Ninety-two percent of companies that use drones say the benefits of this innovation exceed the costs, according to the “State of Commercial Drone Use” report released by Blue Research, which contacted more than 1,700 medium and large businesses for its study. The findings noted that 10 percent of surveyed companies with revenues of more than $50 million currently use drones.
For 88 percent of respondents that utilize the technology, return on investment was achieved in a year or less. About half said that taking drones away would negatively affect their bottom lines.
Construction is one of the prominent industries using drones, with a 35-percent adoption rate. Nine out of ten firms with drones reported that the devices allow them to capture more information, save time and increase efficiency. Seventy-five percent said drones increase worker safety, and 71 percent cited a competitive advantage as a benefit.
“One of the things we really struggled with was figuring out how companies are using drones. Much of the research focused on hobbyists, the military, etc.,” explained Mariah Scott, President of Skyward, which commissioned the study and prepared a subsequent webinar titled, “Drones in Big Business: The State of Drones at $50M+.”
Majority handle it in-house
The report also found that less than 40 percent of companies hire outside help for their drone programs, including flights, data processing and data analysis. “Sixty-three percent are not outsourcing any of these activities,” shared Scott. “This number was much higher than expected. It’s very encouraging news about the ability of large companies to incorporate new technology.”
Challenges to adopting a drone program included staying up to date on laws and regulations. Access to controlled airspace was another obstacle.
Two percent of respondents plan to start a drone program within a few months. Another 7 percent said they will begin using drones at some time in the future.