A report by IT research firm Everest Group has predicted that the metaverse will be a lucrative industry in the coming years. According to the report (titled ‘Growth of metaverse increases trusts and Safety (T&S) risks to enterprises, users), the metaverse is anticipated to become a $679 billion industry by 2030.
The metaverse which is often touted as the future of the internet is, in the simplest terms, a combination of virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) that can be accessed through a browser or headset. This allows people to have real-time interactions and experiences across distances.
Numerous opportunities are opened to enterprises in the metaverse and according to Rajesh Ranjan, a partner at Everest Group:
“The metaverse is attracting large investments from technology giants such as Google, Meta, Microsoft and Nvidia and other similar companies who want to make the virtual world a reality for users. And, the applications hold unlimited economic and social potential for both good and bad…”
More on the report
However, the Everest Group report states that the projected growth has implications for trust and safety.
These include threats to user security, increased abuse, the proliferation of objectionable content and financial fraud. Enterprises must address increased risks to employees, customers and corporate assets as they apply their best creative and strategic thinking to leverage the new iteration of the internet.
The report said:
“As organizations develop their business strategies for the metaverse, trust and safety issues need to be among their foremost considerations. Enterprises may be able to adapt some best practices of today, but they will also need to address scenarios and use cases that are unique to the metaverse. Solving for those novel challenges will require a collaborative approach among enterprises, policymakers, academia, and T&S service providers to realize the full potential of metaverse as an immersive yet safe place for users.”
The potential trust and safety challenges that enterprises face in the metaverse are:
- Abuse of virtual avatars, including invasion of personal space, impersonation, harassment, assault, bullying, stalking and spying.
- Concerns around data privacy and user safety, including personal and sensitive information such as user habits and physiological characteristics.
- Safety of virtual assets from financial crimes and identity theft.
- The well-being of content moderators who may face physical and mental health hazards from prolonged exposure to VR headsets and content.
- Regulatory ambiguity, especially policy gaps with respect to the definition of ownership, data privacy and user interactions.
Solutions to these issues
Tackling those challenges would require a collaborative method among enterprises, academia, and policymakers to harness the total potential of the metaverse as an immersive but secure place for customers.
Trust and Safety service (T&S) suppliers are expected to be able to help in this regard.
According to the report, T&S service suppliers are among the many quickest rising sectors of the Enterprise Course of Companies market and might attain $15-20 billion by 2024, forecasting a 35-38% growth and 60- 68% beyond 2024 as expertise and infrastructure advances past the nascent stage.
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T&S service suppliers are expected to use their experience to help enterprises address dangers posed by the metaverse. This, in return, will give rise to a series of ecosystem partnerships to deal with the complicated insurance policies, technological experience and localisation of providers that might be in demand as a result of the burgeoning metaverse.
In a dynamic space like the digital world, T&S service providers are now faced with the challenge of deploying their expertise to help enterprises develop risk mitigation strategies.
The metaverse is a developing concept but if these measures are put in place, wider usage and acceptance the report posits will be attained.
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