Our 1.5k new hires this year will learn on the metaverse: Accenture CTO

BENGALURU: Accenture will have 150,000 new hires this fiscal, who will and all use VR headsets to work from the metaverse on their first day. The company’s virtual campus on the metaverse is called the Nth floor, and people will meet, collaborate and learn there. The immersive experience is said to be 30-40% more productive than traditional ways of learning.

Metaverse and Web3 are transforming the virtual world. Accenture has launched the Accenture Metaverse Continuum business group, led by Paul Daugherty, group chief executive for technology and chief technology officer. “Metaverse is the continuum of experience from the real world to the virtual world that is reshaping businesses. The team we have in India will be more central to what we drive around the metaverse going forward,” he told TOI. The metaverse requires a range of digital skills.

Skills in demand include distributed ledger experts and token economists, those who understand the economics of creating tokenised products. It needs skills in XR, blockchain, gaming, security, and AI. It needs Unity and Unreal developers, and experts in 3D commerce, digital currency, and digital asset markets. Enterprises will hire 3D artists, and game designers.

“We are excited about the opportunities that the metaverse presents for tech talent in India. Our aim is to lead in applying and scaling the metaverse for business, and much of the experience we need – from creative to technical to industry – resides in India already,” Daugherty said. Daugherty often hosts meetings in the metaverse, with large and small groups, and also one-on-one meetings.

He said Accenture recently conducted a global management committee meeting on the Nth floor. Clients, he said, are accelerating transformation, and the next wave of transformation will be powered by the metaverse and will impact every part of the business.

“I have been through every one of our tech revolutions – client server, mobility, and every kind of digital shift. I haven’t seen the immediate and rapid client interest now in the metaverse with any of those,” Daugherty said. Accenture has created digital twins of many of its physical offices – Bengaluru, Madrid, San Francisco – to provide familiar environments for its people to meet, collaborate and network.

Accenture has 600 patents in the metaverse already. Daugherty said there are two distinct use cases for the metaverse. Internet-of-place or shared collaborative experiences which can be immersive in 3D. And internet-of-identity, where blockchain creates a unique identity for digital objects so that they can’t be replicated. Accenture’s India centre houses a studio to work on client requirements for the metaverse including developing the architecture for non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

NFTs are unique cryptographic tokens that exist on a blockchain and cannot be replicated. Chocolate maker Mars, for instance, teamed with Accenture and Microsoft to digitise its supply chain, and is now extending this into the metaverse with digital simulations, factoring in variability, such as climate and disruptions, and maintaining greater visibility from the point of origin to place of consumption.

Daugherty said the big focus was on building responsible metaverse experiences that are secure, inclusive, and diverse, ensuring ethics and safety in sustainable spaces. When we asked Daugherty about his own digital avatar, he said, “I’m a big fan of real identity baked into the internet. My avatar is designed to be “like me” so that people can bridge from meeting me in the real world to also be comfortable interacting with me in a natural way in the metaverse.”