For over a decade, enterprises have been using Virtual Reality (VR) applications to simulate business processes, as well as how humans interact with these processes. Specifically, VR enables enterprise workers and customers of business services to interact with a realistic cyber-representation that simulates a real-life setting. These interactions take place in the scope of 3D environments by means of electronic devices like 3D glasses or sensor-enabled gloves.
Even though VR applications are nothing new, enterprise interest around them appears intensified. This is probably due to the COVID19 outbreak, which has underlined the importance of transforming physical activities into virtual ones. Since early 2020, companies are seeking effective ways to virtualize their activities in a variety of areas including training and virtual presence. Moreover, the technology enablers of VR (e.g., VR end-user devices) are gradually improving in maturity and are offered at reduced prices. These factors make VR one of the technologies that will attract increased attention in the years to come.
Apart from being an impressive technology, VR provides some compelling value propositions for business enterprises. These propositions are found in the following areas:
The above value propositions of VR environments are applicable to many different sectors. Prominent examples include:
The above-listed sectors and applications are indicative. VR can enable an unlimited number of innovative applications in many different sectors, far beyond the given examples.
Assembling a VR “Dream Team”
The development and deployment of successful VR projects is not however an easy way out. VR is a relatively new technology and true VR experts are a scarce resource. There is a talent gap in this technology, and there are very few skilled engineers around the globe. In this context, assembling a competent team is a key to the success of a VR project. Such a team must bring together individuals from different disciplines, including:
In the coming decade, such VR expert roles will be part of most enterprise IT teams.
Overall, VR is already a powerful tool for enterprise productivity, which boosts training, collaboration, and safety. COVID19 may have acted as a catalyst that accelerated the implementation of VR systems, yet the value of these systems was acknowledged long before the pandemic. In the coming years, the lowering costs of VR hardware could give an additional boost to the adoption of this exciting technology. Therefore, it is certainly worth keeping an eye on it and understanding whether and how it could help your business.
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