Metaverse Readiness — from Hype to Reality

The concept of the metaverse has steadily gained in importance in recent years. It promises to change fundamentally the way we interact with one another and do business. While many want to exploit this potential, only few meet the requirements. What does it take to be truly metaverse-ready?

The metaverse represents a virtual reality in which physical and digital worlds merge. Access is provided by innovative technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). Used correctly, they offer a wealth of new opportunities for collaboration, communication, and added value for companies, from virtual meetings and training courses to innovative forms of product presentation and customer interaction. Adding artificial intelligence to the mix deepens further the true potential many times over.

The intensity of the gold-rush fever sparked by the topic of the metaverse, however, is matched by the bafflement of the enterprises with concrete interest in its opportunities. What preconditions must be in place before metaverse-based solutions that actually add value can be implemented? Extensive uncertainty, particularly with regard to the critical level of digitalization and status of the technology systems as well as to the general culture in the company, often dominates.

Technology is the be-all and end-all

Using the metaverse in a corporate context places specific demands on the infrastructure. Seamless and efficient integration cannot be assured unless the following crucial framework conditions are met without fail:

Bandwidth and latency: The immediate transmission of large volumes of data requires a high-performance network infrastructure characterized by high bandwidth and low latency.

Processing power: Companies should have powerful server infrastructures that can provide the outstanding computing capability demanded by metaverse applications.

Scalable resources: Cloud integration that scales resources according to demand enables companies to respond to different load peaks and requirements.

Data encryption: Secure data transmission and storage employing modern encryption standards are essential to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the data used.

Interfaces and integration: Integration of the metaverse infrastructure with existing enterprise systems and applications should be seamless so that friction-free data transfer and collaboration become possible.

Device compatibility: The infrastructure must support a wide range of devices to ensure maximum reach — from VR glasses to AR-capable smartphones.

Data backup and recovery: Given the critical significance of company data, reliable data backup and disaster recovery are essential elements to ensure business continuity.

Industry-specific compliance: The metaverse infrastructure must satisfy industry-specific compliance requirements, especially with regard to data protection and security.

The infrastructure requirements for using the metaverse can vary depending on the company’s specific objectives and activities. These demands aside, a well-designed and flexible infrastructure lays the general foundation for successful metaverse integration, enabling companies to take full advantage of these innovative technologies.

No virtuality without transformation

Integration of the metaverse into corporate processes cannot stop with just a consistent rethinking of the current technological conditions — its success is dependent on a profound cultural change and the related change management. The latter empowers employees so that they not only understand the opportunities inherent in the metaverse, but can also determine for themselves how best to mine the potential. Clear and open communication is crucial to this process as a means of heightening the organization’s awareness of the issue and of informing the workforce about specific imminent changes. In consequence, all employees feel sufficiently included and develop positive attitudes in anticipation of the change. The benefits of the metaverse for the company and the individual work processes should be emphasized, but at the same time, possible concerns and fears should be addressed and dispelled.

Training programs are another key aspect in securing the success of the metaverse project. They impart to employees the indispensable knowledge and the right skills for effectively working in the metaverse. Educational programs should be tailored to the individual needs and use/application scenarios of employees and range from simple introductions to advanced training to ensure coverage of the entire spectrum of requisite skills. Once the metaverse is in place, support mechanisms providing assistance to end users facing technical challenges should be established as they help to increase productivity and minimize frustration.

The metaverse should be introduced step by step, ideally with pilot projects that test the functionality and solicit targeted feedback from all involved stakeholders so that no one is left behind. This approach also allows adjustments to be made at an early stage and ensures that the introduction runs smoothly. Moreover, the implementation of the metaverse should be regarded as a process that continues beyond the start-up phase; its progress is constantly monitored and is subject to regular evaluation that may even result in modifications of strategy.

All in all, a comprehensive change management strategy is pivotal to ensure that the introduction of the metaverse not only runs smoothly, but that the full potential for innovation, collaboration, and business development is realized. Simultaneously, it must never fail to consider the employees and their individual needs. Companies should give due regard to their viewpoints and ideas by establishing working groups or conducting feedback sessions as the active involvement of employees in the metaverse project has a direct impact on its acceptance and success.

Actively shaping the future of digitalization

The metaverse is not merely a technological gimmick; it is a key component for the future of digital interaction. In view of the exciting opportunities it offers companies, decision-makers are now at a crossroads. Using the metaverse goes far beyond the introduction of a few new tools here and there. It requires a profound cultural transformation that changes working habits, transforms mindsets, and promotes a digital mentality. For many companies, this will be a hurdle that quite a few will fail to clear. However, companies that proactively embark on this metaverse journey and master its challenges by peering ahead have the opportunity to shape actively the future of digitalization and tap into its potential now.