Services offered by JCSE

Professional services in support of .. digital transformation.

the jcse Professional Service Offerings?

The digital economies of South Africa and other parts of the African continent are changing rapidly. Most organisations, large and small, private and public, see the need to ride the wave of digital transformation, but often lack internal capacity to deal with the many challenges that this entails. But – where do they go to for help? Professional consulting companies are often seen as the best – and only – option. Many of the large international consulting players have a strong local presence. They are able to draw on a large body of international expertise and world-class experts. However, many local business leaders have ended up disappointed with the support they receive from international consulting houses. After paying top dollar the advice and services provided often lack local relevance. Many international consultants have very limited understanding of our local realities. They typically offer generic advice and inappropriate services.

The JCSE is a Centre at Wits University established in 2005. Our driving vision is to develop processes and people who will lead digital transformation in Africa and South Africa. We are steeped in the context of our local digital economy. We have educated many of its leaders and have influenced many of the decisions that have shaped the sector over the past 15 years. Together with our partners we are an integral part of this local digital economy.

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The JCSE offers
locally relevant consulting and other professional services to local organisations seeking advice and support in their own digital transformation journey

JCSE's Professional Services Engagement Model

  • 1. SCOPE

    One or more meetings are held with the client to align expectations. What is the problem that the client needs to solve? In what way can the JCSE and its team of professionals provide the solution? It is also important to agree which issues are within the SCOPE of the proposed engagement, and which are not?

  • 2. JCSE TEAM

    Very few Professional Services engagements are tackled by the JCSE's internal team alone. Depending on the agreed SCOPE, a team of suitable experts is assembled. These experts are drawn from within Wits University and from the community of independent experts with whom the JCSE regularly engages. To ensure delivery of high quality services, the JCSE project manages all engagement activities and quality assures all work done.


    A detailed PROPOSAL is prepared for the client's formal approval. It includes a formal statement of SCOPE, a plan with associated target dated, and a detailed budget. A list of deliverables is included. In addition key risks are articulated and mitigation plans are suggested.

  • 4. SLA

    On accepting the PROPOSAL the client signs a standard Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the JCSE. This formalises aspects of the PROPOSAL. It also deals with governance and legal issues. As a Centre within Wits University all agreements between JCSE and external parties are signed by Wits University "acting through the JCSE".


    The Professional Services engagement is run in accordance with the SLA. JCSE manages and monitors the project in accordance with the agreed plan and budget.


    A Steering Committee (SC) is established to oversee each project. Both the client and JCSE are represented on the SC. Its primary role is to monitor progress and ensure that any issues that might arise are resolved as quickly as possible. The SC is also empowered to suggest changes in the SCOPE, plan and budget. Any decisions that might affect the SLA are referred to the principals - i.e. the Client's management, or the JCSE Director.


  • Research and Analysis

    Do you need to gain a deeper understanding of your organisation or the sector it operates in? Do you have specific questions about the market you serve or the skills you need? Do you need to understand future trends and how these might affect you? JCSE and its partners have broad experience in the South African and African digital sector. We have access to top experts at Wits University, other South African and African universities, and some of the top independent local research organisations. We have carried out analyses and surveys, and produced bespoke research reports and presentations for a range of clients in the public and private sectors.

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    Organisations sometimes need short-term access to people with expertise and experience in specific niche areas. These people must also have a deep understanding and appreciation of the context your organisation operates in. JCSE has access to local experts in all aspects of digital transformation, ranging from highly technical to strategic and business focused. We have undertaken both short and long consulting engagements for local organisations.

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    Individuals tasked with running organisations, or parts of an organisation's operation, often need one-on-one mentoring to help them in their tasks. Mentoring focuses on growing the person both personally and professionally. In the rapidly changing field of digital technology individual growth is critical. Working with an experienced mentor is invaluable in such highly dynamic environments. JCSE has linked mentors to professionals in large organisations. We have also assisted many digital startups as they navigate the first steps in building their new business.

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    Performance Improvement

    Not all organisations are equal. Some deliver projects and services better than others. "Delivery" is measured in terms of cost, time. quality, productivity and efficiency. There is a strong correlation between the methodologies and processes an organisation deploys and its performance in terms of delivery. JCSE has worked with a number of South African and African organisations engaged in developing digital solutions. We have assisted them in making quantifiable performance improvements. We use a number of internationally recognised best-practice models such as ITIL, 6-Sigma, Agile and CMMI. We are one of only two official partners of the USA-based CMMI Institute in Africa.

