PwC: Snapshot of the future with VR/AR technology
Immersive technologies, from virtual reality (VR) to augmented reality (AR), is forecast to enjoy a global GDP boost of US$1.5 trillion by 2030, reports PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Outlined in their economic impact report, Seeing is Believing, PwC have analysed the adoption of these technologies within the UK to provide a micro perspective on their value to business.
“We’ve found engineering, manufacturing and retail organisations to be the most vocal about their use of immersive technologies,” said Jeremy Dalton, PwC UK Head of VR/AR.
“This makes sense when you consider that many manufacturers have been using such technologies since the early 2000s and retailers are keen to promote their investment in these technologies as a means of creating deeper connections with their customers.”
Consultants, PwC, researched publicly available information on 2.2 million UK organisations, looking for examples of VR/AR use.
“After analysing 500 million points of data using a natural language processing (NLP) tool, our map has been populated based on examples we’ve identified via websites, press releases, social media messages and other public sources,” outlines the report.
The interactive map allows you to visualise VR/AR adoption by:
- Technology – VR/AR usage
- Geography – Where VR/AR are being used across the UK
- Industry – Which industries are adopting VR/AR
- Application – Where organisations are using VR/AR
According to the research London is leading the way across all channels in VR/AR usage with statistics showing an adoption of all technologies was 32.16% for VR and 35.09% for AR.
Top three applications:
Retail and customer engagement – 37.87%
Learning and development – 21.68%
Entertainment and leisure – 12/32%
Top three industries:
Engineering and manufacturing – 24.13%
Retail and consumer – 10.90%
Professional services – 10.65%
According to case studies polled by PwC, the investment and development of immersive technologies is proving beneficial.
“We've created a fun AR game that highlights to our customers the good, wholesome foods that go into each of our products.” Commented a north-west based retailer.
“We’ve developed a VR tool aiming to engage pension scheme members to help them understand what impact their decisions (or lack of) might have on their quality of later life,” said London based professional services company.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”