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Head of Digital

Business Unit:  Discovery Insure
Function:  Information Technology
Date:  9 Feb 2024


Head of Digital



About Discovery

Discovery’s core purpose is to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. We seek out and invest in exceptional individuals who understand and support our core purpose, and whose own values align with those of Discovery. Our fast-paced and dynamic environment enables smart, self-driven people to be their best. As global thought leaders, Discovery is passionate about innovating in order to not only achieve financial success, but to ignite positive and meaningful change within our society.



About Discovery Insure

Discovery Insure is committed to creating a nation of great drivers and building better businesses through our innovative Shared-value Insurance model. Discovery Insure is South Africa’s fastest growing short-term insurance company with comprehensive products that provide protection against current and emerging risks facing clients in the motor, home and business insurance sectors. Vitality Drive, an internationally-recognised and award-winning programme, is a key differentiator in the market that incentivises and rewards clients for driving well. The Vitality Drive programme has been scaled to local and international markets which now include Europe and the Middle East. The company employs over 1 000 people who are committed to putting our customers and financial advisers first by providing unique and innovative solutions and cover.



Job Purpose

Continuously scanning the market for disruptive technologies that have a potential to augment Discovery Insure Group’s business strategy and/or operating model, given current and emerging digital realities, opportunities, and threats. The Head of Digital at Discovery Insure is entrusted with the mission-critical responsibility of spearheading the research, design, employee and customer experience and delivery of the digital transformation strategy through the digital team. This role is dedicated to orchestrating the successful strategic enablement, delivery, and execution of Discovery Insure's digital channels, including (and not limited) to web, app, virtual agent, and integration applications. The incumbent will focus on ensuring technical excellence, alignment with group standards, and continuous improvement of delivery processes. Managing a diverse team of over 30+ professionals, this role demands astute leadership to navigate the dynamic digital landscape, incorporate emerging technologies, and enhance operational efficiency.



Key Outputs may include but are not limited to:


Digital Strategy and Leadership:

  • Determine digital strategy throughout Discovery Insure Group (with Group CDO, Insure CIO, product, and market delivery teams) and champion the delivery of the agreed digital strategy throughout the organization.
  • Drive digital engagement taking full responsibility for all online presence and customer and employee engagement activity within Discovery Insure Group.
  • Champion the process of digital transformation in Discovery Insure Group across product development and provide digital knowledge input into customer and proposition development.
  • Leads the process to identify and evaluate internal digital asset capabilities and strengths. Assesses external digital opportunities inputs to making the best decisions on business strategy given digital realities.
  • Manage the transition to new integration technologies that are being introduced into Discovery Insure Group.
  • Acts as a champion and change agent in leading the changes required to create and sustain Discovery Insure Group digital capabilities.
  • Drive Digital innovation to ensure that the business remains at the cutting edge of technology, and in line with current and future digital trends and user expectations. Success is measured by successfully implementing solutions and driving workshops with greater audiences on new technologies and trends.
  • Digital SME for Global markets: Provide guidance to international markets, existing and potential clients, regarding digital standards, strategies, and innovation. Success is measured by creating and maintaining such relationships and sharing of knowledge and practices with other teams.
  • Provide on-the-ground support for experience design and user experience design teams: Due to the global nature of our team, the purpose would be to support local delivery teams in the absence of our global colleagues. Success is measured by effective decision making and maintaining productivity.
  • Define and drive the digital strategy for both digital delivery and business departments, aligning with organizational goals and reports on metrics that represent progress against digital goals.
  • Collaborate closely with systems and architecture teams to create scalable, secure, and cutting-edge digital solutions.
  • Work hand-in-hand with business stakeholders, representing Discovery Insure in group-wide forums to ensure alignment with the overall Discovery strategy.


Delivery of Digital Products:

  • Ensures the development of the digital business strategy and road map and ensures its integration with the group strategic planning process, and the resulting business strategy and plans.
  • Ensures that Discovery Insure Group is developing the digital assets and capabilities that will be needed to thrive in the mid-term and long-term.
  • Oversee the end-to-end delivery process, from project initiation to completion, ensuring timely and high-quality technical deliverables.
  • Lead the execution of Discovery Insure's backlog across all stages of software development. Oversee the digital business analysis function, ensuring alignment and timely delivery of features.
  • Foster a culture of technical excellence, ensuring that digital solutions meet the highest standards of performance and reliability.
  • Manage the entire project lifecycle, emphasizing efficiency, timely delivery, and high-quality technical output.
  • Take charge of executing Discovery Insure's product backlog, emphasizing Agile methodologies for seamless collaboration and timely feature delivery.
  • Provide strategic oversight for the digital business analysis function, ensuring alignment with organizational goals and effective feature delivery.
  • Champion initiatives to promote a culture of technical excellence, including training programs and coding standards, ensuring consistently high standards of performance and reliability.


