In-sourcing vs. Outsourcing Your Drone Operations

As the number of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) applications for enterprises continue to grow across a variety of industries, business executives that would like to benefit from the technology must determine how to implement drones into their workflow, whether developing an in-house program, outsourcing service providers or using the mix of both.

The guiding principle of outsourcing has been the transfer of a process or function, that is typically not a core competence of an enterprise, to a body that has expertise in that area, allowing the enterprise to effectively utilize its resources in its core areas of business.
In this case, a third party, Service Provider (SP) collects data and manages the drone deployment end to end for the enterprise.
This option is valid when companies don’t want to go through the internal validation process and prefer to outsource the service to certified pilots. While there are benefits to working with SPs, there are questions that need to be asked:

  • Are the SP pilots certified? Do they use compatible hardware?
  • Do they have experience in flying industry-specific missions?
  • Is the SP affordable? reliable? scalable?
  • How do you evaluate the quality of the data products and consistency over time?
  • How do you evaluate their on-going operations and procedures?
  • Does the SP work under safety and regulation standards?

In-house operations:
When insourcing drone operations, the enterprise is responsible for it all.
There are plenty of potential benefits that come with integrating drones into a company’s operations. To get the most out of drone program, leaders from various departments must work together to establish a solid business case for incorporating drones, as well as a plan for implementation and metrics for success. Adding drones sometime calls for workflow and process changes resulting in time. After implementation, the drone program becomes an active part of the on-going operations of the enterprise.
Companies that would like to expand their employees’ tool set and use drones to cover routine work, will go for the insourcing model.
Some factors that are favorable for insourcing the drone operations are:

  • Complete control and increased visibility of the drone operations
  • Shortens time to insights- fully automated and digitized workflows
  • Reduces cost of field inspections
  • Economies of scale and scope
  • Enhances safety

vHive offers an end-to-end enterprise drone hive software solution for inspection and surveying.

  • The enterprise rep. easily plans the surveys, drones are executed autonomously with a press of a button, the captured data is viewed and analyzed, reports are generated and collaborated upon to ensure safe and smooth operations.
  • Full digitization of field assets, including high-resolution imagery, annotation and tagging, resulting in better field insights in a less time.
  • The most scalable drone solution: use low-cost, off-the-shelf drones and operate with minimal training required. vHive handles time-critical missions and delivers consistent results over time


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