2017 Global Digital IQ Survey: Drones

May 9, 2017



Drones have become popular consumer devices and likewise they’re making inroads in the enterprise.  While the technology has become somewhat synonymous with flying machines that do not require human pilots on board, it also can refer to a variety of earthbound or aquatic vehicles that operate with some degree of autonomy. Likewise, most people think about drones being used for automated delivery, but data collection is a powerful application that will be used across many industries. PwC estimates that the market for commercial drone applications could reach $127 billion, with infrastructure being the industry with the greatest prospects.

Who is investing the most? Adoption numbers are still low enough that we cannot make statistically relevant statements about investment differentials and growth for drones. But spending is expected to pick up in sectors like engineering and construction, power and utilities, agribusiness, mining, retail, and wholesale.

What are drone investors focusing on? Use cases for these flying machines may seem somewhat limited, but their value in tasks like visual inventory and other data collection jobs, on-site security, repair work in hard-to-reach places, and even package delivery should become more apparent with broader adoption.

What value do drone investors expect? Revenue growth and improved decision-making through better data analytics are the returns drone investors are looking for.



Chris Curran

Principal and Chief Technologist, PwC US Tel: +1 (214) 754 5055 Email

Vicki Huff Eckert

Global New Business & Innovation Leader Tel: +1 (650) 387 4956 Email

Mark McCaffery

US Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Leader Tel: +1 (408) 817 4199 Email