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A whole new world? The metaverse and what it could mean for you 

Metaverse technology and its implications for business leaders

An overview of future possibilities (and pitfalls) of the metaverse in 5-10 years as leaders consider their entry into what some believe could be the next new world for almost every business.

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is the popular term used to describe what many expect to be the next significant paradigm for how we use digital technologies and networks to interact and collaborate with others and have virtual experiences of all kinds. It’s not a single technology or device, and it’s not a service of any one company. It’s the convergence of several separate technologies, all of which are quickly maturing for mainstream use. Together, those technologies can create the experience of an immersive, three-dimensional environment in which users interact with their surroundings and other users as if they are in a shared space.

But a fully developed metaverse is more than merely a virtual space. It also has at least two other important characteristics that enhance its potential as a new platform with a wide variety of uses. First, it is likely to include both the physical and digital/virtual worlds in the user's experience. Second, the metaverse is expected to have a native economy, including digitally native assets and trade. While the Internet today has an important relationship to the economy, the metaverse could have its own economy.


Exploring the metaverse and what it means for you

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What can executives do today?

While the future of the metaverse is still unknown, there are several actions executives can take now:

  • Don't underestimate the potential: Formulate a metaverse strategy but keep it flexible enough to adapt to changes in technology and consumer preferences. Adopt a “test and learn” approach for both consumer facing and enterprise functions.
  • Take the long view: Given the mainstream metaverse and corresponding revenue generation are likely several years out, companies should take a long-term view on investments and consider KPIs around consumer and employee engagement in addition to ROI. Consider investments in the context of broader digital transformation agendas.
  • Focus on demand and what motivates users: Organizations should focus on how to create captivating content and engaging experiences (e.g., exclusive partnerships, user generated content tools, robust data and insights collection) in order to establish share and remain competitive.
  • Commit to a “responsible metaverse”: Organizations will need to manage a range of complexities and risks in the metaverse (e.g., privacy/security, accessibility, sustainable energy consumption) and ensure they are proactively building a responsible metaverse and effectively maintaining consumer and employee trust.


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