Important Elements of a Successful Metaverse Strategy

Since success in the metaverse is about creating new value by extending reality, business and technology leaders must be strategic and digital savvy – if the goal is to expand opportunities, increase relevance and revenue, etc. to meaningfully improve outcomes.

While the metaverse is new to many people, having a strategy to deliver new organizational capabilities requires – superior look ahead, an understanding of what will have value, the ability to innovate for impact, learning new concepts, using best practices, etc.

These competencies are needed to make good on opportunities by extending reality in the metaverse – a visual and active environment that is engaging and persistent, interoperable digital platform providing immersive experiences to support economic transactions and to create new value.  With this, organizations utilize building block technologies including AI, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and blockchain — to provide an appealing metaverse.

Using these technologies  effectively requires adopting best practices that include –

1.  Lead with a “Compelling Business Value Proposition” – not tech

Like any initiative, a metaverse project should support overall business strategy. While the metaverse has a lot of potential, look at it as an enabler to achieve objectives. Don’t think in technical terms; but as a strategy to – expand capabilities, improve UX, deliver more value, etc. for better outcomes.

Having a business approach and a strong sense of what is appealing to people are also important in determining the best use cases and to guide innovation initiatives, achieve business goals and better serve Customers. To help the cause, the metaverse has significant potential to contribute to success and differentiate the organization with new products and services providing – new experiences, additional ways to attract Customers and evolve relationships, provide more options to be creative and monetize new capabilities, etc.

For example, commercial real estate is exploring the metaverse and the blockchain-based economy to research and record real estate transactions. As well, tenants can reconfigure office space to accommodate in-office workers using the metaverse to more effectively meet and collaborate with others. Further, retail clients are using the metaverse to facilitate re-designing store space to accommodate shoppers who want to use a combination of virtual and real world experiences to assess options and make buying decisions.

Understanding where the opportunities lie requires strong look ahead, a cross-functional approach and being open minded. ” Talk to your business peers and look at what the potential use cases will be for your company ” said J.P. Gownder, VP and Principal Analyst on the Future of Work team at Forrester Research. For example, operations utilizing digital twins, or HR onboarding new employees using virtual reality.

Takeaway : Focus on business goals and provide new value when creating a metaverse strategy

2.  Be people centric

Have people at the center of new innovation and digital initiatives is key when creating a metaverse strategy. ” I’m weaving real estate into this whole conversation, but I’m putting people first” says Ed Wagoner CIO at JLL. Projects are destined to fail without an understanding of how people use  technologies. ” That’s driving how we think about not just the metaverse concept, but all the other technology we’re using ” Wagoner said. As part of the focus on people, decision makers need to be mindful the metaverse is a new and different kind of environment for most people and there are various metaverse platforms. As well, there is the need to address environmental concerns, potential legal issues and manage other risks before forging ahead on projects. Because of this, there is a need for thoughtful planning, being good at business innovation, knowing what will be appealing, and being excellent at execution, etc.

Takeaway :  Put people first, innovate for impact, and deliver meaningful value

3. Determine how the metaverse will differentiate your organization

While there is hype with new technology having significant potential (including the metaverse), determine what’s needed to expand opportunities and make things better. For this to occur, leaders need to decide what’s strategic and worth exploring. With this, there is a need to agree on markets to target, capabilities needed, what technologies to utilize, and do experiments to support innovation initiatives. ” If you’re going to talk about the metaverse, then use it” Wagoner said. ” Go buy a headset, do virtual meetings, and learn. That’s probably one of the easiest ways to see what’s possible with the technology.”

Takeaway : Try metaverse platforms to understand what they are and what they can do

4.  Deliver great User experiences (UX)

Create activities or events as well as build digital assets and digital twins that can be easily utilized to encourage exploration and engagement – that make the virtual experience enjoyable and rewarding.

To facilitate this, a digital library can help people better understand the existing technology components that will create a more fully developed metaverse and assist in developing the ideas and insights needed to make innovation more rewarding. If you understand, for example, what VR and AR are and how they could apply to your business, you can then start understanding the potential of the various technologies that underlie the metaverse and how to bring them together to provide new business capabilities and better user experiences.

Takeaway : Consider building a library of digital technologies to be better at innovation

5.  Plan what to do in the metaverse

Like any innovation initiative, creating an appealing metaverse requires forethought. Once enterprise leaders figure out the scenarios and use cases, they should identify what technologies and talent are needed to move projects forward – and whether it’s best to build or buy those capabilities.  For example, select from various technologies (ie: Microsoft Mesh, Meta’s Presence Platform, Unity’s Real-Time Development Platform, Unreal Engine 3D creation tool, etc.) to create your metaverse or when participating in other metaverses. In addition, Leaders will also need to consider their hardware requirements and the investment in new technologies (ie: goggles / headsets), and speed up refresh cycles to add computers with the capacity to deliver good extended reality experiences in real time. And consider the integration requirements to deliver the data that Employees, Partners and Customers need to perform their tasks and engage with their new digital services.

Takeaway :  Develop Innovation and XR competencies  +  identify the resources needed

6.  Utilize the vendor ecosystem

With vendors adding metaverse capabilities to their products, decision makers should consider how their existing vendors can contribute to innovation and metaverse initiatives with new capabilities. For example, Microsoft has said it will bring its mixed reality collaboration and communication Microsoft Mesh features to Teams. In addition, have people use XR tools to fast track project progress and increase awareness of opportunities with AR and VR.

Takeaway :  Understand vendor products capabilities and roadmaps for the metaverse

7.  Become familiar with metaverse platforms

Since there are numerous metaverses, tools, services, etc. – become familiar with them and assess how they can contribute to achieving company goals, improving innovation outcomes, and developing a metaverse strategy. Metaverse-type platforms range from independent offerings customized to each company’s needs to those that are mainstream, such as Decentraland and Roblox. To help with understanding, ask the following questions –

  1. Do I want to go with a public environment – or – have a more targeted audience ?
  2. How engaging and interconnected do I want the User experience to be ?
  3. What kind of experience do we want to deliver ?
  4. Do we want a high level of control over the UX – or – to go with what the vendor offers ?
  5. Do we want to decide how, where and when people can interact – or – have it setup for us ?
  6. How can they contribute to developing the innovation mindset and meaningfully improving outcomes in our organization ?
  7. What are the expected significant benefits ?
  8. What are the metrics of success ? 

Companies should investigate and understand vendor capabilities and the merits of each platform. This includes whether you or the vendor owns and uses data collected from the experiences.

As well, be aware whether “ You Own the Environment and Experience ”        — or —                         
 ” You may get [customer] acquisition for free, but give up your data “.

Takeaway : Do your research to understand the different types of metaverse platforms

Summary

With a lot to know to make good on opportunities in the metaverse, you’re welcome to contact CAIL to fast track learning.

Jan 10, 2023     By Mary K. Pratt  /  CAIL Metaverse commentary      info@cail.com        905-940-9000