Maximizing ROI from AR Deployment

Author: Eric Abbruzzese

Augmented Reality (AR) has an important role to play in the modern and future workplace—remote assistance, training, workflow guidance, and knowledge capture can all be realized with AR deployment. However, integrating AR into existing platforms has proven to be a formidable challenge to early adopters because of the complexity of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) cohesion. Ultimately, Return on Investment (ROI) from AR technologies will be heavily dependent on how seamless the integration process is.

ROI-Generating Strategies for AR Platforms and Integrators

Adopters are uncertain about how exactly to integrate their AR technologies in a way that accounts for a healthy ROI. Even then, there are some big questions lurking around the corner, such as “How will the metaverse be used in my organization’s system?” Due to immaturity in the enterprise AR market, companies are looking for flexibility and scalability, which has led to the necessity of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business models. It’s also crucial that solution providers in the AR space take the time to truly understand what kinds of technologies and platforms are within a customer’s tech stack and ensure that interoperability is enabled.

Although as-a-Service (aaS) models are becoming more common, it can’t be stressed enough that traditional deployments are not going anywhere. Platforms and integrators are better off providing on-premises deployments and licensing structures, in addition to the SaaS model; this will allow for a broader reach in the enterprise AR market, and subsequentially, higher ROI.

Every customer will have its own needs and prioritizes when it comes time for integration. Some companies will be mature in AR implementation, while others are brand new. For this reason, it’s recommended to offer full services, as well as a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach.

AR Market revenue data

ROI-Generating Strategies for AR Enterprise Adopters

AR on its own is not an ROI juggernaut; it must be in tandem with accompanying technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), edge computing, etc. While 5G paves the way for low latency in a bandwidth-heavy environment, AI can automate various AR applications with the help of predictive analytics. Edge computing takes the load off a central server and enables more reliable data collection and transfer within localized AR use cases. The result: instantaneous computation with no interference.

The truth is, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. For some companies, an over-the-top AR solution might be right for now because it takes the least amount of time to deploy. On the other hand, some companies might find the limiting features of an over-the-top solution to be too much of a trade-off. By that same token, a SaaS partner could be perfect for one organization’s needs, while others may seek a more personalized solution. In the end, key decision makers must collaborate and carefully balance the pros and cons of the various AR deployment options.

For companies considering deploying or scaling AR technologies like hands-free smart glasses, the first step is to account for how existing technologies may or may not overlap with AR deployments. Additionally, identifying the specific needs of the organization will help choose the right solutions and partners for ROI maximization. Also, it will just save a lot of headaches in the long run.

Finally, it should be noted that making existing content and AR compatible with each other is very complex. Moreover, not all AR applications require the same amount of content. Adopters that understand their content creation competencies will be in a good position to make necessary pivots, such as hiring skilled content creators in the AR niche or teaming up with strategic partners.

Adopters and Solutions Providers Outlook

Many organizations are wandering into unexplored territory with the deployment of AR for enterprise processes and are left wondering what kind of ROI they can expect. The key thing for platforms and integrators is to empathize with these organizations that are wary of AR deployment. Companies like PTC and Librestream get this, as they focus on flexibility and ease of use. For the companies thinking of adopting new AR technologies, an in-depth review of current technologies and platforms is in store—so AR integration is seamless.

To learn more about the challenges, trends, and ROI-generating strategies associated with enterprise AR deployment, download ABI Research’s Maximizing Augmented Reality Value through Integration: Requirements, Best Practices, and Adapting Business Models presentation, either in PDF or PowerPoint.