The internet as a source of competitive advantage for insurance firms in Kenya
This study focused on the internet as a Source of Competitive Advantage in Insurance Firms in Kenya. The objectives of the study were to establish the internet based products and services used by insurance firms in Kenya and to establish the extent to which the internet is been used as a source of competitive advantage. A survey design was used for data collection. The data was collected using questionnaires. They were administered using the “drop and pick later” method. The data was analyzed using frequencies; means, standard deviations and factor analysis. The data was presented through the use of tables accompanied by explanations. Analysis revealed that majority of the insurance companies use Electronic mail the most compared to all products and services. Results of the respondent insurance companies indicated that there were other activities that they engaged the internet other than the products and services listed. This implies that the companies use electronic email to distribute information and services, thus using the internet for their day to day running. The companies hardly used the internet for inter-connecting an existing customer. The second objective was to establish if insurance companies use internet based products and services confer competitive advantage. To this end Principle Component Analysis was used. The products and services that were used by insurance firms were blogs, content management, corporate intranet, Information gateways, intelligent messaging, video conferencing, internet relay chat, Meta search engines and the World Wide Web for B2B/B2C.Other products and services used to a high extent were Telecommunication Network, Videophone, VoIP services, Electronic mail and mobile internet phones. The limitations found during the study were that the respondents found the terms in the study to be too complex and lack of enough material on the internet products from insurance firms. The recommendation is that better results would be achieved in the future if a case study is conducted with a smaller number of insurance firms. In depth studies can be carried out in the future to find out why the insurance firms prefer to use some internet based products over others. In conclusion, it is seen that the internet based products and services in the questionnaire were used to a small extent by the insurance companies. It was however seen that the insurance companies used the internet for other activities such as communication and implementing of decisions.