situations where the RAITH healthcheck is particularly useful, as follows:
- A new CIO or CEO takes over the company
- Pending or new merger or acquisition activity
- IT under cost, user satisfaction, or service quality pressure
- New or pending IT or business reorganization or big changes in the industry sector the organization is involved with
- Unusually high IT staff turnover
- Rapid business sales or volume growth
- Pressure to outsource or otherwise change technology delivery source (such as the cloud)
- Mismatched IT/business priorities
Chordia does the RAITH healthchecks itself directly with IT organizations, and it is perfectly happy to have resellers and business partners whitebox and rebrand the service for themselves and back-end it with Chordia’s analysis. The idea is to use a distribution channel to amplify coverage, much as IBM itself does with the Power Systems line running IBM i.
The current RAITH engagement list price, including the IBM i coverage, costs $4,499, but given the coronavirus outbreak, Chordia is giving readers of IT Jungle an introductory price of $2,999 per RAITH engagement. Swett says that this special one-third off rate will be available for the duration of the outbreak or when it runs out of analysis capacity as orders come in. You can order your RAITH analysis with the IT Jungle discount – for which we argued was a good idea and for which we are receiving zero compensation, by the way, just so you know – by going to https://www.chordiaconsulting.com/buy and using the discount code RAITH1/3ITJungleGHC at checkout.
Our thanks to Chordia for making this special deal at this difficult time.