Amid a wave of hype around emerging technologies, three specific trends are showing the potential to help businesses transform the way they operate, according to a series of research briefs published by CompTIA. To varying degrees, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are becoming a more prominent technology in the digital operations of organisations, the publications reveal.
While VR has the greatest awareness among companies aware of the trend (74 per cent of respondents), blockchain is having the biggest impact today (43 per cent). AI is set to become a trend, but today is not as prevalent as one might expect.
“Though the majority of businesses are still on the sidelines, use cases for each of these solutions are beginning to emerge,” said Seth Robinson, senior director, technology analysis, CompTIA. “When you consider that these are not standalone products that you plug in and play, but building blocks to automate, digitise or streamline operations, the impacts they are already having illustrate their potential.”
CompTIA surveyed 700 business professionals at US companies to gauge their awareness and usage of AI, blockchain, VR and AR. Highlights from the report, verbatim from CompTIA, follow below. The full report is available at CompTIA’s official website, and VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest trends for VR and AR within the enterprise sector.
One in four companies are making regular use of AI. Just over half of current users have AI deployed in machine learning within Internet of Things implementations and IT infrastructures. As Robinson noted, “Components such as firewalls and routers are now enhanced with AI functionality, especially as software-defined networking becomes more prevalent.” Early adopters are also using AI in virtual assistants (52 per cent of current AI users); as suggestions in workflow tools (52 per cent); in the automation of processes and tasks (48 per cent); and as a natural language interface for workplace tools (44 per cent).
Early adopters of blockchain are using it to confirm digital identities or maintain an audit trail for compliance. In fact, 52 per cent of companies surveyed cite greater security as a driver for considering blockchain. Common business practices such as asset management and contract agreements may also benefit from blockchain, which has the potential to remove unneeded layers to streamline these processes. Firms are also exploring the use of blockchain for distributed data storage.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
As both VR and AR mature, the two will likely merge in applications that fall under the label “mixed reality”, according to Robinson. Currently, one in five companies has a VR/AR initiative underway, while a slightly higher percentage (23 per cent) says they are experimenting with VR/AR pilots. The most common current use is in employee training, cited by 62 per cent of early adopters. Interestingly, half of early adopters are using VR/AR in customer engagements. Other early uses include virtual meetings (47 per cent), R&D simulations (45 per cent) and on-the-job information – delivering information to an employee while they are engaged with a task (43 per cent).