Things to consider before you invest in the latest technologies

New and immersive technologies are blending our digital and physical worlds and will soon revolutionise the way service companies do business.

For example:

  • Virtual Reality provides a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world
  • Augmented Reality adds digital elements to a live view, often by using the camera on a smartphone or tablet (e.g. Pokemon Go)
  • Mixed Reality combines AR and VR. So, with MR, real-world and digital objects interact (currently headset based)
  • The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will harness technologies, processes, physical objects, and services to create an interconnected system that monitors and shares information.

Some stats

According to recent research:

  • 70% of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies, and 25% will have deployed them to production (Gartner)
  • 46% believe that remote field support is the area where AR will see the biggest impact (Gartner)
  • 41% of incomplete service visits would benefit from AR sessions (Service Council)

What to think about before investing in new technology

How could new technologies be used in practice?

As with any technology, it’s vital that your service business doesn’t invest just for the sake of it. Instead, the technology must be used to answer business challenges. By outlining your expectations and identifying solutions to match your needs, you will improve your chances of success and boost your ROI.

For example, AR could help if your engineers are struggling with compliance. Because, with AR, engineers would have access to interactive and personalised work instructions while on the job. This could include an online training video along with a more detailed step-by-step guide. At the same time, Augmented Reality technology would be used to monitor how engineers are performing and interacting with the instructions provided. And to alert them if they are failing to adhere to the necessary safety standards. It’s not about tech for tech sake.

When should you invest?

Being an early adopter of technologies could give you the advantage over your competitors. On the other hand, if you don’t use technology while everyone else does, you will fall behind. But there is a balance to be had. Being first can also come with higher costs. You might also have to iron out problems that those that come after you will never have to deal with. The trick is to understand the direction the sector is heading in and make a strategic decision on timing. For example, while you shouldn’t expect to see changes happening overnight, AR products are already infiltrating the sector. What’s more, Microsoft is exploring how MR can be used to serve business needs. So, while these technologies many not yet taken a prevalent hold, that could all be about to change.

What do you already have?

Rather than diving straight in, it’s worth looking at any technologies you already have – and could use to deliver a better customer experience. For example, in the not too distant future, technology will be used to create machines that:

  • Know when they need maintenance
  • Can automatically order the parts required to fix themselves
  • Establish the best time to be taken offline.

And, predictive maintenance (PdM) could be an ideal entry point for organisations that want to enter the IIOT market. The next evolution of planned preventive maintenance (PPM), with PdM, each asset’s real-time operating data is analysed to assess when maintenance is due. So, maintenance is determined by the actual condition of equipment rather than average statistics. And it’s vital that service-led companies act now to capitalise on improved operational performance – or risk being left behind.

However, there is an easy way to start reaping the benefits. As cloud solutions and advanced analytics options evolve, the lines between predictive and preventative maintenance are becoming increasingly blurred. At Service Geeni, our innovative cloud-based PPM software uses advanced analytics to deliver improved insights that take preventive maintenance to the next level.  Look at what you have that can be upgraded and start there.

Our service management software can help your business work smarter. Contact us today to find out more.