The metaverse is the future, but few firms wants to be first

metaverse KPMG
Image by Anton Medvedev | Bigstockphoto

It seems as if companies around the world are in a Catch-22 when it comes to adoption of metaverse technologies. A new report from KPMG suggests that companies are worried about falling behind their competitors if they don’t adopt the new technology – but at the same time, they don’t want to be the first to do so.

KPMG’s Global Technology Report 2022 surveyed executives from more than 1,500 companies and found that 46% of respondents are making plans to invest in and implement emerging technologies like the metaverse. However, only a fraction of those companies have taken any action on those plans.

Not only are they waiting for their competitors to make the first move, but they’re also waiting for their customers to demand products and services that require these technologies.

Lack of in-house skills

In addition, very few businesses have the in-house capabilities to manage these evolving technologies. Around 37% of businesses said they would rather partner with a tech company so they can access the metaverse and Web3 than try to build these capabilities themselves.

In addition, the recent developments at Meta Platforms have perhaps not been encouraging for other companies. A Reuters report notes that Mark Zuckerberg – who is attempting to become a leading pioneer of the metaverse – has been criticized for making too many “experimental bets” with the company’s money and resources.

Despite these challenges, companies are evidently starting to invest more in emerging technologies overall. An earlier report by McKinsey shows that 57% of companies that are aware of the metaverse have become early adopters.

Large companies are naturally the biggest investors. They have the deep pockets required to take on the risks associated with being an early adopter.

McKinsey reports that in the first five months of 2022, corporations, VCs, and PE companies invested more than $120 billion in the metaverse – over double the amount that enterprises invested in metaverse tech in all of 2021 ($57 billion).

Furthermore, Technavio Research predicts that, with the increase in investments, the global metaverse market share will increase by $107.06 billion from 2023 to 2027.

Align strategies with metaverse ambitions

Meanwhile, as the metaverse continues to excite investors and corporations, it is only a matter of time before smaller companies feel the pressure to adopt the technology as well.

The KPMG report says they would do well to remember what a major digital tech transformation requires: new skills, capabilities, business models, and cultures – all of which can be very costly.

In the report, Sedef Gavaz, head of Digital Product at the UK’s Natural History Museum, admits that cost is one of several challenges to embracing the metaverse. “The flip side to all this wonder and possibility are, of course, considerations around pricing; access to tech and device penetration; as well as the data and network connections required to run metaverse experiences.”

Gavaz adds that all of this has to be aligned with the museum’s business strategy, “because, although we’re here to engage the widest possible audience, we have focus areas for the audiences with which we particularly want to engage.”

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