At CES2023, over the past few days, the Metaverse and Web 3.0 was the topic of many conversations as attendees and vendors talked about their visions for the future of the Internet.
The metaverse and Web 3.0 are poised to significantly change how consumers and companies interact, enabling people to communicate, work, and play better. And there’s room for businesses of all sizes and from all industries.
As this emerging digital ecosystem takes shape, early adopters can deliver immersive customer experiences while optimizing business operations. However, these technologies require hefty processing power, strong IT infrastructure, and a comprehensive cybersecurity plan.
Prepare now by learning how Web 3.0 and the metaverse will likely impact businesses and their customers. Then discover how you strategically choose technologies to give your organization a competitive boost.
What Is the Metaverse, and How Does It Affect Business Technology?
The metaverse refers to a digital ecosystem that blends digital and physical realities. Gartner calls it a “collective virtual shared space” and predicts that “25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in a metaverse for work, shopping, education, social media, and/or entertainment” by 2026.”
Accenture says the “metaverse is a continuum, a spectrum of digitally enhanced worlds, realities, and business models.” Yet, the definition and possibilities are continually evolving, with visionaries believing part of the metaverse will be persistent, a digital world that endures “even when no one is in it.”
Although the metaverse is still emerging, many enterprises have thrown their hats in the ring, from J.P. Morgan to Walt Disney Co. The intriguing potential has companies reassessing their tech stacks, looking to build a foundation to support metaverse objectives when the time is right.
The underpinning technologies include:
- Natural language understanding (NLU)
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Ultra high-speed internet
- Augmented reality (AR)
- Spatial computing
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
- Virtual reality (VR)
- Cloud services
Web 3.0: The Impact on Customers and Companies
The metaverse and Web 3.0 are complementary technologies but not the same thing. Web 3.0 is the evolution of the internet, a transition resulting in “more functionality based on privacy, decentralization, machine learning, and security principles,” according to TechTarget.
Blockchain and interoperability are essential to the concept, allowing businesses and consumers more control over their content, identity, and data. Like metaverse, Web 3.0 relies on a constant internet connection through high-speed internet, IoT, mobile networks, and WiFi.
Web 3.0 enables better search engine experiences and more realistic website interactions. Consumers benefit from better control over their identity and increased transparency in transactions. Web 3.0 also helps businesses earn trust and build long-lasting customer relationships. It can improve security and ease supply chain challenges.
The architecture consists of five elements:
- Artificial intelligence
- 3D graphics and spatial web
- Blockchain and cryptocurrency
- Semantic web
- Ubiquitous connectivity
Preparing for the Metaverse and Web 3.0
We have the components for the metaverse and Web 3.0. But currently lack the interoperability and interchangeability these technologies require. Although both concepts are years away from fruition, you can take steps now to meet your customers’ and company’s future needs. Your strategy should leverage existing trends, focus on technology partnerships, and modernize your infrastructure.
Explore Strategic Opportunities
According to PwC, companies entering the first stage of the metaverse typically develop use cases with partners. Third-party technology vendors can assist your business in identifying productive, lower-risk use cases, business models, and potential benefits of Web 3.0 and the metaverse.
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) advises looking “for opportunities to automate or digitize operations and develop[ing] IoT use cases across verticals that support the current and future business roadmap.”
Consider the possibilities by looking at the following:
- Locational strategy: The metaverse and Web 3.0 support flexible work styles. Consider how virtual and physical spaces could impact your company culture and employees.
- Revenue generation: Explore strategic opportunities to create new products or services, such as digital versions of physical goods.
- Consumer relationships: Increase brand awareness and improve customer connections using VR/AR to create immersive brand storytelling experiences.
Establish the Architecture
While different, metaverse and Web 3.0 still require some of the same architecture and strategies. Indeed, Deloitte recommends thinking about “investments in the context of broader digital transformation agendas.” Make decisive technology investments that will allow you to achieve greater capabilities in the near future, such as digital twins and edge computing.
Although your plan will depend on your digital maturity, organizations can start by upgrading or adding:
- Cloud infrastructure
- Gigabit or fiber internet
- Business WiFi
- Services and security architecture
- AR/VR devices
- Data and analytics
Staying Ahead of the Curve: What You Need to Know
The virtual world will change nearly every aspect of business. To remain competitive, you should complete a technology audit to understand your readiness and identify gaps. Strategic partnerships and technology investments can help your organization close skills gaps and incorporate frameworks for Web 3.0 and metaverse applications.
Understand Future Technologies and Trends
Gartner says, “Web3 won’t overtake Web 2.0 in the enterprise before the end of the decade.” However, the core technologies and challenges currently exist. Your customers and employees likely already use them and look to your business to assess and overcome barriers.
Be proactive by staying abreast of technology trends and evaluating current platforms for readiness. Consider how your company can address anti-fraud measures, cybersecurity, and privacy rights while strengthening brand reputation.
Choose Business Technology Solutions Wisely
According to a PwC metaverse survey, 41% of leaders consider relevant technology investment a top priority. Likewise, 34% focus on “partnering with or acquiring companies to support metaverse strategy,” and 28% plan to “get help from external experts.” Choose metaverse technologies and infrastructure that bring short and long-term benefits.
Ask these questions when selecting new technology solutions:
- Does the application support existing and future use cases?
- Is my data portable when switching providers?
- What are the integration requirements, and are APIs available?
- How does the vendor plan to deliver metaverse-like experiences?
Jumpstart Your Metaverse Initiatives
The metaverse and Web 3.0 will transform experiences and relationships. You can position your business as an industry leader by strategically investing in the right technologies and vendor partnerships. Cox Business has the technology and expertise to usher your company into the next stage of the internet. Contact an expert to learn how to maximize your organization’s potential and bring your business up to speed.