Augmented Reality: Driving Measurable ROI Across the Industrial Enterprise

Written by: Kate Feeney

Every year there seems to be a new technology claiming that it will fundamentally change the way we design, build, operate, and service machines. So, what makes Augmented Reality (AR) so special?

AR provides organizations with the opportunity to experience digital data within the physical world.  But what does that really mean? And can you actually measure its value?

In “How Augmented Reality Drives Real-World Gains in Services, Training, Sales and Marketing, and Manufacturing,” IDC Research explores how AR is driving real, measurable ROI across four areas of the industrial enterprise:


According to IDC, “Real-world service-based use cases are growing exponentially.” When they interviewed companies about the most valuable ways that AR is transforming service, 62% agreed that AR is driving a measurable ROI and they identified these specific areas:

  • 65% said that AR facilitates better knowledge transfer between new and seasoned employees
  • 60% said that AR makes employees more efficient on site
  • 50% said AR improves first-time fix rates
  • 24% said AR is reducing truck rolls

With all of these benefits, AR is helping service technicians to become more efficient and service organizations to be more effective.  And, as a result, customer satisfaction greatly improves.


With an aging workforce approaching retirement and a high turnover rate among new employees, finding a quick and cost-effective way to quickly on-board employees is essential.

According to IDC, “The beauty of using AR for training is that it offers trainees an opportunity to move beyond paper manuals and watching videos to interacting with the tools and machines they’ll use on the job.”  They surveyed organizations using AR for training today and 51% of them agreed that their company had already seen a measurable ROI.  These organizations identified the following areas where it’s driving the most value:

  • 66% use AR to provide training classes without travel
  • 52% use AR for video capture and later training play back
  • 50% use AR to provide interactive service manuals and instructions
  • 50% use AR to enhance video conferencing

Across the board, AR facilitates a faster learning curve for trainees which makes them more efficient, resulting in less down time for customers. Plus, service organizations that leverage AR for training can save money that would have otherwise been spent on travel.

Sales and Marketing


Augmented Reality accelerates sales cycles by enabling customers to engage with extremely large, or extremely small, products on an entirely new level. Features, functionalities and options come to life through the power of interactive, 3D digital demonstrations.

When IDC approached executives using AR for Sales and Marketing, 65% of them agreed that AR was already driving a measurable ROI. And, more than half of them said AR helped them secure higher win rates because customers could better visualize their products!  They identified the following areas as key to helping drive that success:

  • 62% use AR for product demonstrations without needing to transport their products
  • 59% use AR to place a digital version of their product into the customer’s environment
  • Other key areas included virtual customization of the product and product instruction manuals

Without needing to physically transport products to customer demonstrations and trade shows, organizations using AR for sales and marketing can dramatically decrease costs.  Plus, with AR functionality, customers have a much stronger understanding of the products they’re evaluating and can make more confident purchasing decisions, faster.


According to IDC, manufacturers are one of the first verticals to embrace Augmented Reality because of the incredible opportunity it provides to improve the entire production process.  From product design to production and maintenance, AR is making a measurable impact.

In fact, when IDC reached out to manufacturers already using AR, more than 76% of them said their factory was already seeing a measurable ROI.  They identified the following areas that were critical to that success:

  • 70% said AR increased manufacturing efficiency
  • 60% said AR sped up the time between training and operations
  • 42% said AR helped them avoid mistakes
  • 39% said AR helped to decrease downtime

With benefits like these, it’s easy to see how manufacturers that adopt AR technology now will edge out competitors who decide to wait. It’s making a measurable difference now, and early-adopters will have the foundation for future success.

With AR driving value across so many areas in the industrial enterprise, I think that IDC put it best when they said that “AR isn’t some pie-in-the-sky technology that’s coming someday soon.  It’s here now, and it’s driving real-world use cases that will have industry-shaking ramifications in the very near future.”

Download a complimentary copy of How Augmented Reality Drives Real-World Gains in Services, Training, Sales and Marketing, and Manufacturing to read more about how AR is driving positive ROI for companies today. 

Or, watch a webinar replay where experts from IDC and PTC do a deep dive into how AR is transforming the way we do business.

Read the Full Report from IDC Research
Tags: Augmented Reality Industrial Internet of Things

About the Author

Kate Feeney

As the Director of Content Marketing at PTC, Kate Feeney explores how the Internet of Things and Augmented Reality are driving measurable value across the industrial enterprise.