Metaverse For Dummies
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When assessing what the metaverse can do for business, I look at tangible benefits and consider the steps a business needs to take to integrate the metaverse into their workings.

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Here are some of the tangible benefits the metaverse can provide for businesses:

  • A new channel of engagement to connect with younger audiences
  • Speed of delivery for products and services
  • Ecommerce enablement for metaverse-based customers
  • High-resolution digital experiences
  • Ease of deployment and creation of digital engagement
  • Elimination of the need for in-person availability

What industry analysts are saying

Most industry analysts agree that the metaverse has a tremendous amount of potential. A word of caution, though: Any indication of where the metaverse is headed is the opinion of the expert or organization and should not be taken at face value.

As a general industry guidance, their information can help you understand where things are going, but for your own business needs, do your due diligence and consult with your advisors and investors before making any major business decisions about the metaverse.

Here are some selected insights from industry analyst firms in recent years:

  • Accenture: Accenture onboarded 150,000 staff members in the metaverse in 2022.
  • KPMG: In 2022, KPMG invested $30 million in creating its own metaverse collaboration hub.
  • Goldman Sachs: In early 2022, Goldman Sachs predicted the metaverse was an $8 trillion opportunity.
  • Morgan Stanley: In mid-2022, Morgan Stanley predicted the metaverse was a $50 billion opportunity.
  • McKinsey: McKinsey has a very positive outlook on the metaverse and has made this very apparent with all its messaging. It has even said that the metaverse is too big for organizations to ignore.
  • PWC has created six steps for businesses starting to look at the metaverse.
As more developments emerge from the metaverse ecosystem, forecasts for the opportunities arising from various metaverse platforms are very positive.

Small and medium businesses

A small business has the advantage of being able to rapidly deploy technology like the metaverse because they have fewer stakeholders and decision-makers to deal with.

Small and medium businesses can use the metaverse to improve their brand images, facilitate hiring and training employees, and improve customer engagement. Other parts of this book describe how the metaverse can be used by specific industries, including health care, education, and entertainment.

However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you must use the metaverse simply because your competitors are using it. Instead, look at your overall business and ask if the metaverse can help you solve some of the problems or achieve some of the goals.

The best way to do this is to hold a focused metaverse strategy session and invite the top decision makers and leaders from within the organization. Think about things a few years out, which could include sales, marketing, product launches, PR, communications, digital asset management, and other factors.

You’ll be risking time, money, and other previous resources of your organization if you don’t take a strategic approach to implementing the metaverse.

Large businesses or enterprises

A large or enterprise-level business has hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue and may employ thousands of people. There are many opportunities for enterprise-level businesses to utilize the metaverse, including the following:
  • As a tool for collaboration
  • For design and product creation
  • To engage with your customer base
  • To increase your number of customers by creating and delivering new experiences
  • As a channel to sell products
Most large organizations have large budgets, so implementing the metaverse from an investment perspective can be faster. Implementation within larger enterprises is always slower overall, though, because big companies have more stakeholders and complexity. Deploying such complex technological solutions is time consuming and slow.

New businesses

Most of the world’s successful companies started small, and an entrepreneur somewhere laid the foundation. The metaverse is an interesting medium and can form the foundation for many future businesses. Expect “born in the metaverse” businesses to emerge soon.

The process and strategy for having a business in the metaverse should be the same as it is for non-metaverse-based businesses. Offering value, filling gaps in the market, or serving an underserved audience are great ways to approach the metaverse.

The more due diligence you do on the market size and market needs, and the more you match your skills and expertise with what customers need, the better your chance of success.

Acknowledging the business risks

Especially because the technology is still emerging, the metaverse presents some potential disadvantages for businesses seeking to integrate it into their business models. Here are some immediate challenges:
  • The metaverse is a virtual medium and lacks human interaction. But as this new medium emerges and adoption rises, users will find ways to engage with each other (for example, through e-sports, hobbies, and other areas of the metaverse where experiential opportunities arise).
  • A widespread (and perhaps justified) lack of trust exists regarding data privacy and cybersecurity. Securing the metaverse is a fast-growing opportunity for cybersecurity professionals. As cyber laws, regulations, and new ways of metaverse security emerge, these concerns will fade away.
  • The technology is extremely new and there is a steep adoption curve. This steep adoption curve of the metaverse is a big challenge. It isn’t just displaying high-resolution virtual graphics that’s a requirement, but also enabling user privacy and safety, low-friction experiences, and a low cost of entry.With the advent of Web 3.0 technologies, customers can control data and be able to control which aspects of their data are seen by others — and that’s great news, but it’ll take at least a few years to a decade to become real. Building trust is key to creating communities in the metaverse and fostering digital commerce.
The metaverse is not a solution for everyone and everything. It has limitations and may not be a good fit for all markets across all industries.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Ian Khan is an emerging technology futurist and author, as well as a technology filmmaker whose work has been featured on Amazon Prime. Creator of the Future Readiness Score, he works with organizations worldwide to help them become future ready. Khan has been featured on CNN and the BBC and in Forbes and Fast Company. He is also a LinkedIn Learning Instructor.

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