Systems Architect and Business Analyst | Conrad Jacobs

Conrad came through the ranks of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry and gained more than 30 years of valuable experience within very prominent organizations.

He worked for the Allied Bank (IT), Nedcor Bank (IT), Medscheme (IT and Business), Standard Bank (IT), Barclays Africa / ABSA (IT), and consulted to and was employed in Government. He consulted DHA in both IT and Business departments. He consulted to and thereafter was employed at the South African Revenue Services (SARS) in the ICT Operations, Application Development, and Facilities

department. He was also the acting CIO before resigning from SARS. His experience also includes consulting for Global Business Equilibrium (GBE) within the areas of Project Management, Systems Life Cycle (SLC), and delivery of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. His knowledge and expertise extend to the delivery of a Tier (IV) Data Centre, to one of the four major financial institutions, (Architect, Solution Design, and Project Management). His more recent activities included the architecture, solution design, and implementation of a digital electoral management system and consulting in the evaluation of Tenders and later the improvement criteria of an RFP.

Combining his Information Technology experience with Process Improvement “Six Sigma” principles he was instrumental in the development of an Integrated Management Framework (IMF) product which is used to assist numerous clients with efficiencies and continuous improvement in their businesses.

His total experience within the ICT environment commenced with Computer Operating, Application Programming, Systems Design, Systems Analysis, Application Development Management, Programme and Project Management, Facilities Management, Infrastructure Management, Architecture, and Solution Design Management, Business Process Management, Service Management (ITIL) and Human Resource Development Management and Consulting. The period he spent at Medscheme as Infrastructure General Manager resulted in him also serving on the board of the Group Supporting Services Division – (Business) as a Director.

Conrad was instrumental in the Infrastructure outsource contract between Medscheme and Siemens Business Services. He gained extensive corporate experience when he became AGM at Nedbank which included an Executive role in Human Resources (IT). He is well equipped and positioned in all the corporate disciplines that enabled him to contribute at the top level of prominent organizations. Conrad managed the end-to-end implementation of the ITIL Framework and Methodology at SARS. Conrad’s experience extends across ICT and includes being key and instrumental on 4 Banks’ Systems Conversions (Allied Bank, Nedbank, ABSA, and SBSA). He was also instrumental in the implementation of the first Tier IV data center in the southern hemisphere, his role executed was that of Programme Manager.

During the nineties, Conrad completed firstly the Senior Management Development Programme (MDP) from the University of Stellenbosch and then the Senior Executive Programme from the Business School of WITS in association with Harvard Business School in the USA. His practical know-how, academic exposure, highly rated people skills, and consultancy exposure qualifies him as an astute businessman that can operate locally and internationally at the top level in the industry.

The knowledge and skills he has for Analysis, Optimisation, and Integration of Business Processes with People, Processes, and Technology are what he is passionate about. He believes that there is an inherent urge within mankind to continuously improve. His experience and exposure with the Application, Infrastructure and Business arenas is a unique combination of expertise, knowledge, and experience together with that of Enterprise Architecture across ICT departments he managed. This highly enthusiastic and energetic team player believes that return on investment (ROI) and finding optimum business solutions is his strength.

Conrad has assisted in and defined system and application architectures (RACIS model) and provided vision, problem anticipation, and problem-solving ability to many organizations where he was employed. The most key role was to deliver on multiple architecture models or views that show holistically how the current and future needs of the organization will be met in an efficient, sustainable, agile, and adaptable manner. This was a key but unique requirement servicing the needs of the Head Office (centralized) and that of the Branch (decentralized) model. This included that of a “Service Oriented Bus” that enabled different types of services interacting or integrating seamlessly however independently. He participated in creating and meeting overall business goals/objectives.

He overseen various and numerous implementation of architecture systems and advised adjustments (best practice) to top management. He created functional strategies and specific objectives for the sub-function and developed budgets/policies/procedures to support the functional infrastructures. Conrad’s skills and capability in developing a deep knowledge of the business mission, vision, and objectives and delivery of sound technological solutions, was displayed in especially the enterprise architectures delivered specifically for public sectors of SARS and DHA. He demonstrates strong and demonstrable systems thinking and strategic thinking skills. He can capture the key elements of a system into a simple abstraction that empowers and enables good decisions to be taken and thereby implemented, i.e. connecting old and new technology investments.

With a strong technical and business background, he is uniquely positioned to provide pragmatic and holistic advice, guidance, and value-added services. He brings both a business and an IT perspective adding value to some but not limited to the following disciplines:

  • Service Management (ITIL)
  • Enterprise Architecture©
  • IT Operations Management
  • Facilities Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Architecture and Solution Design
  • Customer Service and Relations
  • Program and Project Management
  • Management Information Systems
  • Software Systems Management
  • Application Development Systems 

Conrad offers amiable people skills and strikes one as a genuine, rock-solid individual - determined, open-minded, and straightforward. He initially comes across as the more managerial type but when one starts to know him, surprisingly finds that he still radiates enthusiasm, high energy levels, warmth, and an eagerness to assist others. He is an excellent listener and is respected for his humble and sincere temperament. This is supported by a jovial, respectable, and approachable management style – the ideal combination for a role model of note.

His communication skills are above average – clear, detailed, and factual. He would generally attempt to avoid conflict, where possible, and rather negotiate a win-win situation. He would, however, stand his ground by being assertive, if / when required, and he would justly reprimand those with a “don’t care” attitude, slackness, and not wanting to grow…

Conrad is a keen and out-and-out entrepreneur and he prides himself on the fact that he is capable, focused, and dedicated. He is adequately equipped to lead others to achieve their common goals with his optimistic, “never-say-die” approach. He isn’t temperamental at all and will keep his self-control and composure under extreme pressurized situations. He is a particularly diligent person with the willpower and attitude to make any project/task he takes on, a success.

On top of this, he is thorough, does the required checks and balances, remains focussed, service-oriented, and would never mind putting in extra time and effort to see things through. But he, at the same time, appreciates recognition for a job well done as he uses it to motivate himself to achieve better results the next time around. He believes in working smart – not hard.

He can see the bigger picture and is committed to quality, customer satisfaction, and thorough procedures and he uses his years of experience to ensure achieving the best results. Couple

that with his inimitable, solid know-how and natural flair towards problem-solving and one could rely on a proactive employee able to identify potential problems and find solutions before any damage was done.

His best traits are loyalty, dependability, integrity, and fortitude. He is and has always been a hard-working person who is not afraid to take on more responsibility than is usually assigned to and required of him. He is an implementer and has the tenacity to get things done. In his own words: “I will make your ideas my reality”. Because he is so committed to finish what he started - within time, within budget, and of the best quality - he occasionally finds himself having to drive the responsibilities of others to ensure that what needs to be delivered gets delivered.

He has a solid value system and believes in ethical, professional behavior at all times – this supports him to take the correct decisions. He doesn’t have a problem with authority and is known to be firm, but fair.

Conrad will put all the required mechanisms in place to ensure order, direction, and an organized routine. He thrives in a structured and controlled environment and he will ensure that there always is a contingency plan whether it’s regarding resources, processes, responsibilities, or knowledge transfer.

He is inquisitive, enjoys taking on innovative and exciting challenges, and is devoted beyond expectation. He hopes to find a stimulating position where he can utilize his unique skills and experience to further his career. He enjoys taking on new tasks if it means that he can add value and make a difference.

Conrad aspires to continue functioning in a senior management role in a corporate / more specialized environment over time and he, if given the right opportunity, will unquestionably contribute to the success and prosperity of his employer.