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Hybrid work not working? Try building an 'intraverse' to fix it, says Gartner

It’s the mutant offspring of an intranet and a metaverse and even if it flops, you'll get some kudos

Hybrid work isn't working, according to analyst house Gartner, and one way to fix it is an "intraverse" – an interactive space that melds an intranet and a metaverse.

Speaking during the keynote address at the firm's Symposium event in Australia today, analysts suggested that hybrid work is proving difficult to sustain as organizations try to balance requiring some time in the office with the remote work that staff increasingly demand. Pressing staff for a full-time return to the office is tough, the firm's analysts argued, because employees will seek new gigs if companies don't offer the flexibility they desire.

Workers are also likely to bail – or not even bother applying for job – if they perceive an organization's tech is outdated or frustrating.

Enter the intraverse – a term Gartner's analysts illustrated with an image of cartoonish avatars floating in a representation of an office.

Attendees weren't told what tools are needed to build an intraverse, nor what happens inside one. They were encouraged not to think of a metaverse as a single thing to build, but rather a collection of techs such as augmented reality to be used as a training or collaboration environment, or a way to add AI avatars as a customer service option.

Research vice president Tina Nunno did caution that intraverses are risky and could flop.

"Maybe only a few [staff] will use it," she said. "But if you are highly visible about it, they will know that you tried."

And being seen to have made the attempt is important at a time when organizations struggle to attract and retain workers. Nunno pointed to research that found workers will avoid organizations perceived to offer bad, old, or frustrating technological working environments.

An intraverse may not be perfect – or even productive – but will at least mark out organizations that try one as willing to try something on the leading edge and to eliminate dirty, dangerous, or dull work.

Such efforts aren't just symbolic. Keynote attendees were told that most orgs are concerned about economic conditions and are therefore likely to focus investments on those deemed likely to defend revenue. But analysts warned that doing so can leave organizations behind once economic conditions improve.

Protection level agreements

Another idea suggested during the keynote was a "protection level agreement" – a deal struck between IT and a line of business to offer certain levels of security after negotiations about the level of resources required to achieve it.

Analysts used the example of time needed to patch known vulnerabilities, which Gartner research suggests is often 45 days.

Negotiating a protection level agreement that agrees on a certain level of spending to achieve a business requirement for faster patching and therefore greater resilience is more productive for a security team than spending the same amount of money on a tool that improves its capabilities but might deliver an outcome a business does not need.

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