Deloitte US launches global drone solutions offering

26 November 2018 3 min. read
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Deloitte US has launched its Global Drone Solutions service, aiming to support public and private sector clients with drone strategy and integration (as well as drone risk and counter-drone strategy) as the sector rapidly accelerates in value and viability.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), also known as drones, have expanded beyond their military origins into a range of commercial applications. The most mature application of drone technology is as a platform for surveillance, photos, and videos – feeding businesses’ thirst for more data and derived insights. Agribusiness is already using drones to monitor crops and collect soil data, while insurance companies have started employing drones to inspect damaged assets. Perhaps the most headline-grabbing commercial drone application is Amazon’s pilot project into drone delivery – which threatens to completely upend the way packages are delivered.

According to a 2017 McKinsey report, the value of drone activity in the US has risen from $40 million in 2012 to about $1 billion in 2017. The consulting firm projects commercial drones, including corporate and consumer applications, to account for between $31 and $46 billion of US GDP by 2026.

With new software able to automate drone navigation and data analysis, drone applications – e.g. the monitoring of construction, crops, materials, traffic, crowds, and infrastructure; catastrophe response; search and rescue; and security – are becoming even more practical. Deloitte US launches global drone solutions offeringBig Four consultancy Deloitte is hoping to help clients across government, healthcare, and insurance, among other industries, deftly plan and integrate drone technology into their operations. The firm launched its Deloitte US Global Drone Solutions offering at the Unmanned Security Expo earlier this month. The service will help clients determine how to adopt, accelerate, and/or protect against the use of drones.

"The application of drones is almost limitless across numerous industries," said Peter Liu, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP and drone offering champion. "With so much potential, however, comes a lot of risk and we are not only helping clients figure out the best way to use drones but deploy them in a way that meets their business objective, adheres to government regulations, and gets them the data they need to make the right decisions."

The team will help public and private sector clients improve their business intelligence with data-driven insights from drone technology. Deloitte will assist with strategic plan development, flight path and data transfer questions, drone data analysis and automation, and data insights/integration in core businesses. The drone solutions team will also help clients address drone-related risks and regulations.

"As companies or government entities look to manage their drone risk, we've outlined key steps that they can take to proactively address that increasing risk," said Chris Hewlett, specialist leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Deloitte US Global Drone Solutions offering leader. "Some of the biggest risks to organizations are from unintended consequences, which could seem unpredictable and difficult to prepare for, but through risk assessment, crisis management, and modeling, organizations can mitigate that risk."

The drone solutions team is already working with clients across industries in the US and the globe to incorporate drones into operations, as well as on drone risk and counter-drone strategy.