Business leaders believe the metaverse represents one of the most impactful technology trends for the next decade.
The metaverse is a technology that “will really disrupt us as a brand and a company,” said Manoj Kumbhat, global CIO at manufacturing company Kimberly-Clark.
When thinking about interacting with younger generations, Kumbhat considers the metaverse, a virtual world in which consumers can shop, work and play, as particularly important.
“As we think about the next generation, how do we bring consumers into the brands we are building?” he said during a panel at the MIT Sloan IOC Symposium titled “The Most Impactful Technology Trends of the Decade to Come.”
While other technologies, including quantum computing, will also have an impact over the next 10 years, Kumbhat said the metaverse and the technologies that will enable it, such as 5G and augmented and virtual reality, are likely to be the most transformative for businesses. companies.
While the metaverse has received a lot of attention in the panel, not all business leaders have agreed that it will be the most critical challenge or major technology to improve business operations over the next decade.
The metaverse is a virtual world that companies are starting to tap into. But building it and learning to operate within it will require new skills, the speakers said.
Suneet Dua, head of product and technology growth at PwC US, said during the panel discussion that his company has customers already deeply immersed in the metaverse.
Sunet DuaResponsible for product growth and technology, PwC US
However, human skills aren’t developing fast enough to keep up with the development of this new virtual world, Dua said.
“I have clients who have already purchased properties in the metaverse, who are transacting in the metaverse, who expect us to transact with them in the metaverse,” Dua said. But she also has clients who print 30-page reports.
“That digital divide is a real problem,” he said.
Business leaders need to have their eyes on the metaverse, Dua said. But if tech leaders don’t push for the upgrading and retraining of executives and employees to drive their businesses in the virtual space, Dua said this will result in a “bigger problem.”
“Eighty-five million new jobs will come in the next three to four years and all of us in the room have to retrain for those new jobs and new skills,” Dua said. “We need to know what the future skills are.”
While companies should prepare for innovative new technology trends such as the metaverse, the effects of other technologies, such as AI and ML, are already starting to take shape.
Behind the scenes technological trends
Although business leaders believe that technology like the metaverse has a significant impact, speaker Eben Hewitt, colleague and CTO of Saber Hospitality at Saber Corporation, said advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning will continue to have the greatest impact on companies in the near future decade.
Using airplanes as an example, Hewitt said machine learning is used to dictate where passengers will sit as soon as a plane arrives at a gate.
The growing use of such algorithms in subtle ways to accelerate business operations will be significant in the long run, Hewitt said.
“This is a trend that I see happening,” he said during the panel. “[Ongoing advances in ML] it will permeate our daily lives more and more in ways we don’t recognize, in ways that don’t catch the headlines. “
Makenzie Holland is a news writer who deals with great technology and federal regulation. Before joining TechTarget, she was a general reporter for the Wilmington StarNews and a crime and education reporter al Wabash Plain Trader.