Conversations about the metaverse are growing at an incredible race. Powered by a rapidly digitizing modern landscape, innovators in the metaverse are guiding us towards a future where the gaps between reality and digital spaces are smaller than ever. According to some experts, the metaverse could potentially achieve a value of around $1 trillion in the years ahead.
For companies committed to staying on the cutting edge of business technology, the metaverse also offers endless opportunities to get ahead of the competition.
Making an investment in the right solutions now could help you to better-serve your target audience and engage employees in the future.
The question is, where do you start comparing the tools and systems of an environment many market leaders are still trying to define?
Step 1: Define the Metaverse
The first, and most important stage of developing your metaverse roadmap, is building a comprehensive definition of what the “metaverse” actually means to you and your company.
Although the idea of the metaverse has actually been around for a number of years, we’re only recently beginning to get a feel for what it could mean to businesses and consumers.
The novelty of the metaverse as a technology concept has created a lot of confusion about what it means to leverage this landscape.
Crucially, the metaverse isn’t simply VR technology, or the blockchain, it’s a range of tools designed to create a more “embodied” internet.
The metaverse isn’t a single technology or tool, but a new vision of the digital world, which helps to align people through online communities, and change the way we access content.
For the purposes of your digital transformation, you’ll need to think about what kind of metaverse platforms and enablers you’re going to invest in first, such as:
- Blockchain: Most visions of the metaverse as companies describe them today involve the creation of more decentralized landscapes, with fewer single points of failure. Exploring the benefits of blockchain for your business data management, contact systems and identity management could be a great way to start your transformation.
- Extended reality: One of the easiest ways to start getting involved with the metaverse is by aligning your digital and real worlds via extended reality. Countless companies are already investing in AR smart glasses, MR holograms, and VR training environments.
- Artificial Intelligence and big data: To leverage the metaverse, companies will need a more intelligent way to interact with machines and manage data. Increasing your focus on AI and data management could be the key to preparing your ecosystem for the metaverse.
Step 2: Determine Your Goals
After you have a basic understanding of what the metaverse means and how it can apply to your business operations, the next step is setting goals for what you hope to accomplish in this area. Are you looking to be one of the companies responsible for developing the next era of metaverse experiences?
If so, you may need to look into installing more XR software and learning how to interact with open coding environments.
If you’re planning on using the metaverse as a way to redefine the workplace in a time of hybrid and remote work, you can ask yourself how you can bring your team together in a more immersive digital community online.
Can you create VR environments where people can work together more effectively, or use AR to align people regardless of whether they’re in the field or the office?
Knowing exactly what you want to accomplish with the metaverse will give you a starting point for researching the kinds of tools and technologies most relevant to your situation.
It should also provide you with a starting point when it comes to determining what kind of vendors you want to get involved with. There are a handful of market leaders introducing their version of the “metaverse” today.
Ensuring the vendor, you work with shares the same picture you have in mind for your “metaverse” will help to put you on the right track for success.
Step 3: Explore and Understand the Challenges
Crucially, while the metaverse as a concept represents an exciting opportunity for a lot of brands in terms of better collaboration, stronger customer experiences, and new profit avenues, it’s not without its challenges.
Building your future business in an environment which relies heavily on the intersection between digital and physical realities creates a range of concerns when it comes to things like the management of data and privacy.
Whether you’re starting your transition into the metaverse by investing in VR tools, or building an online office for your workforce, you’ll need to ensure you have the right strategies in place for protecting your staff, and the consumer data they’re interacting with.
It’s also worth considering the change management issues likely to emerge with the rise of a new “metaverse” environment in your workplace.
Building the metaverse into your business requires a significant shift in the way your business works, and how you build company culture. You may need to invest significant time into training your employees and helping them understand how to use the new tools you’re going to be accessing.
Step 4: Find the Right Partner
Finally, during these early stages of the rise of the metaverse, having the right partner is crucial. While no single vendor can sell you a pre-packed, out-of-the-box version of the “metaverse”, there are countless businesses who can work with you to realise your vision.
Once you know what facets of the metaverse you’re going to be investing in, from decentralized collaborative spaces, to blockchain and XR, you can begin to work with a vendor who understands that environment in-depth and offers the kinds of applications and tools you need to reach your goals.
Ideally, you should be looking for a vendor that not only understand your chosen segment of the metaverse, but the wider picture of where this landscape is headed.
Working with an innovator with extensive investments in this new digital future will ensure you can continue to remain agile and adaptable as your vision of the metaverse evolves.