Web3. Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past year, you’ve probably been hearing this term pop up in conversation with increasing frequency. It's a buzzword in every boardroom, in every space from finance to tech. But what does it mean, and how did we get here?
The idea of Web3 implies the existence of Web1 and Web2. The evolution of the internet has been divided into three stages (so far). We are currently entering the third stage but Web1 and Web2 were crucial eras for many businesses and each one marked a clear change in the way that businesses operated.
|1990 - 2005||2006 - Present||Coming Very Soon|
• Basic web pages
• HTML sites
• Social media
• User-generated content
• Mobile internet
• Monetisation of data
• High-speed communication
• Global internet access
• VR & the metaverse
• Ownership of data
As you can see from the above chart, the internet has seen rapid and exciting evolution since its inception. It has changed how we communicate and allowed the business to happen faster and with global audiences.
One of the defining characteristics of Web2 is social media and the monetisation of data. But as we enter Web3 we can see that this will be left behind. Users owning their own data, and having increased privacy and security are some of the major objectives of Web3 and businesses will have to evolve their practices at the same pace of change as the internet.
Web3 might not be widely adopted yet, but changes are already happening and every leader should already be preparing for change.
Web3 is not another hyped-up tech trend that will pass and is not worth the money you invest in it. Mainstream adoption is inevitable and leaders who start preparing now will be ready to move when the time is right while businesses who leave adoption too late will find themselves obsolete.
Web3 is a high-level concept of the future iteration of the internet in which the power balance is equalized and the benefits are more equitably shared. This is all done through decentralization.
When talking about Web3, decentration refers to the transfer of control and decision-making from a centralised entity such as a private company or government to a distributed network. This allows users greater autonomy as they don't have to put trust in a single entity that can exert their control over the network and abuse that power.
As leaders look to embrace Web3, they will need to recognise that existing IT infrastructure was designed for centralised data in clouds and data centers.
The evolution of Web3 will require businesses to develop new models for storing and accessing data. IT leaders should be leading the charge in planning and investing in edge computing within their orangisations. Edge computing focuses on processing data closer to where it’s being generated and this new data model can help you generate greater trust from your users without compromising on your tech performance.
A major challenge businesses face with decentralization is keeping track of all the data. There are many routine operations that businesses will need to automat and can do so with no compimises – for example, repetitive financial operations. By automating the repetitive everyday processes, you can ensure that nothing gets overlooked and better keep track of tasks.
As the shift to Web3 continues, new approaches to cybersecurity will be necessary. New integrated content platforms like the metaverse will require businesses to review their current cybersecurity protocols and educate themselves about the new threats that exist. Hyper-automated, AI/ML-enabled architectures can help future-proof your organisations move to Web3. It is important to start early with evaluating your business's cybersecurity threat to ensure that you create scalable solutions as you move into Web3 rather than react to every threat as it appears.
Web3 is coming, and it will be adopted by the mainstream faster than you think. Smart IT leaders will already be implementing their Web3 adoption plans to ensure that their organisations have the automation, architecture and security protocols in place for a smooth transition as this shift happens.
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