Getting ready for Web 3.0

Business consultant Nimisha Brahmbhatt explains how SMEs can benefit from Web 3.0

Getting ready for Web 3.0

The future is here already. First there was Web 1.0, which slipped quietly into our lives during the late 1980s. This was the brainchild of Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. Compared to nowadays, Web 1.0 was extremely basic.

It is now described as being the ‘read-only web’, with static pages and no interactivity. The experience was entirely passive and most people were unaware of its existence until at least 1993.

Web 2.0 became a reality in the early 2000s, and has grown extensively thanks to social media. This version provided space to share and be interactive. The web was suddenly a two-way flow of information. Users began creating more of their own content, and companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter thrived, along with online shopping sites.

Web 3.0 will allow for decentralisation, where people will enjoy greater control of their own data. There will be an ability to completely tailor products and services to an individual. If Web 2.0 gave us an ability to reach our customers across multiple platforms, Web 3.0 provides the chance to deepen that relationship. 

If you are one of those savvy businesses that has collated data, and built up customer profiles based on previous years, this information can be used to evolve and improve customer experience. It will allow SMEs to create a more personalised interaction for each customer. SMEs will be able to build a more tailored and bespoke experience, without physically being in-front of the customer. 

Goods will be viewed and sampled as computer-generated images, allowing customers to visualise and experience a product as an overlay on themselves. This opens up opportunities for exclusive sales and pre-launches. Businesses in the fashion industry should thrive.

Customers will enjoy greater transparency from brands. This means businesses of all sizes could be mandated to not only report on emissions but also how their supply chains operate. They may also have to explain what goes into their products. Blockchain, a key component of Web 3.0, enables transparent and traceable supply chains. 

The information in blockchain is distributed across a network of connected computer systems, making it more secure and less prone to unauthorised data tampering. Blockchain maintains a complete history of past transactions within the network. This allows the user to track the data with full transparency. 

Small businesses can leverage this technology to provide verifiable information about the origin, quality and authenticity of products. This third generation World Wide Web may do away with arduous administration of contractual work. Web 3.0 platforms will support smart contracts, which are self-executing with predefined conditions. 

With the rise of more and more cryptocurrency, this will accelerate the adoption of smart contracts. The smart contract is currently recognised as having the greatest potential. Smart contracts will become an everyday phenomenon, providing autonomy, security and speed. 

Small businesses can utilise smart contracts to automate processes such as invoicing and payments. This, in turn, will reduce administrative overheads, while improving operational efficiency. More importantly, the implementation of such changes won’t require a huge outlay of cash.

There are a number of SAAS (software-as-a-service*) products which can deliver any, or all, of the above. This will make it easier for businesses to begin their Web 3.0 journey. However, it’s still important to note that Web 3.0 remains an emerging concept. Its full potential is yet to be realised. 

That said, small businesses can start exploring and experimenting with Web 3.0 technologies today. This will help them to stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of the opportunities it presents.

And as the world gears up for the adoption of Web 3.0, which means more hardware and software being launched, pushing more and more people into the Metaverse, many small companies are pondering their positions. They want to know how it will affect them and how costly it will be.

Therefore, when I am asked about the relevance of Web 3.0 for SMEs, I say it has the potential to have a positive impact on small businesses, as I’ve explained above.

* Is a cloud-based software delivery model that allows end users to access software applications online.

Nimisha Brahmbhatt
Nimisha Brahmbhatt

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