The potential of drone technology for business services

By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

6 September 2018

Ahead of the ICAS Insights: The Business of Technology, Andrew Harbison looks at how drones are much more than a novelty, with the emerging global market for business services using drone technology valued at over $127bn.

From security to mining, PwC has identified the varied potential applications of drone technology.

“We are currently in discussion with several major companies from a wide range of industries about how they can use drones to improve their business processes,” said Michal Mazur, partner and head of Drone Powered Solutions at PwC for Central and Eastern Europe.

“This got us thinking about the potential value of the global drone-powered solutions market.”

PwC has valued the market at $127bn, with infrastructure, agriculture and transport the top three industries predicted to hold the most value for drone powered solutions. These predictions are based on current business services and labour that are likely to be replaced in the near future by drones.

The value of drone technology

IndustryPredicted Value ($bn)
Transport 13
Media & Entertainment8.8
Mining 4.4

With this in mind, PwC has set up Drone Powered Solutions, a global centre of excellence in Poland, established to combine the use of drones with data analytics to provide clients with new solutions to their business challenges.

"This is the first PwC team of its kind anywhere in the world," said Olga Grygier-Siddons, chief executive of PwC in Central and Eastern Europe.

In 2013, Poland became the first country in the world to introduce a complete legal framework and institutions regulating the commercial use of drones.

Olga sees Poland as the perfect place for PwC to set up the centre. She went on to say: "If you ask me, it’s no surprise that this team was formed right here in our region. We see real change happening in the business culture of CEE.

“For a long time, business success in our region has been based on cost competitiveness, but now there is a real desire on the part of our clients and colleagues to compete instead on value, created through innovation.

"The report states that the insurance and mining sectors will find that drones will present them with a way to improve production processes, and that they will revolutionise the transport industry's "concept of last mile delivery".

ICAS Insights Series - with Investec Wealth & Investment

We are delighted to host the ICAS Insights series, in association with our Principal Partner Investec Wealth & Investment.

These flagship events showcase the very best of what ICAS and its membership represent. We’ll bring you closer to top CAs working in senior roles for some of the best-known brands across six key areas of business today – food and drink, technology, retail, media, sport and culture and entrepreneurship.

Each event will be led by an ICAS chair, and will feature a handpicked line up of exceptional CA speakers. We know you love hearing successful CAs talk about their career journeys, challenges and achievements.

Come and learn from the best, so you can be your best. The next ICAS Insights event – The Business of Technology – is taking place on the 27th September.


  • Business
  • Technology

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