Written By Vincent Govaers
It is not clear today how Web 3.0 will evolve in the coming years. However, there are plenty of reasons why organizations should follow up on its development and reflect on how this would impact their current way of working. In a previous article, we already explained some key concepts of Web 3.0. In this post we will focus on how organizations might be impacted in the future, and what actions they can take today to leverage this next generation of internet technologies.
Web 3.0 uses technologies that have been around for decades, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain or the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies already have significant impact on our organizations today and will likely become more and more present. Below, we list the key opportunities organizations are already exploring today in order to prepare for the future:
New business models: Web 3.0’s virtualization, sometimes referred to as ‘the metaverse’, could radically change customer experience. People will be immersed in the online world rather than only observing it. For example, you could visit a virtual clothing store where you can fit all clothes in 3D and order them in real-life afterwards. Or an architect can give you a virtual tour in his or her newly designed buildings. Work, games, leisure, holidays, ... possibilities are limitless. Keep in mind though that the benefits still need to outweigh the investments. Adding to this adoption rate, this might be more of a marketing element than anything else in the next couple of years.
New channels to reach customers: Decentralized marketplaces are likely to become common platforms for any kind of transactions. Some of these platforms are already existing today (e.g., OpenBazaar, OpenSea, Rarible). Their key differentiator is that they let the marketplace be run by a network of users. Using blockchain technology they do not interfere in transactions and let the users take control over their personal data. It is stated by some that these will become the most mainstream platforms in the new era of e-commerce.
Efficiency gains: the new generation of internet will enable the roll-out of Internet of Things on a large scale. Therefore, automation possibilities will increase rapidly. Companies can use these technologies to optimize their resource usage, enhance transport plannings, etc. Or for instance troubleshooting on all types of equipment could be done real-time.
Wherever opportunities lie, risks are not far behind. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the risks that new trends like Web 3.0 technologies bring:
New competitors: The rise of Web 3.0 will likely bring new competitors. The opportunities described above will make it easier for organizations that are truly data-driven to enter new markets. On top of that, virtualization technologies might decrease the need for large investments in physical buildings. Entry barriers to some industries might become lower than ever before.
Higher data privacy sensitivity: People will gradually have higher expectations on data privacy and security. Today we often share personal data without blinking. But with blockchain technology, we will be able to have a better view on how our personal data is used online. Consequently, it will be likely that customers ask for rewards or tokens in exchange for access to their data PODS (Personal Online Data Stores). Manage this well and you will gain trust. Fail at this and you might see your clients leaving to competitors.
Changing client needs: new business models popping up might increase clients expectations on how they would like to be served. For instance, if your company is not able to offer real-time or highly customized data to customers who require it, they may churn. If your company cannot offer full virtualization of its products, customers may churn.
As Web 3.0 is still in early stages of development many things may still sound futuristic. However, preparation is key. Companies that want to benefit from web 3.0 technologies must jump the train early enough. The future is not clear yet, but the technologies that are rapidly changing businesses today are here. You do not need to be the first mover but you should prepare to move when lights are green. In short there are 3 actions companies should take today:
Understand new technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, IoT, metaverse, etc. and list potential use cases for your business. Assess the potential impact on your business or industry as a whole.
Train or hire skilled employees who know the advanced technologies above. As these skills are in high demand, they may be expensive, but they are worth it as they will help your company to act on it instead of talk about it.
Develop a solid data strategy that is use-case driven (i.e. solving real problems), invests in data governance, security and privacy, builds scalable data architectures and monitors evolutions in Web 3.0.
If you need help on following up on the latest technological trends? Or if you want to test the robustness of your long-term digital strategies? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our digital transformation expert, Sven Van Hoorebeeck.