The rapid growth of technology has intervened in almost every domain of our everyday life. The ubiquity of technology, computers, and artificial intelligence has even distorted our perception of reality. The distinction between reality and fantasy has become increasingly subtle. The advancements in the world of artificial intelligence have brought revolutionary changes to the application of software computing. Modern-day software is smart enough to replicate the real-world experience on virtual grounds.
The concept of virtual reality has gained an unexpected vogue across different fields of life. It is an artificial environment created through software excellence. However, it nourishes the senses – mainly sight and sound – almost like the real world. The high levels of digital interactivity and immersion emulate a hypothetical environment in close touch with reality. It was no less than a dream to achieve such processing capabilities a decade ago. It would not be wrong to say that virtual reality has revamped the entire outlook of computer technology and its power.
The contemporary age of VR started from Oculus Rift and transformed into tech wonders like HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, Google Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR. The acceptance rate of VR in different socioeconomic streams has become unexpectedly high. There is a multitude of social, economic, and mainly business disciplines where VR contributes significantly. According to Artillery Intelligence, the use of VR in just business will grow from $829 million in 2018 to a whopping $4.26 billion in market size by 2023. Whereas, as per a forecast by Infosys, the total global VR market size will stand at $600+ billion by 2025.
VR has reshaped different business functions like marketing, finance, and even traditional assembly line manufacturing. The essential contribution is in the field of information division of the business, mainly digital domains. However, other realms of the business world will also see significant transformations. Some notable shifts took place in the following spheres of the business environment:
The increasing role of Business Analytics
Business analytics uses data to study the past behavior of the market and predict future trends. Traditional ways of going through hefty record files and market reports have almost gone extinct. Now we have modern software and cutting-edge AI-based algorithms to make our work easier. We see extensive use of management information systems (MIS) and other software-based tools like SAP in the business world. Even the academic streams of business like MBA degree online and short business courses have integrated data science in their curriculum. The latest advancements in this field have coupled data analytics with VR applicability.
The combination renders the data gleaned from data warehouses into an immersive dashboard. It then becomes relatively more accessible for business executives to interact and extract relevant information from massive data sets. The spatial representation of data depicts a closer connection to the real-time business environment, enhancing the data interpretation capability and making it more meaningful for business executives. The global business analytics market is already forecasted to reach a staggering $421 billion by 2027.
Revamping Business Strategy/Improved Strategic Communication
You might create a profitable business setup without pondering much on the business strategy. Executing the entrepreneurial basics in the right way can produce profitable business machinery. The real key lies in making it sustainable in the long run. That is where you cannot ignore the role of devising a proper business strategy. It is mainly because the essence of a well-knit business strategy is omnipresent across all business functions.
How something like VR comes in handy for business strategy? VR has provided businesses to simulate real-time negotiation practices. An essential element during a business strategy discussion is the aptitude to understand and decipher strategic communication. VR provides a virtual platform for executives to polish their communication skills and connect with other stakeholders in a better way. Moreover, the training designs in strategic communications masters programs online also incorporate VR to simulate a real-time corporate environment.
VR is significant for strategic communication in multinational corporations. Strategic decision-making for an MNC involves executives from different locations across the world. VR can connect all these executives in a professional and immersive way to enhance media richness. Now, this trend is evident in local organizations because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We have already seen widespread online conferencing tools like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. The next step is VR-based meetings.
Immersive Customer Experience
In the current market dynamics, customers make a highly informed purchase decision. In this hyper-connected world, they have numerous sources to gather product information. Modern digital advents of social media and opinion-leading blogs have become monumental to influence a contemporary customer. Customer loyalties have decreased, and the barriers to switching between brands have significantly lowered. It has placed a massive responsibility on businesses to enrich their customer experience.
Virtual reality, along with augmented reality, has transformed product visualization and customized product building. Brands can interact with a customer in a highly media-rich environment by displaying products through virtual reality. It saves floor space and additional human resource costs. Leading brands like H&M and Balenciaga have already been working on advance human holograms to assist customers in buying decisions.
Product customization contributes to a massive chunk of customer’s value proposition. VR technology has brought product customization to your fingertips. The Makers’ Experience at Nike is an excellent example of such VR and AR applications. Now customers can try certain products before they purchase them. For instance, IKEA offers an app where potential customers can experiment with different home décor. The app reads your home’s current design and places your selected furniture right in your home using VR and AR. You can observe how that furniture looks in your house without even buying it. All you need is just an app and a VR headset.
VR might not have reached the majority of markets by now. But, there are still enough growth prospects to be excited about the future of this technology. We cannot ignore the increasing role of the digital revolution in the business world. It has already elevated the utility of virtual and augmented reality from mere gaming to proper business applications. Technology has become an utmost need to ensure sustainable business strategy, optimal use of data, and develop a loyal customer base. Business executives face a considerable challenge to create the right balance between adopting technology and preserving the human essence of business.