Business development Danny Stefanic · 14 February 2022
An Introduction to the Metaverse for Business
The best part of last year saw many industries in equal parts bafflement and excitement by this seemingly new concept of the “Metaverse”. Facebook’s rebrand to Meta was the opening credits, followed by a number of brands and small businesses alike announcing their new venture into the world of virtual realities. Although the metaverse is seemingly the biggest buzzword of 2022, it is by no means a new concept and, unlike some of the biggest tech giants, many innovators in the space have created 3D platforms that have been widely used for a number of years. From a business standpoint, many organisations are becoming acutely aware of the opportunities virtual realities hold. The metaverse is a $1 trillion revenue opportunity, with experts predicting it could reach this valuation as early as the end of the decade. And, over the next 12 months, we’ll likely see many deals and acquisitions being completed in the field, with analysts and innovators alike optimistic about the sector’s revenue generation potential. Therefore, whether organisations are directly involved in the metaverse or not, the need for a metaverse strategy is becoming increasingly strong. What is the Metaverse? Put simply, the metaverse refers to online 3D worlds accessed via computer, smart devices, augmented reality and virtual reality headsets. Interaction and engagement are core to the principles of metaverse, ensuring that users are able to become fully immersed in online environments facilitated by metaverse technology. Despite last year’s hype around Meta and other big tech announcements such as Microsoft’s acquisition of Blizzard, and the more recent Sony announcement of its acquisition of veteran games development house Bungie, the concept has been around for over two decades. Innovative companies have explored how technology can be used to practically implement metaverse experiences since the early stages of the internet. 3D internet companies, for example, have been offering virtual worlds since as early as 1995 (such as Blaxxun named after the fictional virtual club in Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk novel Snow Crash). However, whilst there has been significant growth in the world of entertainment, the notion of using the metaverse for business purposes is now finally having its moment, with many workspaces now recognising its true potential. Ultimately, when businesses adopt this into their ways of working, they can effectively maximize hybrid working like never before. The Metaverse for Business The ‘Metaverse for Business’ refers to the creation and launch of 3D environments for companies, be it for engaging with employees for training, through to recruitment, social gatherings and engagement with clients and customers. An enterprise metaverse is something organisations can change and control to suit their needs: just as they may have their own website, they have the ability to take control of their own metaverse. Research also shows there is a willingness for workers to embrace the advantages on offer from the metaverse. According to Lenovo, 44% of employees are willing to work in the metaverse and believe it can deliver significant advantages. Shifting employee sentiment to the metaverse can be attributed to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on global society. The pandemic has permanently challenged the onsite, 9-to-5 working structure. Even when the pandemic finally ends, it seems likely the majority of businesses will continue to embrace flexible working patterns, including the ability to work remotely. Evidently, the metaverse has a significant role to play, ensuring employees remain engaged while helping to overcome productivity issues linked to remote working, such as video conferencing fatigue.
ABOUT THE EXPERTDanny Stefanic
Danny Stefanic, CEO and founder, MootUp