5 Benefits Of Virtual Reality In The Enterprise

How Enterprises Are Harnessing VR Today



Steven Lerner
09/12/2018

Virtual reality (VR) is sometimes characterized as being a “buzzword” among IT professionals, with the assumption that practical applications in the enterprise are many years away. However, numerous organizations are already harnessing this technology and seeing incredible results. It is no wonder that the combined VR and augmented reality (AR) market is projected to be valued at $547.21 billion by 2024.

Here are five practical benefits of VR in the enterprise, with examples from organizations that are already knee-deep in this technology.

1. Advanced Recruitment Assessment Capabilities

Recruitment strategies can be costly for any organization, especially if the wrong employee gets hired. Businesses are often inundated with resumes from applicants who claim that they possess certain skills, but there is usually no cost-friendly way for an organization to truly test if that applicant is being sincere.

Lloyds Banking Group, a British financial institution, is harnessing virtual reality to gauge an applicant’s skills during the recruitment process. While wearing a VR headset, applicants are being asked to complete common work-related tasks in a simulated 360-degree virtual world. The VR test allows Lloyds Banking Group to precisely determine a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. In a post published by the company, one of the recruiters and one of the applicants both praised the organization’s VR assessment for showing “a commitment to innovation.”

2. Smoother Onboarding Process

Once an enterprise hires the right employee, the next step is onboarding. This is often a tedious process for both the company and new employee, but it is an important step to build a positive company culture and to improve teamwork. Traditionally, the first day of work can be a bit overwhelming for a new employee. Thankfully, there are new digital tools that enterprises can integrate to improve this process.

Design firm BEAM released an augmented reality program to enhance the onboarding experience. New employees are given a headset to take a virtual tour around the office. During the tour, the new employee can easily learn the layout of the office, and watch video introductions from other team members. It is a great way to break the ice and to learn more about the company.

3. Better Training

Training is the backbone of organization. An efficient training program can improve a new worker’s performance, address weaknesses, and increase productivity. IT departments are often asked for solutions to improve company training, and virtual reality is usually regarded as one of the best solutions.

Several companies have already integrated VR to train employees. In 2017, Walmart began training their workers with VR headsets so that they can experience real-world scenarios in a way that traditional classroom training wouldn’t be able to offer. Walmart workers use the technology to train for high-pressure situations, such as cleaning up a mess in the store or dealing with a Black Friday shopping rush. Brock McKeel, Walmart's senior director of operations, will be delivering a presentation about using virtual reality to train employees at the Enterprise Mobility Transformation Exchange from November 7-8, 2018 in San Diego.

In aftermath of a racial bias incident in 2018, Starbucks turned to VR to train employees on empathy skills. Real-world training in VR allowed employees to spot unconscious biases.

4. Visualizing Big Data

As part of digital transformation, enterprises are prioritizing data analytics. VR can change the way that employees in certain industries access and share data. VR goes beyond the traditional methods of analyzing data by allowing team members to view an augmented world with a rich dataset. It is a more interactive way to visualize and cross-reference data. Instead of just seeing data with their eyes, VR allows users to actually touch the data with their hands, which might be able to improve decision-making.

A few years ago, Goodyear leveraged VR to help determine why its tires were underperforming in races. The company conducted racing simulations and accessed game-changing data about its tires in a short period of time.

5. Enhanced Security

Preventing the next cyber attack is what keeps most IT professionals up at night. Just when it seems that hackers are using more advanced methods to steal data, enterprises might have a secret weapon up their sleeves: VR.

British specialist bank OakNorth integrated new VR-based software from Illusive Networks, an Israeli tech company, to create a falsified layer that tricks hackers into thinking that they are accessing a company’s network. This fictionalized parallel universe either traps the hacker forever or kicks them out.

As these examples prove, there are already practical applications of VR in the enterprise. Numerous organization are reaping the benefits of this technology.