The Guinn Partners’ 2019 Commercial Drone Report is here – and like the best industry papers, it tells us not only where the industry has been, but also where it’s headed.
Colin Guinn is a luminary in the drone industry – and Guinn Partners, the commercial drone conuslting firm that he founded, is in a prime position to have a leadership view of all aspects of the commercial drone industry. Here are 3 key takeaways from the report.
The ROI for Commercial Drones is Clear
Throughout reports of major drone services providers, platforms and solutions the team asked each company to prove the ROI of their product. While those stories vary based on customer vertical and technology solution, its clear that the value of commercial drones has been proven. This last year was one of “proof of concept” and test phases for major enterprise – and drones have passed with flying colors. That being said, the next step isn’t necessarily an easy one.
Scaling Up Industrial Operations Isn’t Going to be Easy
While big enterprise may be ready to move beyond the proof of concept phase, broad adoption of drone technology in these companies is going to require time – and development.
“The next stage is going to be a painful one – scale. Software and data pipelines need to scale, but so do logistics – and growing inside of construction, energy, industrial, and agricultural enterprises takes documentation, process, time, and ROI history,” writes Guinn Partners’ Oren Schauble.
“True drone industry scale is going to take an extensive multi-year logistics push by companies who know process, know their customer, and have enterprise sales expertise, all in parallel with regulatory evolution.”
Automation is More than a Buzzword
When DRONELIFE interviewed Colin Guinn earlier this month, he made the point that the drone industry still hasn’t achieved a true one-button solution – one that doesn’t require as many special skills to get perfect data and figure out how to get it into the workflow. And while almost every drone company we’ve talked to during the last year has used the word “automation,” truly automated, human-free drone operations are relatively new.
Predicting that agriculture and inspection will be among the first verticals to reap the benefits of automated drone solutions (ADS) the report points out the importance of the technology. “The Guinn Partners team believes strongly that these systems are the future of the drone industry, and that that future is coming faster than anticipated,” says the report.
While the drone industry is still new enough to face many challenges to full adoption, it’s on its way. As Colin Guinn writes:
“With the progress happening in the regulatory space (including the FAA’s recent BAA), and corporations establishing scalable processes to implement drones into their workflows, we can confidently say that the next several years look very good for the commercial drone industry!”
You can download the full report 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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