To help clients find their footing in the metaverse, Accenture Interactive has launched ‘The Metaverse Continuum.’ Here’s what it looks like, where the consultancy sees the biggest opportunities for clients and why we can expect lots of corporate ‘digital twins.’
Are you preparing your organization for its digital twin in the metaverse? Are you onboarding employees using VR headsets? Maybe you should be. According to Mark Curtis, head of innovation and thought leadership at Accenture Interactive, these are two examples of how companies can start leveraging Web3 and all that it can offer.
Accenture, the world’s largest business consultancy firm, has launched The Metaverse Continuum, a new business group designed to help clients discover and establish a successful niche in the metaverse.
The new Metaverse Continuum, according to Accenture’s website, “brings 800 of our metaverse-skilled professionals and market-leading capabilities from across Accenture into one group dedicated to designing, executing and accelerating our clients’ metaverse journeys.” Those journeys will be as diverse and dynamic as the metaverse itself, hence the “continuum” metaphor — rather than viewing the metaverse as a monolithic space in which cookie cutter-type solutions can be applied to each of its clients, Accenture views the metaverse as “a spectrum of digitally enhanced worlds, realities and business models.”
“We’re calling it the metaverse continuum for a number of reasons,” says Mark Curtis, head of innovation and thought leadership at Accenture Interactive. “Most of all, because it’s going to evolve. What’s happening now… compared to where we’re going to go in 10 or 20 years, it’s going to look completely different. And so we’re on a journey. And the continuum, to some extent, is both an internal and external signal that we recognize that journey.”
Though the development of the metaverse is still in its early stages, brands have been eager to stake their claims in a virtual space that’s expected to be valued at close to $800bn within the next couple of years, per Bloomberg.
Digital twins and Oculus-clad employees
The metaverse poses a revolutionary opportunity for brands not only in terms of how they’ll engage with consumers, but also surrounding how they structure themselves internally, says Curtis. “Most organizations will have a digital twin of themselves within a few years. That twin will effectively sit in the metaverse and the organization will be run from the metaverse in many ways… I don’t think that means that the CEO is going to be sitting around with the exec team wearing headsets all the time. It just means that we’re going to be creating models of the firm in the metaverse. And that’s going to profoundly affect the way in which we manage our businesses.”
The Accenture team has recently begun to onboard new employees in the metaverse via Oculus headsets. This, according to Curtis, is the kind of technological immersion that brands should engage in before attempting to position themselves as metaverse experts. Before they can presume to guide clients through this virtual space, in other words, they must take concrete steps to ensure that their own business and organization can navigate it with confidence.
The dynamic nature of the metaverse will be exacerbated by what Curtis calls “a very strong industry lens.” Each industry’s presence within the metaverse, he says, “will vary wildly. For example, “the role of the metaverse for [the] life sciences is going to be very different from the role of the metaverse for retail, and that’s going to be different from consumer-packaged goods.” Bearing those industry-specific differences in mind, Curtis says that the goal of the metaverse continuum will be to meet clients where they are and to work with them on a curated, case-by-case basis: “The conversations that we are having with clients tend to be quite highly colored by the level of knowledge and experience that client already has of the metaverse… the degree of their ambition, [and] the degree to which they want to engage with experimentation.”
Curtis and his colleagues have also committed themselves to helping clients “to leap over the obvious.” Making such a mental shift has been required at numerous points throughout history at which a radical new medium has washed over the culture. Curtis reminds us that when TV was first introduced, many people perceived it as a kind of “radio with pictures,” failing to grasp the enormous new potential for storytelling, entertainment, and marketing that the new medium had introduced. “The difference this time around [with the advent of the metaverse] is there’s way more people who are familiar with technology and who are versed in digital beginning to think about this. So we’re going to see it accelerate very quickly.”