By Chris Copeland, Chief Technology Officer, Accenture Federal Services; and Kyle Michl, Chief Innovation Officer, Accenture Federal Services
Both the public and private sectors have embraced technology at an unprecedented level in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This created a period of “compressed transformation” that dramatically changed the technological landscape. For example, mass cloud adoption is now more common. In the wake of the pandemic, a number of emerging technologies – previously thought to be only on the distant horizon – have become clearer. Early adopters, including federal agencies, are already deploying them for business impact.
In our last Accenture Federal Technology Vision, we explore the four most important technology trends as they are poised to disrupt federal operations over the next three years. We also look at the convergence of these trends in a “metaverse continuum,” an array of digitally enhanced worlds and business models rapidly taking shape. And in many cases, we see the public sector leading the way.
Through the Metaverse Continuum, the real and the virtual will merge in ways we have never seen before. Consider: military pilots are already improving training in the metaverse, connect live aircraft to a common augmented reality environmentin the sky, to perform a refueling training exercise with a virtual tanker.
Using augmented reality, social workers develop new interviewing skills and learn how to handle stressful situations by immerse yourself in virtual experiences – complete with frantic parents, distracted children and ringing phones.
The Metaverse Continuum will transform how the federal government works, and its building blocks are laid today. Extended Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Quantum Computing, Advanced Sensors, 5G, Internet of Things, Digital Twins, etc. – when combined, these technologies create incredible new spaces, rich in disruptive capabilities. We expect the Metaverse Continuum to eventually play a key role in missions ranging from training and education to logistics and maintenance, citizen service, and more.
And federal agencies are more equipped than ever to adopt and scale these transformative technologies. Post-pandemic, the federal government now has a better understanding of what technology can do for other missions and how to integrate it effectively.
Yet navigating the metaverse continuum will always require a cautious approach. There are opportunities ahead, but also significant challenges, especially in the areas of cybersecurity, privacy, trust, regulation, etc.
At that time, Accenture’s Federal Technology Vision 2022: Government Entering the Metaverse provides a map for evaluating and organizing technologies across the metaverse continuum into a meaningful structure for your agency.
The report looks at four trends:
- In WebMe, we explore how the Internet is being reinvented, particularly through the intersection of metaverses and Web3. Metaverses are 3D environments, imbued with a sense of place and presence, where moving from a business system to a social platform is as easy as walking from the office to the cinema across the street . Web3 can underpin these environments with a data framework that generates veracity, trust, and consensus – things we’ve long had conventions for in the physical world, but have often eluded us in the virtual world.
- programmable world tracks the increasingly sophisticated ways in which technology is integrated into our physical environments. The convergence of 5G, ambient computing, augmented reality, smart materials and more is paving the way for agencies to reshape the way they interact with the physical world, unlocking unprecedented fidelity of control,… automation and personalization.
- The unreal examines the paradox of synthetic data. Synthetic data – which is fabricated data meant to mimic real-world qualities – is increasingly needed to train artificial intelligence and power the algorithms that are embedded in our everyday experiences. At the same time, synthetic data is having a negative impact on populations, with the rapid growth of deepfakes and misinformation leading people to increasingly question what is real and what is not. In this world, authenticity – not “reality” – must be the North Star of federal agencies.
- Finally, in Calculate the impossible, we examine the rise of quantum, biologically-inspired and high-performance computing. Next-generation computing promises to reset the limits of what is computationally possible and will allow federal agencies to tackle problems once considered intractable.
The Federal Technology Vision 2022 incorporates information from a global survey of 4,660 executives spanning 23 industries and 24,000 consumers worldwide. It applies these findings to the unique challenges and demands facing the US federal government, with in-depth analysis from more than 20 Accenture federal services experts and results from a survey of 200 US federal government executives.
Learn more about how the Metaverse Continuum can turn your agency into a The report.