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Metaverse technology is seeing a strong early pickup, although at-scale adoption is likely to be 8-10 years away, according to a report by the industry association NASSCOM.
Metaverse has many interpretations. However, with growing consensus about the key characteristics of this technology, Metaverse refers to a persistent and immersive virtual world experience with digital-physical fusion that allows interoperability, and concurrency to enhance a user’s ability to meaningfully interact, transact and move virtual identity, assets and data from one world to another.
“While at-scale Metaverse adoption is likely to be 8-10 years away, and majority implementations are at POC (proof of concept) or MVP (minimum viable product) stage, the space is witnessing strong early adoption,” said the report by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) along with McKinsey and Company as the knowledge partner.
The report looks at key trends in adoption, potential applications of the Metaverse, and opportunities for service providers to take an active role in this development.
Enterprise Metaverse adoption maturity trends are similar to AI trends back in 2017.
A survey conducted by McKinsey and Company found that 57 percent CXOs in 2022 have Metaverse initiatives underway, both long and short-term.
Metaverse has taken a forefront position with recent technology advancements to potentially become the next evolution of the internet.
While the term ‘Metaverse’ has existed for nearly two decades, the novel internet avatar has seen an accelerated development driven by the technology revolution, consumer readiness and the rise of consumer-led marketing.
“Significant PE/VC investments and strong merger and acquisition commitments have been announced in H1 of 2022, amounting to more than $120 billion value (roughly Rs. 9,79,458 crore) (based on estimates between Jan-May’22),” a NASSCOM statement said.
Enterprises are starting to implement metaverse use cases across the value chain.
By 2030, sectors such as retail, manufacturing, media, healthcare, telecom, professional services and banking are likely to be major spending drivers of enterprise use cases in Metaverse.
Emerging use cases in customer engagement, multi-channel customer support and real-time simulations for product designing are gaining traction, according to NASSCOM’s report.
It is also expected to “gamify” the future of work and workforce collaborations. Several initiatives are underway such as re-imagining learning and development using gamified AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality) based learning suites with virtual instructors, creating an immersive recruitment and employee onboarding with avatar interaction and networking with employees at job fairs and imagining digital twin offices for employee collaborations and meetings.
That said, the technology’s at-scale potential will be determined by factors such as clarity on return on investment, technology and talent readiness, and the ability to address societal concerns.
According to an independent study by McKinsey and Company, 30-40 percent of CXOs surveyed report uncertain returns on their Metaverse investments and initiatives remain experimental.
The emerging talent pool in areas of 3D/Technical artists, Motion Designers, Graphics Engineers, AR/VR & Software Engineers, etc. will be key to achieving at-scale Metaverse capability building in future, it said.