In 2023, utility organizations are facing unprecedented pressure to meet the needs of a world where instability is the norm, accompanied by rapid technological change.
Accenture's recent report “Metaverse: Evolution Then Revolution” highlights how technological breakthroughs in generative AI, quantum computing, blockchain, and extended reality have been coming along gradually, but are now suddenly at a critical inflection point.
The data indicates that each of these technologies has been maturing in their respective silos, and are now converging to create new experiences, possibilities, and value. “We call this set of technologies the metaverse continuum, or the next evolution of the Internet,
which will be more immersive, interactive, and engaging for residents, communities, businesses, and governments,” says Juan Pablo Chemes, Accenture's Chief Innovation Officer.
For the executive, the pandemic demonstrated why public service organizations must embrace these types of changes, and they demonstrated that they are capable of doing so at a good pace.
As Accenture's Technology Vision 2023 report highlights, these changes establish more seamless connections between digital and physical lives, creating a unique opportunity for public service organizations. They could meet the demands of their constituents
through greater and better access to services, as well as face long-term challenges such as climate change.
“Leaders now have a new set of tools to reimagine service delivery and build a more resilient, efficient, and resident-centric government. Many public service organizations have already started to make
impressive progress,” says Juan Pablo Chemes, Accenture's Director of Innovation.
In South Korea, for example, the government plans to launch a national mobile digital identity in 2024, and is already using the existing blockchain-enabled mobile driver's license. And, on a larger scale, the European Union (EU) is preparing a collaboration between the public and private sectors to equip each citizen with a digital identity wallet.
How to shape the future
By focusing on the value that can be gained from specific metaverse applications today, utility organizations can better fulfill their core mission, the report details. To do this, some key principles are:
1. Prepare foundational technology, such as cloud infrastructure and digital identity, and think about how and when to regulate this changing technology landscape.
2. Start with small experiments that respond to existing needs. In that sense, it's key to quickly measure value, learn from mistakes, and focus on scaling the ones that work.
3. In this initial phase it is important to create experiences that meet the expectations of users, while helping them develop the skills necessary to manage this technology and work effectively in this new environment.
4. Build trust in systems early on and achieve sustainability goals, considering ethics and standards in the early stages.
To explore how the metaverse is poised to revolutionize the way people, businesses, and governments interact, read the full report below: "Metaverse: Evolution, Then Revolution."