Britam, a leading African diversified financial services group, sums up its digital transformation in one word: “Jawabu.” Jawabu is a Swahili word for “answers,” but for Britam it meant much more. The Kenyan insurance giant, founded in 1965, adapted the word in a philosophical sense to inspire its digital transformation journey.

“We had so many problems and challenges that were coming our way, so internally we needed to go through a transformation, essentially we needed an answer,” Britam’s COO Jack Maina said.

Britam understood that its customer base was changing and alongside this, so were customers expectations. Essentially they had two options; to reevaluate their business strategy to incorporate the demands of their customers or risk losing clients to other global organizations. Britam rallied the whole organization around one common transformation theme. Project Jawabu, Britam’s IT-enabled transformation, was built using Liferay DXP and was designed to source these “answers” or Jawabu for all of their stakeholders.

Finding the Answer in A Digital Solution

For Britam and many organizations, the answer is digital. Britam’s answer was migrating previously used portals and public websites to a digital experience platform (DXP). This means they are now able to provide seamless support to their customers through various digital touchpoints.

Despite the hype around the term “digital transformation,” a 2017 survey revealed that only 50% of companies are successfully executing on their digital transformation strategies despite demonstrated efforts and investments.

This alarming percentage of companies failing to meet their digital KPIs could be improved by considering some important factors when creating a digital transformation plan. For companies looking to ensure a digital transformation effort produces successful results, including increased customer experience and engagement, improved operational efficiency and agility, reduction in costs, increased revenue margins and increased collaboration between teams and functions, here are three tips that proved to be imperative for Britam’s digital transformation success.

1. Understand Who Your Audience Is

Knowing your audience and their behavior patterns is crucial before implementing any digital transformation plans. By carrying out this research when building your digital strategy, you can uncover invaluable insights about your target market.

This was essential to Britam, who was targeting African territories. Upon its own research of Nigeria, Britam discovered that 32 million out of a population of 50 million people had access to the internet. They also learned that 50% of the population are under the age of 30 and are active digital millennials. In addition, new research from, McKinsey found that 87% of millennials carry their smartphones with them at all times. Furthermore, a recent BT survey revealed that 81% of consumers want organizations to offer a choice of channels to meet their needs. These findings only reinforced the necessity of digital transformation to Britam. In order to meet its customers’ changing demands and expectations, the company needed to incorporate an omnichannel strategy that featured mobile accessibility as part of the larger digital transformation strategy.

2. Make UX a Priority

According to PWC, providing a good customer experience literally pays off. Customers are willing to pay up to 16% more and are more likely to try additional services and products from businesses that provide exceptional customer experience.

Customers value convenience and self-service when interacting digitally with your business. For example, 70% of app users prefer user functionality over the “look and feel” of an app. If your business values customer service then good user experience (UX) is the key. By prioritizing user experience when setting out on your digital transformation journey, you can massively impact the adoption rate by your customers.

Britam learned this first hand with the success of its customer portal. Using Liferay, the company was able to provide a convenient single platform for all points of contact with its customers, where clients can access the necessary information they require. The content is also personalized and tailored to their needs and of course, the portal is fully responsive which is one of Liferay’s out of the box features. Jack Maina commented: “While maintaining a holistic and integrated view, we were able to take care of each stakeholder.” Britam’s customer portal has also empowered their customers with self-service features. The impressive UX means clients can decide what they want on the spot and tailor insurance policies to fit their needs at the touch of a button. Thanks to this, customers make decisions quicker and sales close faster, which in turn generates revenue for Britam more efficiently.

3. Future Proof Your Business

In a time where change seems to be the only constant, is it actually possible for businesses to be future proof? Only 8 percent of companies McKinsey recently surveyed said their current business models would remain economically viable if their industries keeps digitizing at the current course and speed. Flexibility, integration and scalability are crucial if your organization wants to strive in the ever-evolving business environment.

When Britam was met with regulation changes in Africa during the digital transformation process, the company had to rework its business strategy to remain compliant under insurance laws. However, because of Liferay’s versatile and flexible architecture, Britam was able to adapt quickly to change. With efficient turn around for projects, by using and repurposing previously used applications, Britam was able to emerge unscathed after the legislation change.

Customer-Oriented Digital Transformation

“It’s been a digital transformation mainly driven by the demands of our evolving customers and also the external global organizations coming to Africa who are bringing with them new best practices, and therefore we have had to be able to respond.” - Jack Maina, COO

Britam realized early on that their customer expectations were being driven by digital experiences in non-digital and non-insurance industries. They needed to adapt to the changing times if they were to remain competitive. By creating a strategy that prioritized customer demands and overall customer experience, Britam was able to provide future-proof solutions to solve its digital transformation challenges.

Digital Transformation Done the Right Way

Discover more about Britam's digital strategy and how the company managed to successfully transform its business leveraging Liferay DXP.

Learn about Britam's digital transformation here