Manager’s guide to implementing augmented and virtual reality as a business and marketing strategy
New technologies can sometimes be daunting. Augmented and virtual reality are the two futuristic technologies getting closer to the realisation that are bound to change every human interaction and every business process. When we talk about digital transformation, it is apparent that technologies change every few years now and it is very important to have an agile and continuous change effort.
For any person in business decision making or strategic position, must start implementing augmented and virtual reality in their business processes, as per their business goals and market trends. It is important to keep your teams, their mindset and knowledge, business goals and strategies with an eye on the future.
Here is a 5 step process that a business manager can effectively follow in order to do successfully implement augmented and virtual reality.
1. Execute pilot projects
With technology changing every few years, It is understood that your teams may not be well versed with AR and VR implementation, business impact and consequences. It required hands-on work experience to understand a technology and use it to your business’s advantage. It would be unfair to expect teams to come up with a successful business plan using augmented and virtual reality in one go. It is important to implement small projects with small consequences to understand AR and VR’s complete potential and to get your teams well versed with the technology.
2. Build a team
Augmented and virtual reality technologies will require dedicated teams for successful implementations. Given the nature of the technologies being new, you can either create teams from inside your technology team or hire new people who have an understanding of the technology and are ready to explore it further. Given the fact that AR and VR will be the predominant technologies that will transform how businesses operate, sooner you start the better.
3. Educate and train
If the technology is as new as AR and VR, it is important to educate and train your team as the technology progresses. Training and skill development should not only be done for the teams which are working on implementing augmented and virtual reality but also across all business functions for proper assimilation and smooth functioning.
4. Develop a business strategy
It is always important to have a business strategy. When considering implementation of augmented and virtual reality, research well about current developments in AR and VR, how companies across the globe are implementing them, what is the trend in your industry specifically, what are your business goals and how augmented and virtual reality can be useful in achieving them. While making this strategy, it is also important to understand your customers, how adept they are in usage of these technologies and what business impact would it create. Initially, you may not see a return on your AR and VR project but as explained in step 1, create strategies around conditioning ur customers, engage them, look for small successes before going advancing to bigger projects.
5. Develop a communications plan
Well, the most important part! If you are going to put in so many efforts, manpower and money, then you might as well talk about it. Let your internal and external stakeholders know that your company is a technology-focused company, it is investing in augmented and virtual realities to create business value and value for customers. Keep them in the loop about the cool projects you implement and what is the future you visualise for the company and your industry when it comes to AR and VR.
Augmented reality and virtual reality today are in the same stage as let’s say 10 years ago when mobile technology was about to bloom and flourish. It is just a matter of time when you will start seeing tech companies coming up with head mounted displays and software. This might take the same path as mobile technology did, initially, you may see dedicated hardware and software before open platforms and cross-device functionalities are created for smooth and effective implementation.