The next-generation exponential technology of Web 3.0 holds promising opportunities for brand, technology, marketing, and business strategy providers to partner with enterprises in five key service areas. To learn more about the opportunities in this emerging market, read on.
Multiple consumer and business brands have taken the first steps in experimenting with Web 3.0 business by building non-fungible tokens (NFTs), purchasing virtual lands in metaverse platforms, organizing virtual events, and creating enabling platforms.
But building a Web 3.0 business goes beyond just creating NFTs for a company and requires embracing the concepts of Web 3.0 business, the creator economy, decentralization, social commerce, immersive experience, trust, and sustainability.
As enterprises like Ferrari, Starbucks, JP Morgan, McDonald’s, Samsung, NBA, Walmart, Disney, Google, Nike, Oracle, EY, and Stripe begin to see traction in this space, they will seek to partner with brand, technology, marketing, and business strategy providers who understand this ecosystem to scale initiatives and drive newer ones.
Let’s explore the following five key demand areas where providers can offer their expertise.
Business strategy services: Web 3.0 business needs to be conceptualized and aligned with the enterprise strategy. Beyond that, service partners should also be bold enough to push clients to adopt Web 3.0 business models that may not be entirely related to their existing businesses. This has already started to happen and has blurred the boundaries between industries and company classifications.
Normally enterprises start with building NFT offerings for their brand to engage consumers. NFT design and implementation can create short-term demand and may eventually become a small part of overall Web 3.0 initiatives. Many enterprises use celebrities, while others use crowd contributions, technology, and various other models to build NFTs. Professional service partners need to understand this complex landscape and advise clients accordingly. With an estimated 15,000 Web 3.0 start-ups, making the correct selection is important.
At the beginning of a Web 3.0 journey, clients will seek services tailored to their specific industry, such as an automotive company creating a virtual showroom in metaverse; an apparel company using NFTs to trade for physical goods; a bank building a Web 3.0-enabled payment system; or an energy company incentivizing customers to sustainably consume power with crypto assets. In addition, many clients may want finance, procurement, and Human Resources to leverage Web 3.0 principles. Service providers who support such enterprise functions need to be at the forefront to serve this demand or risk near-term losses.
Architecture and platform services: Recently, leading cloud vendors such as Google and AWS launched blockchain node services. In addition, start-ups are focusing on Web 3.0 infrastructure services to enable out-of-the-box offerings. Start-ups such as InfStones, ChainSafe, and Alchemy collectively raised US$300 million to enhance their blockchain infrastructure offerings.
Service providers need to work with these vendors to build enabling infrastructure for clients’ Web 3.0 journey. Even for seemingly simpler initiatives such as building NFTs, clients have multiple platform decisions to make, such as NFT marketplaces, wallets, and underlying blockchain. Not only do service providers need to understand these complex technologies and work with an extended ecosystem, but these firms also need to be thought partners to guide clients in the right direction and drive initiatives.
In addition, the core offerings for edge, network, and pervasive computing must be delivered. Unlike cloud-based workloads, the Web 3.0 ecosystem will heavily rely on edge processing. Materially high network bandwidth and resiliency will be required. Therefore, ongoing hyper-automated technology operations services will need to be amplified using next-gen observability, resiliency, and predictive maintenance. Service partners will have to focus on the right messaging infrastructure, decide between off/on-chain computing, build digital simulations, and create the underlying Web 3.0 core for their clients, much like they did for cloud services.
Brand and experience services: At the core of Web 3.0 businesses is the experience it can create for end consumers. Branding and experience service providers such as Dentsu and Publicis are already investing in the Web 3.0 ecosystem. Moreover, technology providers such as Adobe and Salesforce have also launched offerings to address this client need. Although “user centricity” has gained pace in recent years, Web 3.0 businesses need to take this even further. Brands such as Adidas have already experimented with token-gated communities and provide exclusive access to assets.
The enabling technologies, platforms, and environments now available to build such experience offerings are powerful but complex. Socially distributed networks, creator platforms, crypto payments, generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), enhanced reality, and various other solutions have the power to create previously unimagined customer experiences. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) have to become extremely tech-savvy to explore the potential Web 3.0 business has for their brand strategies.
Software and integration services: Web 3.0 business requires thousands of software to work together. Enterprises will build many of these internally to drive differentiation. However, many back-end software will be SaaS-based and bought through vendors that will need integration. In addition, numerous Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) will be built and purchased that will need to work in unison.
This will not just be the software we see today but will have AI/Machine Learning (ML) and other advanced data technologies as their core. These context-aware software will need to leverage advanced auto-development, auto-tuning, and auto-management concepts to be more efficient and sustainable. Rather than being cloud-first, these software will have to be edge-first and compatible across various hardware, unlike browser-based systems. Building lightweight yet rich workloads will be a complex engineering problem to solve for.
Governance, risk, and cyber security services: The legalities of Web 3.0 businesses are unknown, and clients need significant help from service partners to navigate this complex new pioneer. Enterprises will need assistance deciphering contractual obligations, data privacy, personal identity, cyber security, and interpreting platform terms and conditions.
The recent collapse of crypto exchange FTX is a good example. Some law firms have found the terms and conditions of popular Metaverse platforms extremely one-sided. If these platforms shut down their business, the consumer would lose all their virtual assets. Service partners need to work with clients to help them understand the risks and build recovery solutions. Providers also will need to deliver cyber security, content moderation, trust, and related security and risk services so clients feel secure that customers will trust their Web 3.0 business initiatives.
In addition, given Web 3.0 enabling technologies are under scrutiny for their environmental impact, clients will look for service partners who have sustainability as a primary offering. Environmental sustainability will take near-term priority for such initiatives.
Moreover, massive opportunities will emerge to build technology workloads by adopting Web 3.0 concepts. In the same way clients adopted Web 2.0 social media and digital commerce to enhance their businesses, they will want to adopt business-contextualized Web 3.0 technologies. The key difference is that Web 3.0 will propel enterprises to engage with stakeholders in previously unknown ways, learn about newer architectures and monetization models, and embrace the creator economy – all pushing them beyond what they are now and realizing the art of the possible.
For more on Everest Group’s research in this area, see our reports on the following topics: NFTs, Decentralized Finance, Metaverse, crypto assets, Blockchain, and trust. If you are a brand management, technology, or strategy consulting provider, please reach out to [email protected] to share your experience in building Web 3.0 business for clients.
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