It looks certain that the metaverse will have a transformative impact on business, and new research from tech services and consulting firm Wipro Limited asserts that brands and businesses that embrace the technology early will reap the biggest rewards. Companies in the US have been the quickest adopters at this point, and their experiences are highlighting a number of challenges, such as cybersecurity, compliance, and hiring.
The firm’s new study, The Industrial Metaverse: A Game Changer for Business, surveyed senior business leaders across the US, UK, and Germany to understand their views on how the metaverse will transform their organizations. The majority of respondents (63 percent) agree that the metaverse will be a game changer that will transform many parts of their businesses. The main benefits include enhancing business activity by making it a more immersive experience, spurring greater innovation, and accelerating time to market.
More than three-quarters (78 percent) of all respondents also said the metaverse would enable them to build new business models, and 56 percent of those surveyed see a key benefit as being the potential for increased customer satisfaction and retention over the next two years.
In terms of adoption, firms in the US are the quickest out of the gate (19 percent). Companies in the UK (13 percent) and Germany (12 percent) are following behind. However, German firms are expected to pick up the pace over the next 2 years, surpassing US and UK firms.
While the benefits of implementing this technology are clearly understood by business leaders, the realities of deploying this technology are still proving a challenge
Only 35 percent of respondents have currently set budgets and goals for their metaverse plans, with a further 30 percent planning to do so over the next 2 years. When it comes to ensuring data security and privacy of metaverse initiatives, only 4 percent of respondents reported having done this, with 14 percent planning to do so over the next 2 years.
Implementation challenges notwithstanding, the importance of being a leader in the metaverse space is clear, with 34 percent of respondents saying it will enable them to reach new customers. On the financial side, 33 percent believe the metaverse will help deliver improved profitability through decreased costs and increased revenue over the next two years.
The ever-present skills gap in tech is also front-of-mind for early adopters
Companies are starting to bring in the talent and skills they need to develop and implement their metaverse plans. However, it is still early for most firms—only 18 percent of companies have 3D modelers, and fewer have avatar designers, blockchain specialists, legal staff with metaverse knowledge, and other skills needed to support metaverse strategies.
“The metaverse and augmented experience will bring new and creative ways to grow businesses. Our research shows that this technology will create new ways of engaging with customers, simplifying processes, decreasing costs, and increasing revenues,” said Chandra Surbhat, vice president & practice head, Digital Experience at Wipro Limited, in a news release. “Our report also highlights the complexities of leveraging this technology, particularly regarding challenges around compliance, complimentary technology, and building the right teams. The early adopters will clearly stand to gain from brand visibility, the ability to iterate and fine-tune the models, and the opportunity to be leaders in the metaverse.”
The survey highlights that it is not a question of if but when the metaverse will transform business
A small group of leaders are leading the way and preparing to leverage the power of the metaverse to revolutionize almost every aspect of their organization, including customer experience, internal operations, innovation, employee retention, and business growth. In taking the lead, these organizations are stealing a march on those lagging.
Insights shared in this report are based on a survey conducted for Wipro in October – November 2022 by ThoughtLab with more than 550 global CXOs across the US, UK, and Germany. All respondents are lead decision-makers, part of the executive team and key influencers for their organization’s global business and metaverse strategy and implementation.