Looking back at 2020: a year of change, challenges, and lots of data

December 2020

Enjoy our roundup of thryve’s blogs from across the year

Welcome to thryve’s December newsletter. This month, we look at our blogs for the year and feature our monthly third-party blog roundup, covering topics such as:

  • The risk manager’s new prominence and looming challenges
  • How to change a company into a data-first enterprise
  • Why ‘sense and respond’ risk management is the future

Learn more in the blogs linked below, enjoy our Managing Director’s monthly column, and thank you for reading thryve’s newsletter.

Letter from our MD

2020 is finally drawing to a conclusion, and many of us are giving a cautious sigh of relief. The indicators seem to be up, and the world is slowly emerging from a particularly bruising year.

But was it the worst year ever? Of course not. Despite all the hyperbole around 2020, we can nonetheless see some major silver linings. First, the pandemic could have been much worse. COVID-19, thankfully, turned out to be relatively benign. That’s not to say it wasn’t dangerous or devastating. Millions became ill, a sizable amount of people died from the disease, and the economic fallout will be with us for years to come. Yet, it could have been a much worse disease – hopefully, we took enough notice to prepare for any future event of this magnitude.

2020 helped galvanise action. The world produced several vaccines in record times – periods that until recently were considered impossible. The sudden shift to remote working has prompted companies to take digital technologies more seriously – in fact, were it not for digital platforms our economies and communities would have been in much deeper trouble.

The austere environment created by COVID-19 has helped sharpen our vision and select the right priorities. Business cultures are shifting quite radically: for example, I’ve noticed a much more heightened appeal for risk management. This was the year of taking stock and tightening belts – habits I suspect that will continue well into 2021. But it was also the year of insight, trying to recognise and create new opportunities, and thinking outside of the box – habits I feel will continue and serve us next year.

For thryve, 2020 brought change and expansion. We’ve delivered business technology platforms and services to customers across South Africa, as well as France, Italy and Zambia. We welcomed new products into our stable, such as Xactium and Flowgear, and added LexisNexis legal information for African countries to our Riskonnect solutions. Our technical teams also found the time to complete thryve’s migration to Microsoft’s Azure hyperscale cloud, and achieve the sought-after ISO 27001:2013 standards certification to prove we take care of customer data at enterprise-grade expectations.

2020 was by no means a great year. The massive disruptions and uncertainties it created will haunt us for quite a while. We’re lucky that COVID-19 wasn’t worse and that we had the means to keep most of our economies going as well as rebound faster than anticipated. We could see the stark problems of our world, including the digital divide, unemployment, and damage to the environment. Hopefully, we’ll heed these lessons.

I want to thank our customers for supporting thryve, and our staff for being so professional, diligent and flexible. I also want to thank our partners for helping us bring transformation to our customers, and I wish to congratulate everyone for a job well done during a very trying year.

Whether you are taking time off or working through to 2021 – good luck, enjoy the holidays, and we’ll see you in 2021 for a new year full of promise and potential.

Sean Pyott

MD, thryve

Revisiting 2020: the IRM/GRC debate, and dealing with data thryve

Several themes popped up during 2020. In this blog, thryve’s Force Solutions Manager, Riaan Bekker, reflects on the topics he covered, including the ongoing (non) war between Integrated Risk Management and Governance, Risk & Compliance systems. He also spent some time looking at how data can help boost changes in a company and improve its relationship with customers.

2020 – a year for modernisation and data

thryve’s resident expert in Canada and our Force Solutions Product Manager, Neer Rama, revisits his blogs for the year. Some of his focus went towards analysing trends in Canada, including how insurance providers can prepare for several new consumer regulations. He also explored data topics, including how companies can use new AI services to meet their data science requirements.

The year ‘Sense and Respond” risk became a reality

Sean Pyott, thryve’s managing director, covered numerous high-level management topics in his 2020 blogs, including how CEOs view on risk has changed. He unpacked the new relevance that risk managers enjoy, including how to make that stick. Sean also discussed how companies could develop the new breed of ‘sense and respond’ risk management, which is more dynamic than previous approaches and better suited for the uncertainties of a post-pandemic world.

December’s best Salesforce, Riskonnect, Tableau and other blogs

Risk departments might anticipate bigger budgets to suit their expanded roles and relevance in companies. But if they don’t use modern methods, they will squander that opportunity. This is a warning from Commercial Risk Online, one of the articles we feature in thryve’s monthly blog roundup. We also look at advice from executives on creating data-driven companies, highlight the Customer Data Platform trend, and learn more from Riskonnect on why IRM systems are the future or risk management.