The Industry Cloud Battleground sessions at Cloud Wars Expo this year saw five of the biggest cloud providers — Microsoft, Google Cloud, Workday, Oracle, and SAP — go head to head to provide cloud solutions to key challenges in critical industries. The industries represented included manufacturing, financial services, public sector, healthcare, hospitality, and retail.
A different analyst hosted each battleground, and the resulting sessions were transformational, with every key player in the room on the same day addressing the same critical questions. In this article, I want to look at those core industries from a Metaverse perspective and ask how the Metaverse is already addressing key challenges in these sectors.
The industrial Metaverse has wide implications for the manufacturing sector, particularly in the field of digital twins. When organizations can replicate manufacturing environments in the virtual world, they can slash the costs associated with product testing, improve safety, conduct countless customer feedback sessions, and more.
Beyond this, AR technology will undoubtedly be featured in more manufacturing settings. Again, this will encourage better safety provisions and ultimately ensure efficiency skyrockets. One of the questions posed by Kenny Mullican during these sessions was: How might cloud companies help interconnect the formerly disconnected worlds of IT and OT? The Metaverse addresses this concern head-on.
With decentralization at its core, the Metaverse will usher in a new era of financial services. Already, the top Metaverse platforms operate using their own bespoke cryptocurrencies and there are no signs that this will change.
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology will power virtual economies. Whether this is in the form of NFT sales contracts and investments, or straightforward crypto transactions, this radical shift from fiat to digital will be highly accelerated by Metaverse technologies.
Ultimately, the strongest connection between the Metaverse and the public sector is democratization. Metaverse platforms will provide a level playing field where more users will be able to have their voices heard. When public sector institutions utilize Metaverse spaces, they can develop new ways of democratizing the decision-making process, especially at a local level.
Furthermore, in line with one of the considerations from the Industry Cloud Battleground event — driving superior citizen experiences — users can achieve a great deal through Metaverse spaces. At the very least, public sector organizations can use the Metaverse to showcase virtual reproductions of planned infrastructure, community, and other related projects to gauge public opinion before rolling anything out physically.
First, there are AR technologies and how users will use them to enhance patient care during surgeries, appointments, and follow-up procedures. Then there is the interoperability that comes when various healthcare providers are using the same Metaverse connector.
Imagine a clinic where all providers could share information freely but securely? Then there is the training aspect and the use of digital twins. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The far end of the scale includes virtual vacations and experiences. However, at a lower level, the Metaverse can help to streamline hospitality processes. For example, you could use the Metaverse to host virtual lobbies for easy check-in, tour restaurants and hotel rooms, and more.
The retail industry is set to benefit significantly from the Metaverse. Every sector, from fashion to the automotive industry, will be represented in the Metaverse.
We have already seen a Metaverse fashion week on Decentraland, and key brands such as Nike and Samsung are investing heavily in Metaverse sales structures and experiences. In fact, the origins of some of the top Metaverse platforms began at the crossroads between gaming and in-game purchasing, a model that will continue to thrive in the Metaverse.