EY & Nokia study shows metaverse influence in supply chain

Nokia and EY study shows enterprise and industrial metaverses are already producing results across supply chain

Supply chain teams that have already deployed industrial metaverse use cases are seeing more reported benefits than those still in the planning phase, a joint study from Nokia and EY shows.

The study sought the opinion of 860 company executives from four sectors in the US, Brazil, UK, Germany, Japan and South Korea – automotive; industrial goods and manufacturing; transportation, supply chain and logistics; and power and utilities.

The metaverse is defined in the report as “a fusion of the digital and physical worlds”. The report says the enterprise metaverse is “driven by demand for better digital collaboration and communication tools” and that it “will envelop the core productivity applications that make business function and allow for the next generation of virtual connections”. 

Areas in which organisations are seeing most benefit from metaverse technology are in capital expenditure reduction (15%), sustainability (10%) and safety improvement (9%). 

Other headline findings include:

  • The industrial metaverse is creating substantial business value, with 80% of early adopters saying use-cases tested will have a ‘significant’ or even ‘transformative’ impact.
  • Regionally, the US (65%) and UK (64%) lead in terms of experience, with respondents saying they had fully deployed at least one industrial or enterprise metaverse use case. Asia-Pacific is less advanced (Japan, 49%; South Korea, 49%).
  • Cloud computing (72%), AI/ML (70%) and network connectivity (70%) are seen as the most important technical enablers to metaverse use cases.
  • Only 2% of respondents see the metaverse as a buzzword or a fad.
  • A total of 58% of companies with future metaverse plans have already deployed or piloted at least one metaverse-related use case. Nearly all (94%) of those who have yet to begin their metaverse journey plan to do so in the next two years.

Supply chain metaverse benefits

When asked which use cases they most expect to deliver transformative value, enterprises saw the highest potential in the use of extended reality for training to onboard and upskill the workforce, while three out of the four industries surveyed chose the use of virtual R&D to enhance product design and processes.

When deploying metaverse use cases, companies clearly appreciate the need for sufficient infrastructure and robust analytical capabilities. Vincent Douin, EY Executive Director, Business Consulting and Business Transformation, said: “The industrial and enterprise metaverses are here. This study shows the clear appetite for these technologies, such as extended reality and digital twins, to achieve business goals. 

“We are already seeing many organisations going above and beyond the planning stages and recognising tangible benefits from their initial implementations.”

Thierry E. Klein, President of Bell Labs Solutions Research, Nokia, said: “It is great to see that companies clearly believe in the power of the Metaverse for business value creation in both enterprise and industrial use cases. 

“This strongly aligns with our vision that the Industrial Metaverse is an extension of Industry 4.0. Consequently, those who have already implemented mission-critical communications networks for Industry 4.0 are now well placed to experience the benefits of the Metaverse that clearly some companies are already seeing.”

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