Erica Driver: Predicting the immersive internet

Ex-Forrester Analyst, Erica Driver, writes about the potential for the immersive Internet (or metaverses, if you like):

Today, it’s hard to imagine being able to get our jobs done without the Web. Within five years, the same will be true of the immersive Internet.”

She includes a couple of examples from Accenture, Michelin Group and Microsoft to demonstrate the benefits of the immersive Internet (e.g. reduce travel and event costs) and some tips to get started with immersive Web-applications. However, I found her last bit of advice interesting:

It is not surprising that this short list of recommendations is similar to advice I’ve given to information and knowledge management professionals over the past decade regarding enterprise collaboration strategies. Tools like instant messaging, team collaboration and social networking have changed the way many of us work. Now the immersive Internet is coming from the fringes to become the newest wave of technology change to hit the workforce. Draw on lessons you’ve learned from introducing collaboration tools into your organization.”

This is probably true – an immersive environment enhances and augments how with interact with people and information, but does it change how we collaborate? Driver makes the point that there are some new skills to learn, but I wonder what other effects it might have, like the emergence of transitory leadership styles in the workplace?

BTW I’ve previously blogged about the potential for enterprise metaverses and also in the online version of my Intranet 2.0 article (they are an alternative Intranet 2.0 strategy).