Wiser Technology Advice Blog
- TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION OF THE FUTURE
Technology & Innovation of the Future
The metaverse, web3 and blockchain has been hyped for years now, so will we be working in a metaverse soon? And how should we measure our performance now and into the future?
As we come out of the other side of the COVID pandemic, organisations are looking toward the future while wanting to build resiliency to learn from the experience of the pandemic. The metaverse, web3 and blockchain has been hyped for years now, so will we be working in a metaverse soon?
When you’re planning changes to make your organisation resilient into the future, tracking the current performance and comparing this against performance goals is a natural first step. However, you must proceed with caution when measuring metrics and comparing against benchmarks.
Forrester Technology & Innovation APAC conference, Sydney, November 2022
I attended the Forrester Technology & Innovation APAC conference in Sydney in July, which promised to “showcase the latest research, best practices, and real-world examples to inspire tech executives to build adaptive enterprises that fuel growth”.
There were only 9 vendor stands in the break-out area, all selling services for technology managers and developers. A list of these vendors is included at the end of this blog post.
Whilst there were many topics covered at the conference, I didn’t hear any insightful revelations about technology of the future. For me the most interesting sessions were on measurements and metrics, and a discussion around the metaverse and web3, which has been topical in the news recently.
Please get in touch with me if you want to learn more about my experience at the Forrester conference.
Will the future of work be in the metaverse?
Will we be working in a metaverse any time soon? First, let’s refresh our memories on what the terms metaverse, blockchain and web3 mean.
The metaverse is not a single piece of technology. Using blockchain and web3 as its base, it includes devices such as virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses and so on, which are still very expensive, big bulky and uncomfortable.
The first iteration of the internet, web 1.0, provided us with a wealth of freely available information to read. Then as we approached the turn of the century, clever marketers discovered ecommerce, web 2.0, giving people the ability to write orders and shop online. Web 3.0 is the third age of the internet, with the dream of decentralising control away from technology giants such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft. With the aim of a democratic, fair for all playing field, it would be much like the first age of the internet, with everyone having their own independent presence. But it was hard to find anyone’s website in the first version of the internet until Google came along!
Blockchain is the underlying technology platform that web 3 is built upon. If you want to learn more about blockchain and Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), you can read my recent blog post NFTs, blockchain and the metaverse
Early adopters are enthusiastic about the benefits of the metaverse and there’s been another recent use case that takes advantage of this perfectly. The tiny Pacific island country of Tuvalu (three islands and six coral atolls with a total area of just 26 square kilometres) is uploading its cultural heritage into the metaverse for posterity. The Tuvalu government said in a speech to the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 27 it would be the “first completely digitised nation in the metaverse”. The project aims to preserve digital versions of its islands as rising sea levels threaten to wipe them off the map.
But doubt is creeping in as to whether web3 will be a game changer over the next decade or, as one of the Forrester analysts put it, “just be a big bag of hype”.
Meta has virtual reality experience metaverse which is reported as looking and feeling a lot like Second Life or the SIMS. It is very simple having only recently announced that avatars in the Meta world will soon have legs! There are limited community members and it is reputed to be a buggy platform that even its own developers don’t want to participate in.
Cryptocurrencies are known to have wildly unstable exchange rates and now we’ve had a major failure with the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, on of the premier U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchanges. The failure of FTX is a reminder to investors that their cryptocurrency investment is not protected the same way savings and traditional investments are protected from fraud. Around 28,000 Australians have been caught up in the FTX collapse. Investors were told in the first creditors meeting that they will probably have no legal recourse to recoup their losses, because cryptocurrencies purchased by Australians appeared to be held by an FTX legal entity domiciled in the Caribbean.
One of the value propositions of web3 is that everyone will own their own identify, but it’s still not clear how people’s identities will be authenticated and protected in web3. There are no standards or rules in this brave new world yet, so we may end up with a fragmented set of metaverses created by tech giants which don’t interoperate with each other. When a web3/blockchain application is being created the developers subscribe to one of the blockchain node owners, each of which control their own proprietary decentralised structures.
The bottom line for the Forrester analysts is to remain sceptical, it feels like there are still a few years before something realistic materialises in the web3 space.
