Businesses are increasingly using artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) to transform the way they operate, according to a series of research briefs published by CompTIA.
The technology industry association surveyed around 700 business professionals at US companies to gauge their awareness and usage of these emerging technologies.
The findings show that, although VR has the greatest awareness (74% of respondents), blockchain is having the biggest impact today (43%).
One in four companies are now making regular use of AI, and just over half of current users have AI deployed in machine learning within Internet of Things implementations and IT infrastructures. AI functionality can be found in components such as firewalls and routers, and early adopters are also using AI in virtual assistants, as suggestions in workflow tools, in the automation of processes and tasks, and as a natural language interface for workplace tools.
Early adopters of blockchain are using it to confirm digital identities or maintain an audit trail for compliance, CompTIA found. More than half (52%) of companies surveyed cited greater security as a driver for considering blockchain. Common business practices such as asset management and contract agreements may also benefit from blockchain, and firms are exploring the use of blockchain for distributed data storage.
As both VR and AR mature, the two will likely merge in applications that fall under the label “mixed reality”, CompTIA suggests. One in five companies has a VR/AR initiative underway, while a slightly higher percentage (23%) said they are experimenting with VR/AR pilots. The most common uses are employee training, customer engagement, virtual meetings, R&D simulations, and on-the-job information — delivering information to an employee while they are engaged with a task.