Author: Sophie Clark
Accenture’s 2022 Tech Vision offers a long-term view of technology trends that will impact businesses. Focusing specifically on the metaverse, the report delves into the opportunities and challenges this new way of working and living will present as technology evolves.
The 2022 Tech Vision report, “Meet me in the metaverse”, is based on a global survey of 24,000 consumers and 4,650 C-level executives and directors that captures how people interact with technology in their lives and at work.
According to Martin Wolfram, Country Managing Director of Accenture Luxembourg, the pace and scale of technological change we’ve seen since 2020 is only going to continue. We discussed with him how companies should be preparing.
Why is Tech Vision 2022 so important? And how has it changed since 2021?
Tech Vision serves as a guide to ensure businesses are in the best possible position to take advantage of the latest shifts and developments in technology.
2021 focused on short-term solutions to help companies stay competitive in a fast-changing environment, something the pandemic highlighted. Many companies didn’t embrace digital change until the pandemic hit, but those that had incorporated new technologies earlier, really thrived during 2020, leapfrogging those that had not.
However, the ground continues to transform under our feet. Businesses are racing towards a future that is very different to the world they were designed to operate in. This year’s report considers society in 10+ years, when we will not only exist in the real world, but also in multiple and numerous digital worlds.
What is the metaverse? And why are we talking about it so much?
I see the metaverse as a convergence of digital and physical worlds, which offers a place for people with a purpose and product to exist. It’s a place where people can socialize, play, learn, work, and create together. Previously we talked about the internet of people, data, and objects. Now it’s about the internet of spaces.
Technology is really the enabler of this, and some of it already exists; the cloud, 5G, blockchain, augmented reality, etc. The maturity of these different technologies converge in the metaverse.
We’re already seeing companies like Facebook (now Meta) preparing for this. These social media platforms have billions of users, but the question for them is, what’s the next step?
“The metaverse is an expanding continuum. The technologies and use cases exist, as does the new business model so we’re at an early stage of the journey.” Martin Wolfram, Country Managing Director of Accenture Luxembourg
What are the opportunities and challenges for companies in the metaverse?
The metaverse is essentially a new market which requires a new way of working – new business models and strategies. Nevertheless, use cases already exist. Firstly, on the experimental side – in the world of gaming we’ve already seen Fortnite utilizing the metaverse.
On the creative side, there are limitless opportunities – from luxury products to consumer goods. Gucci has already sold its first digital bag in the metaverse for a higher price than in real life.
There are also opportunities for training simulations. This is interesting for training in dangerous situations or complex environments, such as the chemicals or nuclear industries.
Another concrete use case is in finance. JP Morgan is the first financial player to set up a lending service within the metaverse facilitated by blockchain. In the future, we’re likely to see more people earning an income in the metaverse.
The market for the metaverse is massive. Goldman Sachs estimates it at $8 Tn and Gartner predicts that, by 2026, 30% of organizations globally will have products and services for the metaverse and estimates that 35% of people will spend at least one hour per day there. So, there are plenty of opportunities.
How is Accenture incorporating the metaverse into its strategy?
We’ve been in the metaverse for a year already. We’ve built, in collaboration with Microsoft, the largest enterprise metaverse on the planet. We call it the “Nth Floor.” We’ve already conducted 100 meetings with clients, and deployed 60,000 VR headsets to employees, with the plan to bring 25,000 more people into the space in 2022.
How can we make this technology responsible?
Given the early stage we’re at with the metaverse, the boundaries aren’t set so we need to be mindful as it evolves. As with any technology, it’s critical to establish trust in the underlying technology to drive adoption and acceptance. All of this relies on ensuring safety, security, privacy, sustainability, inclusion, and accessibility.
From a risk point of view, we need to protect against fraud and criminal activity. From a safety perspective, we need to ensure security and privacy for all users. So, it’s important that we establish strong principles, and governance, to guide the development of policies and platforms. We will need to embed laws and regulations that we’re able to control. This will need input from real-world governments.
On the sustainability side, although there are negative effects of this technology – as we move to the cloud, we consume more energy – there are green solutions to tackle them. And overall, a move to the metaverse can help our sustainability goals. As business models change to offer products and services virtually, the amount of building, producing and distributing of products in the real world will decrease, lowering CO2 emissions.
So, would you say the metaverse is evolution or a revolution?
It’s both. The metaverse is an expanding continuum. The technologies and use cases exist, as does the new business model so we’re at an early stage of the journey. This is more of an evolution. But by 2025/26, we are likely to see a revolution given the speed of change, how big the market is, and the opportunities out there.
Article courtesy of our content partner site Silicon Luxembourg
About the Author
Sophie is a content strategist, copywriter and brand storyteller, originally from the UK but now based in Luxembourg. Over the last 10 years she’s worked with B2B and B2C companies internationally to help them engage audiences through online and offline content. Visit her website www.sophieclark.net