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    While software development is not one of the JCSE's core competencies, we do undertake a limited number of implementation projects. While the key focus in these projects is to deliver high quality software to the client, we use such projects as a vehicle to grow digital skills and demonstrate world-class processes and methods. While we have in the past carried out such implementation projects using an in-house software development team, we now undertake such projects with selected partners.

a selection of experts jcse has deployed on recent projects

JCSE has a small internal team, but has access to a large community of experts. These are drawn from Wits University Schools, Centres and Research Groups. We are also able to deploy experts from other South African and African universities, and those who work independently. All of the experts used in JCSE Professional Services assignments have strong technical or business competencies in the digital domain. They are also deeply rooted in the relevant local context.

The following is a selection of experts who have worked on recent JCSE projects.

Prof Barry Dwolatzky BSc(Eng), PhD, Fellow SAIEE, Fellow IITPSA

Barry Dwolatzky has over 40 years of experience in the digital sector. After graduating from Wits in 1979 with a PhD in Electrical Engineering he spent 10 years as a post-doctoral researcher in the UK. He returned to Wits in 1989. He heads up software engineering at Wits. He founded the JCSE in 2005 and established the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein in 2014. He was been recognised by the IITPSA as the South African IT Personality of the Year in 2013 and by Wits University in 2014 for distinguished service to Academic Citizenship. He is currently an Emeritus Professor and Director of the JCSE.

He has undertaken numerous research, consulting and mentoring projects for local organisations. He is an accredited CMMI instructor.

Key areas of expertise

Dr Lucienne Abrahams PhD

Luci Abrahams (PhD) is Director of the LINK Centre at Wits University, building research on digital innovation and how digital technologies influence change. Studies include: digital skills gap analysis; digital government strategy; scaling up innovation in tech hubs; open access in scholarly publishing (Open AIR research partnership); and health e-services improvement (Egypt-South Africa research partnership). Luci convenes the MA and PhD programmes in Interdisciplinary Digital Knowledge Economy Studies; and short courses in disruptive technologies, digital operations and leadership, and cybersecurity professional practice. She serves on the Board of TENET; and on the Evaluation and Review Reference Group for the review of the National Research Foundation. Luci is Corresponding Editor for The African Journal of Information and Communication, indexed in the SciELO Citation Index.

Key areas of expertise

Alok Goswami

Alok is one of South Africa’s foremost experts on organisational performance improvement. He has certifications in ITIL, 6-Sigma, ISO and CMMI. He is a CMMI Lead Appraiser and Instructor.

He has worked with JCSE on several process improvement initiatives. The most recent being with Altron Bytes.

Key areas of expertise

Professor Brian Armstrong, BSc(Eng), MSc(Eng), PhD

Brian Armstrong is one of the foremost ICT industry leaders in South Africa, with over 30 years of top level management experience in Telecommunications, IT, technology R&D and systems engineering, both in South Africa and abroad. He is widely regarded as a thought leader in digitalisation, convergence and business strategy. Brian is currently Professor in the Chair of Digital Business at the Wits Business School. He consults widely to industry and government on technological disruption and digital business and is an acclaimed public speaker on digital transformation and its socio-economic impacts. He is a non-executive director of Old Mutual Limited, the Huge Group and the Tshimologong Innovation Precinct.

Previously Brian spent seven years in Telkom, as Group Chief Operating Officer and Group Chief Commercial Officer, and at BT as Vice President for Middle East and Africa.

Brian completed his BSc (Eng) and MSc (Eng) at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1982 and 1984 respectively, and obtained his PhD from University College London in 1992.

Key areas of expertise

Barry Myburgh , Pr.Eng; B.Sc. Eng. (Elec.) (Wits); MBL (UNISA)

After graduating from Wits with a B.Sc Eng (Elec) degree, it did not take long for me to start working in the Computer Industry. Some years later I graduated from UNISA with a Master in Business Leadership (MBL) degree. (UNISA’s equivalent of an MBA.)

After gaining industry experience over a period of almost 20 years, I followed my passion and became a freelance consultant/ contractor to the IT industry. That led to over 30 years of experience mainly in project/ programme management and advisory situations.

