While we are at the early days of the metaverse, it will advance so quickly that if companies don’t act now, they’ll find themselves operating in worlds designed by, and for, someone else, warns Accenture.
In its research report, “Meet Me in the Metaverse,” Accenture explores how the metaverse will impact business.
“Many dismiss it as a consideration for the future,” say technology group chief executive Paul Daugherty and CEO Julie Sweet. “The metaverse is actionable today, and leaders must be ready.”
Accenture sees the metaverse as a continuum — one that “spans the spectrum of digitally enhanced worlds, realities and business models.”
It applies to all aspects of business, from consumer to worker and across the entire enterprise; from reality to virtual and back; from 2D to 3D; and from cloud and AI to extended reality, blockchain, digital twins, edge technologies and beyond.
“As the next evolution of the internet, the metaverse will be a continuum of rapidly emerging capabilities, use cases, technologies and experiences,” the report urges.
The building blocks of the “Metaverse Continuum” are taking shape today but will coalesce over the next decade “to create an entirely new enterprise landscape,” Accenture finds.
The 2020s will see ambitious enterprises bringing shape to these new physical and digital realities, as well as worlds co-populated by people and AI, industries made possible by new computers, and more.
From these words you can see that Accenture’s analysts have no real concrete idea of how the metaverse will look. Its view the metaverse is coming fast and that businesses need to prep for it — ideally by hooking up with a consultancy like Accenture.
“Just as the internet evolved beyond simple websites to underpin the majority of today’s businesses, it would be wrong to think the experience of the metaverse will be constrained to digital space,” Accenture states.
It explains that the “Metaverse Continuum is an evolving and expanding continuum on multiple dimensions. These include the convergence and advance of technologies like extended reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, digital twins, and smart objects — including cars and factories, and edge computing.
The metaverse may be a wild frontier, but here at NAB Amplify we’ve got you covered! Hand-selected from our archives, here are some of the essential insights you’ll need to expand your knowledge base and confidently explore the new horizons ahead:
- What Is the Metaverse and Why Should You Care?
- Avatar to Web3: An A-Z Compendium of the Metaverse
- The Metaverse is Coming To Get You. Is That a Bad Thing?
- Don’t Expect the Metaverse to Happen Overnight
- A Framework for the Metaverse from Hardware to Hollywood and Everything in Between
It encompasses the “virt-real” — a range of experiences, from purely virtual to a blend of virtual and physical. And the ‘Continuum’ describes the spectrum of emerging consumer experiences and the business applications and models across the enterprise “that will be reimagined and transformed.”
For 2022 Accenture spotlights four trends that businesses need to get a grip on as the metaverse evolves.
What it calls “WebMe” is how the internet is being reimagined with new modes of digital experience. “The underlying efforts to reimagine how data shapes our digital experiences, will challenge businesses to rethink their presence online and become a part of shaping the next platform revolution as they build new ways to connect to customers, partners, and their digital workforce.”
Another trend, the Programmable World, projects how the convergence of 5G, ambient computing, AR and “smart materials” are paving the way for businesses to reshape how they interact with the physical world.
“As technology becomes part of the fabric of our environment, it allows us to treat our environment more like technology — unlocking an unprecedented fidelity of control, automation, and personalization.”
Accenture also notes the emergence of The Unreal — a trend where our environments and businesses are increasingly filled with machines that are passably human. This can be benign and even intrinsic to the AI that enterprises aspire to integrate into their processes; but at the same time businesses need to beware the pitfalls of deepfakes and bots. Accenture feels that this growing concern may turn into the biggest hurdle for enterprises.
“Like it or not, enterprises have been thrust into the forefront of a world questioning what’s real, what isn’t, and if the line between those two really matters.”
The fourth trend in the metaverse continuum that business leaders should be cognizant of is the emergence of super computing.
“Quantum, biologically-inspired, and high-performance computers are each allowing companies to tackle grand challenges that once defined and shaped the very core of their industries. As problems once considered impossible become ever more solvable, business leaders will be pushed to reimagine some of the most basic assumptions about their enterprise.”
The consultant considers that we stand at a unique precipice in time. Not because there are new technologies to master, but rather that competing in this next decade will require something more than just increasing technology and innovation skills.
“Recall that 20 years ago many enterprises were wondering if they needed a presence on the web — a question that seems quaint now that every public company has augmented its sales, operations, or products with digital technology in some form. With the future on the horizon, we are hearing echoes of that question again: Is remote work here to stay? Do physical environments really need to be smart? Do I need to care about the Metaverse? The answer to these questions and others is a resounding ‘yes’.”