Metrics and benchmarks
On a different note, the Forrester analysts provided some good pragmatic advice about metrics and benchmarks.
When you’re planning changes to make your organisation resilient into the future, tracking the current performance and comparing this against performance goals is a natural first step. However, you must proceed this caution when measuring metrics and comparing against benchmarks.
Firstly, it’s easy to overload on digital metrics and that can be a disaster waiting to happen, akin to having too many plugs in a power board.
Just because you can measure something, it doesn’t mean you should. To be effective, digital metrics must be aligned to broader organisational key performance indicators (KPIs).
If you focus too much on the metrics that can have unintended consequences. The National Health Service in Britain wanted to improve efficiencies and reduce waiting times for patients in their emergency room, so they set a four-hour target. But this had an unintended consequence, patients in emergency departments felt like they were being treated in a “queue-processing machine”.
Benchmarking is a popular method for assessing an organisation’s performance but must also be used with caution. Benchmarking against similar organisations will only ensure you have an average company. Whilst it’s tempting to compare yourself to the competition, elite athletes achieve success by setting personal goals and not focusing on what everyone else is doing.
When you put metrics and benchmarking in place, you want to be clear about your organisation’s goals, then use the data to determine where things are going wrong and whether there are any surprise insights.
Raw data on its own isn’t very valuable, it needs to be analysed and interpreted to become useful information. Dashboards presenting data without any interpretation can cause problems. The data can mean different things to each stakeholder, so it important to interpret the data and be clear about the story it represents, rather than leaving it up to each person to form their own interpretation.
Each stakeholder in your organisation will have a different interest in what the data can tell them. For example the finance manager may want to cut costs, whereas the sales manager will want to improve performance. When planning on what will be measured it’s worth doing scenario planning with each stakeholder, asking what they would do with particular results.
Do you want to build resilience of your organisation but feel overwhelmed by the technology choices available and don’t know where to start? With over 30 years’ experience in the information technology industry, I can see through the vendor hype to the reality of what’s feasible for you. My role is to help you get the solutions you need, rather than spending money on new technology that’s not right for you.
If you’d like to talk further about anything I’ve written about, get in contact with me today, I’m always happy to meet and have a chat over a coffee – in person or online, whatever you’re more comfortable with.
XaaS ‘everything as a service’ provider – automation of processes and software as a service. Suite of online applications to transform business to completely cloud-based. Automation for procurement and financial processes.
Platform for collaboration, well beyond the original GoTo Meeting which launched 2016. Remote IT access, support and remote communications tools.
AI-powered digital experience. Sales data analytics, CRM, marketing automation, customer self-service, web & mobile development.
Software deployment tools.
Launch and control application features in real-time, supporting all major programming languages and platforms.
Enterprise architecture mapping tool (Hopex platform), extensive diagrams via SaaS, can export output to dashboards.
Hopex also has risk management, business process analysis, data governance and privacy management solutions.
Cloud-based app development platform, low code approach to developing software.
Quality and testing services, backed by a hub of shared knowledge, test assets, accelerators, and our guarantee of testing efficiencies.
To The New
Technology services company that designs, builds and runs digital products and platforms.
Originally a CRM, Zoho now also has tools for online accounting, email, and help desks. Zoho app development was being promoted at the conference.
Australian administrator of FTX warns customers may not get all their money back, 1 Dec 2022, Josh Taylor, The Guardian, available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/dec/01/australian-administrator-of-ftx-warns-customers-may-not-get-all-their-money-back
Founder of failed crypto exchange FTX apologises to ex-employees, 23 Nov 2022, Alex Hern, The Guardian, available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/23/founder-of-failed-crypto-exchange-ftx-apologises-to-ex-employees-sam-bankman-fried
FTX Failure Reminds Investors: Crypto Investor Protection Does Not Exist, 20 Nov 2022, Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes, available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2022/11/20/ftx-failure-reminds-investors-crypto-investor-protection-does-not-exist/?sh=15abc04f1210
Tuvalu starts digitising islands as sea levels rise, 16 Nov 2022, Casey Tonkin, ACS Information Age, available at: https://ia.acs.org.au/content/ia/article/2022/tuvalu-begins-digitising-islands-as-sea-levels-rise.html