Extended reality (XR) has been around for several decades, which includes augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies. InContext has been at the forefront in enabling organizations to leverage virtual reality (VR) solutions to drive strategic decision-making for over a decade, and more recently added mobile AR capabilities to the mix. These innovative technologies are becoming more and more popular among consumers and within many different industries. Yet the fundamental question remains: When will organizations recognize the true value and operational efficiencies that XR technology offers at a scalable level? Renowned futurist, Bernard Marr, has been discussing this topic for years. In 2020, he wrote a brilliant article for Forbes that introduced XR fundamentals to a wider audience. In it, he predicted XR to be one of the most transformative tech trends of the 2020’s, and referenced the growing need for interactive and collaborative working environments.
XR Adoption Gains Momentum
There has been much momentum in recent years in driving awareness about the importance of extended reality in corporate applications. According to InContext’s recent survey, employees of nearly eight of 10 US companies believe that it is important to invest in XR solutions for their businesses in the next 12 months. For them, this isn’t a future opportunity; it’s a critical need for investment now to drive growth and success in the next year.
XR’s Cross-Functional Importance
Interestingly, for larger organizations with over 500 employees, 92% believe this is imperative to future success and planned investment. Even among smaller companies, the majority find it critically important to invest in extended reality tools.
Further investigation reveals that certain functions put greater emphasis on this type of technology. Employees in HR and training organizations are more likely to view its importance, drawn to the outcomes and value that XR training solutions provide. Those in operations roles appreciate the power that digital twin technology plays in evaluating manufacturing processes, operational planning, and problem-solving.
Furthermore, 88% of employees in insights and analytics roles we surveyed expressed the importance of XR investments, recognizing the time and cost savings generated by virtual test-and-learn solutions. Sales and strategy professionals also share a strong belief in the significance of extended reality solution investments for their organizations.
A Disconnect Between Senior Leadership and Employees
Our client discovery work revealed a disconnect between senior leadership and the rest of the organization regarding the importance of XR investment. While most employees, regardless of position, believe investing in XR is crucial, organizational executors – directors, managers, and individual contributors – were more likely to emphasize the urgency of immediate investment compared to senior management. This does not diminish the opportunity or suggest the technology’s lack of importance. Instead, it highlights that among those organizational executors directly using the tools today, there’s an even greater appreciation for their value. They not only recognize the potential but have witnessed its impact firsthand, while senior leadership may not always be as closely connected to the tools being utilized at the individual group level.
The Peril of Falling Behind
Any company today risks falling behind if it’s not actively exploring how XR solutions can positively impact its business in the coming months and years. At InContext, we have a proven process to help you assess your current internal XR situation and understand how your competitors and others across industries are leveraging these tools. We’d be thrilled to discuss helping you build your organization’s extended reality roadmap for 2024 and beyond.