KPMG recently released the findings of a survey conducted by Forrester of technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) executives.
While the survey covered executives at large companies, there’s a great deal to unpack in this report for small businesses. Following are a few findings that small businesses should ponder.
• In the report’s introduction, KPMG’s Mark Gibson noted: “The metaverse may be in a nascent stage, but, as the past few decades have shown, new technologies can evolve quickly and leave laggards in their wake. Yet, our research shows that a majority say their companies are investing less than 5 percent of the total technology budget on the metaverse. Even more alarmingly, only 34 percent see building a business case as an important next step for better enabling their metaverse strategy.”
• “Just over half of companies surveyed (53 percent) are already starting to make investments in metaverse staffing and resources, either creating new projects and teams or ramping up resources for existing metaverse initiatives.”
• “Almost two-thirds (64 percent) anticipate conducting at least some business meetings in the metaverse within the next decade.”
• In terms of potential metaverse benefits, 74 percent see improved customer experience, 60 percent improved customer engagement, 60 percent product and service innovation, 56 percent more competitive hiring and recruiting, 54 percent monetization/revenue opportunities, and 51 percent improved employee productivity.
• Regarding the future of the metaverse for both consumers and businesses, 59 percent agreed that “It’s going to have a huge impact on consumers and businesses both individually and combined.” In addition, 59 percent agreed that “It has promise but needs further development/refinement.”
That last point sums up the current state of the metaverse. That is, big expectations, but matters very much are still developing. In turn, that is reflected in the companies’ approaches to the metaverse: 20 percent said “watching and waiting,” 27 percent agreed “assessing long-term business value before making major investments,” 28 percent were “creating new projects and teams for early adopter advantage,” and 25 percent said “ramping up resources, or planning to ramp up, for existing initiatives already focused on the metaverse.”
So, what should entrepreneurs and small business owners do? Anna Scally of KPMG offers a good takeaway for entrepreneurs and their companies in terms of the initial first steps
: “Until the metaverse enjoys mass adoption, start to develop your capabilities, knowledge, and readiness internally. In addition to improving employee retention and communications, you can gain valuable experience early and should be better positioned to compete when the time is right. Remember, the internet started out as an internal communication system for the US government. It was, in part, cultivating what the internet could be — as an enterprise application — paving the way for a technology that now touches our lives in every way.”
Indeed, as noted earlier, technologies often evolve quickly, with laggards paying a price.