As one of the leading providers of commercial drone solutions in the industry – and, founded in 2011, one of the earliest drone companies – Airware has had a front row seat as drone technology developed. Now Don Weigel, Airware’s Vice President of Professional Services, describes that development for both customers and the drone industry – providing a path for drone integration in the enterprise.
The Eight Stages of Drone Technology-Driven Transformation describes “levels of evolution” that the industry has gone through – and must still achieve. “As digital transformation is a must for any industry, and as more and more companies are adopting digital technologies, commercial drones have become the new source for digital information,” Weigel tells DRONELIFE. “Drone-enabled companies now have access to more dynamic data than they ever had before, so, for enterprises thinking about what comes next, we’ve provided a roadmap of the different stages of drone integration and operation.”
Weigel writes that drone capabilities have grown tremendously – but are still very much being developed. “There have been at least eight distinct levels of evolution within commercial drone technology, beginning with simply getting drones into the air reliably, and culminating with complete industry and application-specific solutions that enable organization-wide benefit,” he writes. “The early stages of this continuum were achieved years ago. The advanced stages are on the cutting edge, and are in the process of being developed and tested today.”
The Eight Stages as described in Weigel’s piece are:
- Stage One: Affordable and Reliable Flight Control Systems
- Stage Two: Autonomy
- Stage Three: Reliable Data Collection
- Stage Four: Data Collection at Scale
- Stage Five: Data Management
- Stage Six: Machine Learning
- Stage Seven: Industry- & Application-Specific Analytics
- Stage Eight: Systems Integration
In addition, Weigel describes which stages represent a “threshold” of value in the enterprise – when the ROI of a drone program moves beyond incremental benefit and cost savings to true transformation, allowing entirely new business processes and levels of insight.
“This level of digitization is what defines not just technology innovation, but market leadership,” writes Weigel.
The complete article can be read on Airware’s company blog here.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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