Virtual worlds and business: 2010 overview

A little over a year ago we created a short discussion paper on the potential impact of virtual worlds on business. Since that time literally hundreds of people have downloaded the paper, so we thought it was worth updating it.

It remains a fairly succinct overview of the opportunities presented by virtual environments in the enterprise, as well as identifying some of the misconceptions around. The updated version now contains some discussion on trends for the coming 12-months (partly based on our 2010 predictions post) as well as a wrap-up of the major platforms to watch.

You can download Virtual Worlds and business: 2010 overview for free by going to this page.

As always, if there’s omissions or alterations needed, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Enterprise 2.0 and virtual worlds and a free discussion paper download

enterprise20shortpaper Today, I had the pleasure of facilitating four small group sessions at the Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum 2009. The topic was virtual worlds and enterprise, and thanks to the participants in the groups, it turned into a very interesting exchange of ideas. The agenda of the overall forum was much wider: the use of Web 2.0 technologies in business. What’s impressive about this forum is the breadth of roles amongst participants – CEOs, CIOs, learning and development professionals, marketing professionals and general operational staff were in attendance.

As I’ve found before at these events, there are a growing number of people in business who see the potential of virtual worlds, but they struggle to get the same recognition throughout the business. That said, Australian business continues to lead the way in the area and it was great to see the level of passion for the opportunities virtual worlds provide.

Some other points that came out of the groups for me:

  • There’s a genuine acceptance of the potential of virtual worlds as an effective collaboration tool;
  • The awareness around the power of telepresence is growing steadily – close to half of the group members already understood the concept well and most had experienced its superiority over teleconferences or videoconferences first hand;
  • Enterprises want pilot virtual worlds but arguing the ROI case remains the main barrier, along with the significant end-user resistance that occurs;
  • That Second Life’s interface and the fact it’s a standalone application are major barriers to implementation;
  • There remains very high desirability for web-based worlds that deliver the level of complexity of Second Life
  • As part of my involvement I produced a four-page discussion paper: Virtual Worlds in the Enterprise – hype or high-performance?. It’s a bare-bones overview of the opportunities virtual worlds provide for business and a brief summary of five virtual worlds to watch (Second Life, VastPark, OpenSim grids, OLIVE and Metaplace) – there are obviously many more but as an overview they provide a good snapshot.

    Anyone regularly exposed to virtual worlds won’t get a lot out of the document, but if you’re one of our readers who’s just dipping their toe in the water, it provides a basic launch pad for a wider exploration.

    You can download Virtual Worlds in the Enterprise – hype or high-performance? for free by going to this page.

    You only need to provide your name and email address to be able to download a PDF of the paper.

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