LG CNS, the information technology service arm of LG Group, is preparing to launch a virtual office business that would allow people to work in virtual space and as an avatar, according to CEO Hyun Shin-kyun. He stated that the company is developing technology that would enable people to conduct meetings and send emails as avatars, and that the era of manipulating an avatar in a metaverse-based virtual office is expected to arrive within seven to eight years.
The use of avatars and the metaverse in the workplace is still a concept that many find hard to grasp, but Hyun believes that the technology is rapidly advancing and will soon be a reality. “We are preparing a virtual office business where people can go to work in virtual space and as an avatar, do company work such as meetings and sending emails,” he said. “People will buy and sell things created by avatars. The era of manipulating an avatar in a metaverse-based virtual office will come within seven to eight years.”
Hyun, an expert in high-tech areas such as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, took the helm of LG CNS in an executive reshuffle last November after working for years as its chief technology officer. He believes that digital transition (DX) technology is developing day by day, providing “endless” business opportunities for companies like LG.
LG CNS, Korea’s largest cloud computing service provider, has set providing virtual working spaces, including virtual factories, as the company’s new revenue source. “Creating a virtual office is a new business that will succeed cloud computing, smart factory and smart logistics as growth drivers for IT companies,” he said.
With the advent of Web 3.0, an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web which incorporates concepts such as decentralization, blockchain technologies and token-based economics, a world where people work in a virtual office is quickly becoming a reality, he said. LG CNS recently established a Web 3.0 business team to lead the company’s DX-related businesses, including digital marketing, and is actively recruiting personnel specialized in new DX technology not only in Korea but also overseas.
LG CNS, which is 35% owned by Macquarie Group, is working on an initial public offering this year. Proceeds from its share sale will be used to finance new growth businesses, he said. The planned IPO would allow Macquarie Group’s private equity arm to exit from the Korean company. Macquarie bought a 35% stake in LG CNS from LG’s holding company LG Corp. for 950 billion won ($769 million) in 2020, beating KKR & Co., the other shortlisted bidder. LG CNS’ enterprise value is now estimated at more than 7 trillion won, industry watchers said.