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Aussie businesses are ignoring VR and AI, but the biggest surprise? They're ignoring mobile too

07 Nov 2016

Is your business prepared for the arrival of artificial intelligence (AI) or virtual reality (VR) in your workplace? A new survey from Squiz has found that 65% of businesses aren't prepared at all, and only 7% are actively onboarding the technology.

A further 93% don't use AI or VR at all, but 27% plan to adopt AI and 28% plan to adopt VR within the next 12 months for automation and marketing tactics, the survey found.

The perceived benefits from the AI technologies include reducing human error (32%), automating tasks (29%), while VR will help respondents improve customer experiences (31%) and helping with marketing and events (29%).

Problems with using AI included expenses (35%) and lack of human control (23%). VR problems include expenses (43%) and a simple lack of need for the technology (31%).

“Most marketing and IT departments have an idea of what they should be doing with digital but they ultimately struggle with the holistic tech outlook that makes digital transformation a reality,” comments Cindy Lenferna de la Motte, managing director of Ikabo.

The survey, which gained opinions from 150 Australian business directors, owners and senior managers, also found that 56% of respondents don't have a mobile app or website - even though 65% believe that having a mobile app or website is 'very' or 'somewhat' important.

“You cannot embark on a digital transformation project without a reason and in today’s digital age businesses shouldn’t need to look far for an imperative to be embracing new technologies. By lifting the lid on internal processes and seeing what each and every moving part is doing, businesses can see where emerging technologies could assist, and ultimately benefit their bottom line," says Lenferna de la Motte.

The misalignment suggests that despite 21% stating that customer experience is one of the biggest drivers of mobile development, it not that important in reality - only 28% of respondents are planning to invest in the area over the next year.

Instead, respondents cited mobile drivers as increased audience reach (17%) and more targeted communications (14%).

“There is an immediate need for more user-intuitive websites, stronger mobile presences, and more engaging and useful intranets. However, without a mandate for change set by the CEO, they are usually facing huge internal constraints to successfully going digital in a holistic manner," de la Motte says.

Those constraints include technical skills (19%), budget (17%) and time (11%).

“Experimenting with digital technologies carries some risks to business. But with the power these technologies have to shine light on ineffective and unsynchronised functions, businesses can tap into a competitive edge, and become poised to participate in successful innovation”, concludes Lenferna de la Motte.

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