Technology Integration:

  • Manage the integration layer, ensuring seamless communication between different digital channels and other organizational systems.
  • Collaborate with systems teams to maintain and enhance the integration layers scalability, security, and maintainability.
  • System alignment: provide guidance and collaborate with system teams in order to implement new technology, maintain global standards and achieve business goals. 


Digital Research and Product Design:

  • Product to digital conceptualization to provide sound guidance and governance in the process from concept to feasibility testing, to implementation. Success measure is implementation of standards, risk management through testing and prototyping, and the application of such feedback into the final developed product.
  • Design alignment to provide guidance to UX/UI teams regarding global best practice standards and internal digital standards. 
  • Internal processes: Implement new processes and software (where applicable) to improve product delivery and efficiencies to meet business goals. Success measures are implementation of new process/software and increased productivity of affected teams developed product.


User Experience:

  • Create and maintain digital standards to ensure best quality digital products and experience. Measurable: Long-term cost to business of maintaining the product, and effective user engagement.
  • Drive digital usability analysis to provide insights and measurements to continuously improve the digital product experience. Measurable: effective user engagement.
  • Stay updated on industry practices and trends in UX design and research.
  • Implement user-centred design methodologies, fostering an innovative culture.
  • Maintain awareness of user experience trends, elevating the quality of digital solutions.
  • Take the lead in understanding user experiences, identifying touchpoints, and enhancing satisfaction across digital platforms.


Stakeholder Engagement:

  • Act as a technical liaison between digital delivery teams and business stakeholders, ensuring clear communication and understanding of technical project requirements.
  • Present technical project updates, key performance indicators, and strategic recommendations to executive leadership.


Resource and Budget Management:

  • Effectively manage technical resources and budgets to ensure optimal utilization of personnel and tools.
  • Identify opportunities for cost optimization and efficiency improvements within the technical aspects of digital delivery.


Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement:

  • Implement and oversee robust technical quality assurance processes to ensure the reliability and accuracy of digital solutions.
  • Foster a culture of continuous improvement, encouraging feedback loops, and implementing lessons learned from previous projects.
  • Monitor industry trends and competitor activities to proactively identify opportunities for innovation and improvement.


Operational Excellence:

  • Continuously improve ways of working for the delivery team, identifying and mitigating wastage in processes.
  • Stay abreast of new technologies and methodologies, ensuring the digital delivery team is at the forefront of industry advancements.
  • Ensure overall alignment with group standards and policies, adhering to best practices in the development and deployment of digital solutions.



Education and Experience


  • Matric
  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant technical field such as Computer Science, Information Technology, or a related discipline
  • Master’s degree or equivalent (advantageous)
  • Certification in project management methodologies / Agile methodologies. (advantageous)
  • Certification in relevant technical domains, such as software development, architecture, or system integration (advantageous)
  • 15 years Information Technology experience
  • Proven experience for 5 years in a technical leadership role overseeing digital delivery, preferably within the insurance or financial services industry.
  • 5 years Insurance operations experience
  • Strong understanding of digital technologies, platforms, and trends 
  • Demonstrated experience in managing cross-functional teams and driving successful technical project delivery 


Technical Skills or Knowledge


Technical Skills

  • Agile Methodologies
  • Technical Leadership
  • Digital Technologies
  • Digital Research and Design
  • Project Management
  • Software Development
  • System Integration
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Business Writing Skills
  • Presentation and Facilitation Skills
  • Solution Architecture
  • Software architecture


Behavioural Skills

  • Customer Service Orientation
  • Result Orientation
  • Negotiation skills
  • Creativeness, Innovation
  • Stress Management
  • Assertiveness
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Decision-Making
  • Problem-Solving
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Customer/Employee experience (advantageous)

The Company’s approved Employment Equity Plan and Targets will be considered as part of the recruitment process. As an Equal Opportunities employer, we actively encourage and welcome people with various disabilities to apply.

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