PORTLAND, Ore. — A survey by the research team Blue Research, conducted for drone consultancy Skyward, found that one in 10 companies with revenue of $50 million or more use drones technology, and that adoption in the government sector specifically is 24%. The report is called “Drones in Big Business — The State of Drones at $50M+.”
Blue Research, a technology research firm based in Portland, Ore., sampled 1,736 individuals working for a random mix of U.S. companies with $50 million or more in revenue. Responses revealed that one in 10 companies with revenue of $50 million and over use drones, with adoption in government sectors at 24%, just behind that of construction and engineering, which was 35%.
Moreover, 92% of companies that use drones realized a positive ROI on their drone investment in one year or less, they said. The results also showed that drones are integral to business operations, as half reported their company’s bottom line would suffer if their company did not use drones. The report also revealed that 19% of those surveyed professionals indicated that their company currently uses drones, or expects to in the future.
“In the last two years since the FAA passed Part 107, we’ve seen drone use accelerate across small businesses and multinational firms, and watched our customers build drone programs into sophisticated operations that increase efficiency, worker safety and access to data,” said Mariah Scott, president of Skyward, a developer of drone operation management software and consulting services.
“As we develop our platform and services, I wanted more data about how medium and large businesses view drone technology and how they plan to put it to work in the future,” Scott said. The Blue Research data shows us who is adopting, at what pace, as well as the ROI drones are providing today. It also both validated, and challenged, our thinking about adoption hurdles and barriers to growth.”
The report surveyed 1,736 individuals working for U.S. companies. The report found that four in five companies using drones expect their drone flights to increase year over year; three in four expect to increase spending on their drone program over the next 12 months; that drone operations management software appears to address important drone program challenges; and that two common challenges are “staying up to date with laws and regulations” and “ensuring internal policies are followed.”
“In speaking one-on-one with executives we’ve heard that many large corporations are rapidly expanding their drone programs,” said Paul Abel, Ph.D., and managing partner with Blue Research. “This agrees with existing research in which the potential size of the market within specific industries has been assessed. However, this is the first study in which both adoption and the return on investment has been assessed with companies of this size, across industries.
“It is fascinating to see how quickly these organizations are obtaining a positive ROI,” he said. “Although still a fairly nascent market, these data suggest the market is well poised to grow — and with good reason for doing so.”
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