2020 – A Year For Modernization And Data



By Neer Rama, Force Solutions Product Manager at thryve

2020 will go down in history for notorious reasons, most of which we’re very familiar with by now. But as I look across my blogs for the year, I can make the case that it’s also been a positive year in several aspects. The themes touched on had an impact on companies – changes I could see both through thryve’s work with our customers and the general trend of digital modernization that picked up pace in the past several months.

Overall themes, such as breaking down silos and increasing collaboration (Three ways to break down silos in organizations) started the year in earnest, followed by how digital modernization helps businesses overcome regulatory and market barriers (Preparing for Competition). These included looking at changing customer behaviours (Canadian insurance’s journey to customer-centricity) and new legislation, particularly in the insurance sector (Bringing Ontario’s insurance back to the customer).

But nobody realized just how much change was underway. The pandemic and its lockdowns forced shifts nobody anticipated – even though, in hindsight, the warnings were there all along. Those events brought along a new appreciation for data analytics – not only to predict the future but to claw back financial prosperity through smarter business decisions (Are you managing your rate of change?).

Businesses are keen to adopt and improve their analytics, though it’s not as clear where to begin – a topic I looked at later in the year (Analytics and Customer Data – where to start?). Part of that narrative was to also look at how to overcome the data science skills requirements for using data effectively. Suitably, Salesforce launched Einstein Discovery, a machine learning service that helps our customers clean and organize their data for analytics (Everyone can be a data scientist, thanks to automated machine learning).

A large part of my customer base operates in the insurance sector. These different themes come together nicely in such a data-driven industry aiming to put the customer back into the centre of its purpose (Customer-centric and flexible insurance emerges from proper data analytics). The timing also couldn’t be better – the pandemic has awakened businesses of all sizes to the existential risks that they could face. Some fights with insurers reminded them that not all coverage is equal. As more companies seek to mitigate their risks (3 tips for SMEs mitigating risk through insurance), digital and data transformation have become top priorities.

These themes are not unique to 2020. But the year has had a striking effect on elevating and galvanizing them. Nice-to-have features are now in-demand services. Differentiation now competes with survival, and companies now know that digital opens more doors for them.

What will this say about 2021? In January, I’ll attempt some predictions for the year. Of course, 2020 reminded us that the future is always uncertain, so maybe I’ll be wrong! But the year also proved that when it comes to using data analytics and creating customer-centric businesses, thryve has been right all along!