If your business is exploring how to deploy XR for employee training, you might be asking: Is XR really that complex to deploy? The processes needed to broadly adopt XR and scale VR training aren’t complex per se. But they do require an intentional strategy, an understanding of your training objectives, and the right access to hardware you’ll need for the job.
I’ve had the privilege of helping companies learn how to deploy XR in a business in my role at The Learning Network. As a seasoned IT professional, I bring a decade of experience in information systems and cybersecurity, I’ve had the privilege to work across various industries, from personal care to finance and taxes. Each of them stands to benefit from the immersive, safe, and extensive virtual training environments that XR provides.
In this article, I’ll help you overcome common fears about deployment. I’ll then walk you through the benefits of XR for your organization and the steps required to implement and deploy it across your organization. Subsequently, you can continue to evaluate and fine-tune as you scale VR training.
Let’s get started.
Common Fears About How To Deploy XR In A Business
First, let’s address some common fears head on. Despite the immense potential of XR, some businesses fear XR deployment and seek XR deployment tips. This apprehension often stems from the perception that XR deployment must be complex, expensive, and disruptive to the organization’s existing training processes.
However, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll quickly find the benefits far outweigh the initial concerns:
Fear #1: XR deployment is complex
Reality: XR deployment isn’t much different than scaling other technologies across your organization. It’s always a good idea to start with a pilot group of a few employees. Train them in how to use the XR hardware, teach them which buttons perform which functions, then observe them in action. Learn from the experience and use those insights to fine-tune your training approach. Assuming the pilot is successful, you can scale the technology to any employee using a tool common to organizations that deploy mobile app updates—your Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform. Because many XR training environments are housed within an app, any updates you make can be delivered to your employees instantly via an MDM update.
Fear #2: XR deployment is expensive
Reality: Although organizations moving deeply into virtual reality will incur costs purchasing computers and headsets to run XR virtual learning environments, many XR training regimens are less resource intensive. For example, trainings incorporating augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR)—both under the umbrella of XR—can be delivered via smartphone app. This makes the question of how to deploy XR in a business more seamless by leveraging technology the vast majority of your employees already have at their fingertips. Limited ongoing maintenance and related costs should be limited in most cases.
Fear #3: XR deployment disrupts existing training
Reality: By implementing the XR deployment tips I’ve described, you can improve employee safety by taking them out of potentially harmful training environments and encouraging them to learn new skills in a safe virtual simulation. In turn, this reduces financial, environmental, regulatory, and legal risk to your business. Further, many organizations maintain a combination of XR and face-to-face training to nurture work relationships and provide a holistic training experience.
Your Step-By-Step Guide To XR Deployment
Deploying XR for training involves several phases tailored to your organization’s needs.
First, identify your objectives. Why are you investing in XR training in the first place? Your reasons might be diverse. You might desire to improve retention of important training information, enhance employee safety, and scale training to dozens or even hundreds of employees.
Gone are the days of dry PDFs and monotonous videos. XR creates an environment in which learning becomes an engaging and memorable process. Imagine employees not just reading about a concept but actually interacting with it in a virtual space. The agility and efficiency of XR training is a game-changer. Instead of coordinating logistics for instructors and venues, all you need are XR devices. This can make the learning experience much more streamlined and effective.
All of these and more might be ideal reasons for exploring how to deploy XR in a business.
Next, make a plan. Determine what hardware you’ll need to achieve those objectives. Confirm which members of your existing team (or outside contractors) will be needed to develop the app you’ll use to host XR trainings. Create a project management timeline for development, piloting, iterating, launching, and conducting ongoing evaluation of the XR deployment process.
Then, implement the plan. Typically, this begins with developing the app and the XR training experiences you’ll be rolling out to employees. Once the environment is built, pilot it with a small number of employees, as I mentioned earlier. Learn from their experience and ideate, fine-tuning the app for a wider audience.
Finally, you’ll be ready to scale VR training (or any other type of XR training program) to whole teams, divisions, or the full enterprise. Your journey doesn’t end here, of course. Even after launch, commit to regular and continuous evaluation. See what’s working. Learn what’s not, Modify the program and use your MDM to deploy updates that strengthen your XR training, improve employee retention of information, and evaluate data and insights to help your organization improve its effectiveness with this technology
A Word About Data Privacy
Organizations naturally worry about the security of XR training and the apps and technologies that support it. Use your MDM as a lifeline here. Verify that your MDM encrypts data transactions and safeguards sensitive employment information. Once you have done so, and you continue to maintain strict data security protocols, you can have confidence in your XR deployment process while also guarding employees’ privacy.
XR Deployment Tips: A Promising Future
The landscape of how to deploy XR in a business is rapidly evolving. Just five years ago, the concept was relatively foreign in business environments. Looking ahead, XR is set to become more accessible and affordable. As more companies embrace the technology, hardware costs are likely to decrease. The next few years will witness a transformative shift in how businesses view and deploy XR.
Your investment to scale VR training or other types of XR training doesn’t have to be as complex as it might seem. With the right strategy, XR can offer powerful learning experiences that boost knowledge retention.
As the XR landscape develops, businesses that embrace the technology stand to gain a competitive edge.
How to deploy XR in a business isn’t complex. On the contrary, there is a clear path to implementation that promises numerous benefits for your business—including more knowledgeable employees, improved safety, and reduced logistical barriers to training.