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Early Metaverse Adopters See Business Transformations

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A lot of media buzz surrounds the metaverse, especially with a focus on the social media and on gaming-focused consumers. However, the metaverse also changes the way that business facilities are monitored, maintained and operated. Some retain their doubts about the metaverse’s viability.

So, let’s think about it. Some instances: Logistics experts work with robotic helpers in a completely virtual warehouse. A plant manager inspects faulty equipment from the comfort of her desk 100 miles from the factory. A team of far-flung product designers, engineers and marketers collaborate on creating new sneakers via new 3D platforms.

These examples are but small glimpses into how the metaverse can transform businesses across various industries, with business leaders already seeing a bigger picture. Its operational, strategic and financial applications can accelerate innovation, improve internal processes, boost collaboration, and help expand market share.

In fact, eight out of 10 global executives agree that the metaverse is set to enhance business activities by making them more immersive, and more than half expect (in 10 years) that the metaverse will be looked at similarly to how the internet is looked at now, according to a Wipro study.

The underpinning of the Metaverse rests on multiple technologies that range from AI, blockchain and VR to 5G, IoT and 3D capabilities that form the building blocks of Web 3.0. To build a successful metaverse presence, companies need to invest heavily in this digital foundation and its web of technical components. Companies must also integrate these technologies across their business. Only then will they create immersive experiences likely to drive real value.

“The metaverse and augmented experience will bring new and creative ways to grow businesses,” said Chandra Surbhat, Vice President and Practice Head, Digital Experience, Wipro. “Our research shows that this technology will create new ways of engaging with customers, simplifying processes, decreasing costs and increasing revenues.”

But implementing the metaverse, as one would expect, is much easier said than done.

The metaverse is a complex web of technologies that does come with challenges and risks. According to the study, platform interoperability, cost barriers and metaverse skills crunch pose as the main challenges when it comes to adopting metaverse solutions.

Users typically can’t move their avatars and content from one platform to another. That makes developing a robust, expansive metaverse a difficult proposition. As for the cost barrier, companies are concerned about the cost of metaverse investments, citing that issue as a key barrier to entry, unless companies already adopted complementary technologies like cloud, AI and AR/VR.

But of the challenges, the skills crunch is the focus of the Wipro study. A little more than four out of 10 study respondents say a lack of talent is a major roadblock. And 18% of companies have 3D modelers in place, and fewer have avatar designers, blockchain specialists, legal staff with Metaverse knowledge and other skills needed to support metaverse strategies, according to Wipro.

Those numbers are not promising, especially when businesses have big ambitions to utilize the metaverse to transform their business. Businesses cannot think to successfully get the most out of the metaverse if they do not have the skillsets in place. (Skills that are hard to find right now, and skills that will likely become more difficult to discover over the next few years as waves of companies look to bring in talent when there is already a talent crunch.)

It will be interesting to see what happens with said talent crunch when leading firms start to see their competitors commit to serious explorations of how they can use the metaverse to drive business growth.

Despite the skills gap, it is not a question of if but when the metaverse will transform business. Businesses big and small need to act now if they want to benefit from the metaverse and become a metaverse leader in their industry. As seen with the internet all those years ago, those who take risks early are better set up to reap the biggest rewards.

“The early adopters will clearly stand to gain from brand visibility, the ability to iterate and fine-tune the models and the opportunity to be leaders in the metaverse,” said Surbhat.




Edited by Alex Passett
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