Just a couple of months ago, The Next Web declared 2016 as the year of the business drone. Since then, a number of predictions concerning the rapid rise of nascent technology has already came true proving, at last, that the future is finally here.
From Filmmaking to Organ Transportation
As expected, the drone industry will probably be worth about $7 billion by the end of 2020, and a part of it will continue to focus its work on commercial drone use. As for now, 60% of these futuristic aircrafts are still being used by filmmakers and professional photographers, as well as big media and communication companies, but moguls from other niches, like Amazon for instance, are also exploring new ways in which their businesses can benefit from drones. Any day soon, we can expect unmanned aerial vehicles to be further developed and connected to big-data analytics.
And while pizza delivery services probably cannot hope to modernize in this fashion quite yet, there is a number of industries already using drones. When used commercially, drones are brilliant for collecting imagery and actionable data, which is why any kind of business in need of continual inspections, surveying and mapping, like oil, gas, power, line and mining companies, can greatly benefit from this technological upturn. In July 2016, a United Therapeutics subsidiary has placed an order for 1,000 drones to ferry lungs and other organs from its facilities to hospitals for transplantation!
It’s pretty clear that the multiplying possibilities of the drone industry are now making it quite feasible for businesses to fly high.
A Sandwich Drop-Off
Ever since Jeremy Clarkson appeared in the Amazon Prime Air commercial in 2015, the drone delivery frenzy in the business world hasn’t stopped. As Andreas Raptopoulos, founder of Matternet, a California-based startup already delivering medical supplies via drones, explains, the unpiloted means of aerial transportation is “much more cost-, energy- and time-efficient”. And hi-tech UAVs are not the only types of businesses that can benefit – companies across the world have been introducing low-cost drones to their staff, and using them for shooting marketing material and for team building.
In July 2016, the regulations for commercial drone use finally arrived, encouraging more businesses to incorporate UAVs into their services. Just a couple of days later, 7-Eleven went down in history as the first food chain to make a commercial delivery, by dropping off a chicken sandwich, donuts, coffee, candy and Slurpees to a private residence in Reno, Nevada.
What Are The Benefits?
And while 7-Eleven’s drone deliveries are pushing the boundaries of UAV commercial use, security drones are helping immigrants reach Britain in the aftermath of Brexit, and other companies, persuaded by the cost and safety benefits, are utilizing the potential these unmanned aerial vehicles have for inspecting and collecting data on various inaccessible sites. Network Rail is already using them to make 3D models in the UK, while Walmart is developing a strategy for warehouse inventory drone management. For most of these moguls, safety is the prime concern and hence the biggest reason for choosing nascent technology for help. Wherever human resources can’t go, drones can; whenever there’s a slightest risk of putting people in jeopardy for the purposes of field monitoring, UAVs can help. Beside safety, industries are making drones a part of their data gathering strategies for a number of other reasons, with affordability and more precise analytics being in the lead.
Own Or Outsource?
If the need does exist and the prospects are strong, using a drone for your own business is no longer impossible. However, developing your drone program will demand a couple of choices you’ll have to make.
There is a number of highly successful drone companies, and all of them are offering a myriad of different UAV types, as well as providing drone training programs. But, before you ever consider buying one, you should decide what option suits your company’s investment plan and data security protocols the most – owning your own drone or outsourcing the program to a qualified drone service.
If data security is important for your line of work, the first option is probably better. In such a case, however, you’ll have to make a substantial up-front investment. And since nobody within your staff has the proper expertise in flying a UAV or analyzing the data it provides, you’ll also have to invest in developing a special drone team and hiring data specialists.
If sharing data is not a problem for your business, outsourcing can prove as a more cost-effective solution. The aforementioned companies are run by drone specialists whose competence and skills in operating complex technologies behind UAVs can drastically improve your company’s drone program, as well as reduce the time needed for reading and analyzing data.
From shipping to gathering data, drones have already proved themselves as hugely beneficial for business use. And, with technology only continuing to break new grounds, who knows how high they can take us in the future.