Key areas of expertise

Recent JCSE Professional Services Projects

NOTE: Professional Service Projects are often subject to non-disclosure agreements. The descriptions of projects listed below are therefore sometimes generic so as to ensure Client confidentiality.


Brief Description

Team members

Market research into specific broadband technologies

The client is developing new business opportunities that will provide broadband connectivity in under-served communities in Southern Africa. The JCSE was contracted to carry out a detailed market analysis to inform the business case being developed by the client. The work involved a technology scan and a detailed analysis of key players in the sector. A financial model was developed to facilitate the analysis and comparison of various possible scenarios. Detailed reports and presentations were delivered.

Prof Barry Dwolatzky (JCSE, Project Lead), Dr Lucienne Abrahams (LINK Centre), Prof Brian Armstrong (Wits Business School)

Development of a “Work Opportunities Database” for the City of Johannesburg

Under the former Mayor, Herman Mashaba, the City of Johannesburg contracted the JCSE to implement a system to support a network of Work Opportunity Centres established throughout the City. The system developed is cloud-based (deployed on Microsoft Azure) and allows work-seekers and entrepreneurs to register their details. When a work opportunity is identified within the City (for example 100 people needed for 10 days to clean a public space) the system is used to allocate work-seekers to the task. Allocation of work opportunities is carried out in a fair and transparent manner. Software development interns were employed by the JCSE in developing the system. This formed part of their training.

Prof Barry Dwolatzky (JCSE, Project Lead), Raj Rajakanthan (Tshimologong Precinct, Project Manager), Lepsta Inc (Software Development Startup – Excellent Khumalo, CEO)

Supporting the Ugandan Ministry of ICT, through the Ugandan Institute of ICT (UICT), in developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy for growing the Ugandan digital economy

This is a new project that aims to help Uganda grow its digital economy. Various tried-and-tested JCSE programmes will be implemented within the Ugandan context in partnership with the UICT. Activities include setting up a technology innovation hub, delivering training, supporting CMMI adoption and analysing digital skills gaps in Uganda. Various Wits University programmes (for example the Professional Certificate in CIO Practice) will also be offered in Uganda via the JCSE.

Prof Barry Dwolatzky (JCSE, Project Lead), Andrew Sematimba and Patrick Mwesige (Kanara Solutions, a startup with offices in Johannesburg and Kampala)

Survey of ICT Skills in South Africa

In 2019 the JCSE conducted its 10th semi-annual ICT Skills Survey. The survey has two parts: (i) responses from companies identifying their current and future digital skills needs, and (ii) responses from individual digital professionals describing their current skills profile and future skills development plans. The 10 surveys provide a longitudinal data set of digital skills in South Africa. The Survey was carried out in partnership with the IITPSA. A new survey will be conducted in 2021.

Adrian Schofield (JCSE and IITPSA, Project Leader), Prof Barry Dwolatzky (JCSE)

Strategy Background Paper: Digital Skills Gap Analysis

This assignment titled FOUNDATIONAL PERSPECTIVE FOR SOUTH AFRICA’S DIGITAL SKILLS STRATEGY: BUILDING AGILITY, CREATIVITY AND PROBLEM SOLVING, produced a background paper, setting out the key trends and dynamics influencing South Africa’s digital skills needs. The research informed the design of the National Digital and Future Skills Strategy, South Africa, adopted by Cabinet in August 2020.

Dr Luci Abrahams (LINK Centre, Project Leader), Prof Barry Dwolatzky, Thabiso Thukani (LINK Centre)

Performance Improvement training, consulting and appraisal for Altron Bytes Technology

The JCSE, as an official partner of the US-based CMMI Institute, has worked with Altron Bytes Technology as it has traversed a performance improvement journey based on the CMMI for Development Model. The JCSE provided certified CMMI training, consulting and Appraisal services. In 2018 Bytes Technology was appraised at CMMI Maturity Level 3 . This makes it one of the few South African companies at this level. The company reports significant business benefits being derived from CMMI adoption.

Alok Goswami (JCSE, CMMI Lead Appraiser, Trainer and consultant), Prof Barry Dwolatzky (JCSE, CMMI Trainer)

Do you wish JCSE to contact you to discuss a Professional Services Project?